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TDs and Senators fell silent today

TDs from all sides of the house stood in silence ahead of statements from the government and opposition on the attacks in the French capital last week.

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THE DÁIL FELL silent this afternoon as TDs paused to remember the 129 victims of the devastating terrorist attacks in Paris last Friday.

TDs from all sides of the house stood in silence ahead of statements from the government and opposition on the attacks in the French capital.

A total of 80 deputies were present for the mark of respect.

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Taoiseach Enda Kenny later told the Dáil that Ireland stands “in total solidarity” with the people of France.

He said these acts of violence are a “betrayal of any sense of religion or goodness.”

These attacks must be seen for what they are – an attack on the fundamental values that are held dear, not only in France but in Ireland, throughout Europe and in the democratic world.
We remain steadfast and united in our determination to counter the threat posed by global terrorism and all forms of radicalism that have at their heart the desire and intention to divide, dismantle and destroy.

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Tánaiste Joan Burton said that tens of thousands of Irish people have made their home in France and many French people visit Ireland every year.

“We enjoy the same rights, the same lifestyle. We share the same values. We know that the attacks on Paris are a threat to those values, which we share with our French friends and neighbours,” she told TDs.

We will stand with them as they look to deal with that threat. We will stand with them in mourning. We will stand with them as they look to fight back.

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Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said that ISIS has declared “war on our civilisation”.

He said that multiculturalism and religious freedom are “core values” that cannot be abandoned in the face of the threat the radical organisation poses.

The French ambassador to Ireland Jean-Pierre Thébault was in the Dáil visitors’ gallery along with the deputy ambassador and embassy staff as statements got underway.

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Earlier, the Taoiseach signed a book of condolences at the French embassy near Leinster House.

A minute’s silence was also held in the Seanad this afternoon prior to the Order of Business getting underway.

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The newly-elected Labour senator Mairia Cahill was among those to pay their respects.

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Read: How is our government responding to the Paris attacks?

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Hugh O'Connell

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