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'There's no glory in taking a man's life': Canadian ambassador to Ireland on stopping a terrorist attack

Kevin Vickers stopped a lone gunman from storming the Canadian parliament in 2014.

Kevin Vickers after becoming Canadian Ambassador to Ireland last year
Kevin Vickers after becoming Canadian Ambassador to Ireland last year
Image: Sasko Lazarov/

THE CANADIAN AMBASSADOR to Ireland Kevin Vickers has spoken about his experience of stopping a terrorist attack.

This happened in October 2014, when a lone gunman stormed the Canadian parliament building.

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a 25-year-old Muslim convert, shot and killed Canadian soldier Corporal Nathan Cirillo on the steps of the parliament before attempting to enter the main building.

Speaking this morning on RTÉ’s Marian Finucane show Vickers described the incident and said that there was “no glory” in what he did.

“He discharged his firearm,” he told Finucane, “I dove around the pillar landing on the floor underneath him and as I say I kind of bumped up into a moment of history and became a symbol I think, for Canada.”

Regrettably that young man is no longer with us.

“You know later that night I woke up at 5.30am in the morning and I was crying,” he went on.

“I always say to people that it was the loneliest moment of my life. You know there’s no glory in participating with the other security people in taking this man’s life.”

Part of Vickers’ duties as Sergeant-at-Arms of the Canadian parliament had been to carry in the ceremonial mace into the chamber at the start of the day’s business.

Returning to work the day after the incident, he received a standing ovation from parliamentarians that went on for several minutes.

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Source: Associated Press/YouTube

During the interview Vickers then went on to give an emotional account of how his mother helped him recover from the incident.

At her prompting, he gathered the local priest and members of his family at his family home in Chatham, New Brunswick.

He said that together they prayed for the mother of Corporal Nathan Cirillo, the mother of Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, and then also for Zehaf-Bibeau.

You know I thought the first person Christ let into the kingdom of heaven was the person crucified next to him. So I said a prayer for the man that I shot. So it just kinda, as they say, put you back onto the ground. 

He has been the Canadian Ambassador to Ireland since January last year and has strong Irish heritage, with his ancestors having left either Wicklow or Laois.

Read: Sergeant-at-Arms who shot Canadian gunman gets standing ovation

Also: This hero is now officially the Canadian Ambassador to Ireland

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