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terror attacks

Taoiseach to attend massive 'unity' rally planned for Paris

Around 250 people — including the Tánaiste and the Justice Minister — attended a commemoration event for the victims of the France terror attacks this morning.

TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY will join British Prime Minister David Cameron, Germany’s Angela Merkel and others in Paris tomorrow for what’s likely to be a massive demonstration in the French capital to show unity against extremists.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald confirmed the Taoiseach would attend, at an event in Dublin Castle this morning.

Tánaiste Joan Burton, Garda Commissioner Noirín O’Sullivan, Dublin Lord Mayor Christy Burke and around 250 others took part in a commemoration for the victims of the French terror attacks outside the Chester Beatty Library, organised by the NUJ.

French Ambassador to Ireland, Jean-Pierre Thébault, also attended.

The Tánaiste described the events of the past three days — which have left 20 people, including three gunmen, dead — as an “attack on all our freedoms”.

She said France was a “beacon to the world” for journalism and free speech.

“The attack on French says something very profound about the motives of the people who perpetrated the barbarities,” Burton added.

The increasing numbers of young people becoming radicalised and getting involved in Jihadist movements was now a concern for countries across the European Union, Burton said.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny after signing a book of condolence at the Embassy of France yesterday. PA Wire / Press Association Images PA Wire / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

Fitzgerald said governments across Europe were working closely to ensure future terror attacks could be avoided.

She said Irish security forces were actively engaged in the process, and that intelligence was being shared by agencies across the EU.

Rallies

Tens of thousands of people have been staging rallies across France this morning.

According to initial police figures, at least 30,000 people took part in a silent rally in southern city of Pau and more than 22,000 gathered in Orleans, southwest of Paris.

France Newspaper Attack A silent walk for victims of the shooting at 'Charlie Hebdo' in Nice today. Lionel Cironneau / AP/Press Association Images Lionel Cironneau / AP/Press Association Images / AP/Press Association Images

French ministers met this morning to discuss the events of the last three days, and to make preparations for tomorrow’s planned unity rally.

The country is taking all steps possible to ensure the safety of the march, and is maintaining its highest security level in the Paris area, the interior minister said afterwards.

“All measures have been taken to assure the security of the rally,” Bernard Cazeneuve said, after President Francois Hollande warned that the threats facing France were not over.

Some 500 extra military personnel are to be deployed in the greater Paris region.

Includes reporting from AFP.

Profile: Hayat Boumeddiene, France’s most-wanted woman

 Read: France terror attacks: Police hunt for partner of supermarket gunman 

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