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Arlene Foster and Martin McGuinness send thoughts and prayers after Nice attack

Published 15/07/2016

Tributes are being left around the world following the deaths of at least 84 people who were celebrating Bastille Day in Nice
Tributes are being left around the world following the deaths of at least 84 people who were celebrating Bastille Day in Nice

Northern Ireland's political leaders have condemned the "vicious attack" in Nice and extended sympathies to the people of France.

First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said the "futile" act would only strengthen democracy.

Thousands of Northern Ireland football fans stayed in Nice last month during the Euro 2016 football tournament.

In a joint statement, Democratic Unionist leader Mrs Foster and Sinn Fein's Mr McGuinness said: "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those who have lost loved ones or have been seriously injured in this vicious attack.

"Many of our football supporters enjoyed attending the European Championships in France in recent weeks and the scene of devastation and pain this morning are in stark contrast to the carnival atmosphere and warmth people from across Europe enjoyed.

"The people who carried out this attack want to create fear and division. Their actions have resulted in the loss of many lives of people of different nationalities. Their acts are futile and will serve only to strengthen our resolve and determination that democratic means are the only way forward.

"We offer our deepest sympathies and support to President Hollande and all the people of France."

Belfast City Council has announced that a book of condolences for the Nice victims will be opened in City Hall on Monday, with the building illuminated in the colours of the French flag on Friday night.

Alliance party deputy leader Naomi Long said: "My thoughts, prayers and sympathies are with the people of Nice and the loved ones of the victims.

"Many local people will have experienced the beauty of Nice recently, as Northern Ireland played their first game at the European Championship there. The people of Nice showed the supporters the very best hospitality and we stand with them in solidarity after this horror."

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Alderman Hilary McClintock said: "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families who have been bereaved and all those who have been injured.

"I am also aware that there are many people from our own city and district who are holidaying in the area at this time and I sincerely hope that all the local families will soon have reassurance from their loved ones as to their safety.

"All of us in Northern Ireland are aware of the devastation of terrorism and the impact it has on communities and I utterly condemn this act of violence that has resulted in such carnage and devastation."

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