Belfast Telegraph

Charlie Hebdo: French tourists join Derry crowds

By George Jackson

French nationals joined local journalists, students and politicians in Londonderry in attending a lunchtime event in Guildhall Square in memory of the massacre victims.

Among those at the event were tourists Clement Surlemont and his partner Chloe Sahut, both from Rouen in Normandy, who have been on holiday in Ireland for the past week.

"I am not sure if this is just a French issue, I think it is a humanitarian issue," Clement said.

"Yes, we feel attacked but I am not sure if it is only the French people whose freedom of expression was attacked in Paris. I think it may be more global," he added.

Agnes Beresford-Ash, who was born in Paris and who has been living at Ashbrook in the Ardmore area of Derry for the past 47 years, said the events in her native country had shocked her deeply.

"Freedom of speech is the most important thing.

"Journalists and cartoonists should be free to express their opinions in a satirical manner and not be killed for doing that", she said.

Annick Desmond, who is also originally from Paris and who has lived at her Seacoast Road home near Limavady for 23 years, said her thoughts were with the families of the victims, both the journalists and the police officers.

Also present at the event which was organised by the Derry and North-West branch of the National Union of Journalists was Fearghal O'Boyle, who is a board member of the Irish Book Publishers' Association.

"I am here to show my solidarity with victims of this massacre because it was an attack on our core values and on the right to be polemic," he said.

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