New Secretary of State James Brokenshire signs Nice terror attack book of condolence at Belfast City Hall
New Secretary of State James Brokenshire has signed the Belfast City Hall book of condolence for the victims of the Nice terror attacks on his first official visit to Northern Ireland.
Brokenshire was made Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on Thursday following Theresa May's cabinet reshuffle.
The Conservative MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup took over from Theresa Villiers after she left the post and reject another role in May's cabinet.
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His first official engagement in Northern Ireland was to sign the book of condolence at Belfast City Hall.
"I wish to express my condolences to all of those affected by the appalling tragedy in Nice," he said.
"It is an unimaginable horror and as my first official engagement to sign the book of condolence is very fitting.
"It enables people to express their thoughts, condolences and also to underline how we stand together with the people of France and the people of Nice at this terrible time of loss."
Belfast Lord Mayor Brian Kingston said people in Northern Ireland had been shocked by the events in France, where 84 people were killed when a lorry ploughed through crowds celebrating Bastille Day.
"These were families and people out enjoying a celebration and we can barely comprehend how someone could so callously carry out such wanton taking of life," he said.
"We have very much responded to the public mood, we know people wish to express their sympathy to those who have been bereaved and injured - but also to show our solidarity to the French people and all those affected by this terrible atrocity."
The book opened at 11am to allow the people of Belfast to pay tribute to the victims of the attacks in Nice.
On Monday night, a vigil will be held outside the City Hall at 6.30pm to remember the 84 people who died.
Those who attend are encouraged to wear black and bring French flags or banners.
A similar book of condolence was also opened at the Guildhall in Londonderry.
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council Alderman Hilary McClintock said: "On behalf of the people of the city and district, I would like to extend our heartfelt sympathies and condolences to the people of France following the indiscriminate act of terror that was inflicted on the people of Nice who were out and about enjoying what should have been a day of celebration.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families who have been bereaved and all those who have been injured."
Belfast Telegraph Digital