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Silent vigil held in Belfast to remember Manchester terror victims

By David Young

A silent vigil has been held in Belfast to remember the Manchester bombing victims.

A small group held posters professing "we stand together" outside the gates of City Hall.

Political and church leaders in Northern Ireland also expressed sympathy.

Amnesty International director in the region Patrick Corrigan said: "Tonight's vigil outside City Hall is really a spontaneous response by members of the local community and really it is an opportunity to stand in solidarity with the citizens of Manchester from the citizens of Belfast.

"To say we share your pain, and it is a response that is about a sense of community, a sense of humanity and the simple message tonight is, we stand together."

Belfast City Hall was lit in the colours of the Union flag last night to show solidarity with the victims.

Extra security was introduced for a show by broadcaster and physicist Professor Brian Cox in Belfast's SSE Arena last night.

Cox said he was left devastated at the attack on his home town of Manchester and urged people to "deal kindly with one another".

The stargazer began his Belfast show by paying tribute to the victims, reading an extract from Carl Sagan's 1994 book Pale Blue Dot.

"Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives," he said.

"There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known."

He said the events in Manchester had "deeply shocked him and his crew". They had been in the city the day before the attack.

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