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Republic: We stand by the UK at this sombre time

By Ed Carty

The Republic stands by the UK following the Manchester terror attack, the country's Foreign Affairs Minister has said.

Charlie Flanagan said he was shocked and horrified by the killings and added: "We stand by our nearest neighbour, the UK, especially due to the strong links between our country and the city of Manchester."

Mr Flanagan said consular staff in Britain are not aware of any Irish citizens caught up in the terror attack. A helpline was being manned in Dublin for anyone with concerns about Irish people affected on +353 1 4082000.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he was heartbroken for all those affected by the attack.

"The vile acts carried out in Manchester are a reminder of the depravity of the views held by the few," he said. "Those beliefs have no place in our society.

"My thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and all those affected by this atrocity. I am heartbroken for all."

President Michael D Higgins offered sympathies on behalf of Irish people and wrote to the Queen and the mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham to express condolences.

"This cowardly attack on innocent citizens will have appalled all those who care for democracy, freedom and the right to live and enjoy the public space," he said.

"Manchester has been home to the Irish and so many nationalities for centuries and at this terrible time I want to send the people of this great and welcoming city not only our sympathy but our solidarity."

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