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NI pays respects to innocents caught up in Nice atrocity

By Cate McCurry and David Young

Published 19/07/2016

Members of the public sign the Belfast City Hall book of condolences for the victims of the atrocity in Nice last week
Members of the public sign the Belfast City Hall book of condolences for the victims of the atrocity in Nice last week

Books of condolence have been opened across Northern Ireland to enable people to pay tribute to the victims of the terror attack in Nice.

A minute’s silence was held at Belfast City Hall before the book was officially opened. A similar book was opened at the Guildhall in Londonderry.

New Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire’s first official engagement was to sign the book in Belfast. “I wish to express my condolences to all of those affected by the appalling tragedy in Nice,” he said.

Belfast Lord Mayor Brian Kingston told how people across the region had been shocked by the devastating atrocity.

“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 added.

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.”

Around 20 people attended a vigil at Belfast City Hall last night to show solidarity with those affected by the attack.

Organiser Alicia V Perry, a Belfast author, attended the event along with deputy Lord Mayor Mary Ellen Campbell and Belfast community activist Eileen Chan-Hu.

Ms Perry said that while she was disappointed at the low turnout, she wanted to give people in Northern Ireland the opportunity to express solidarity with Nice.

“Approximately 20 people attended the vigil, and unfortunately we were moved outside the City Hall grounds, so I think many others may have not realised,” she explained

“There was plenty of support, even from tourists. I wasn’t expecting very many people. Even if one person turned up, I would have been happy.”

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