I have written to President Francois Hollande of France, on behalf of the people of the Borough of Craigavon to express sympathy with the French people following the barbaric terrorist attack on the Paris Offices of satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo.
This was an appalling terrorist attack on democracy and freedom of speech.
Unfortunately the people of Craigavon understand only too well the impact of terrorists trying to silence people from exercising their democratic rights to freedom of speech and listening to and watching these events only reminded us of our own terrible past.
I was very recently afforded immense hospitality by President Hollande when he invited the Mayoress and I to attend the opening of a new war memorial at Notre Dame de Lorette in Northern France.
Having met the President and also recently receiving a ‘Thank you’ letter from him, I felt compelled to write, as I believe it is important that President Hollande and the French nation know that people throughout Europe stand with them, as the families of the dead and wounded try to come to terms with this cowardly attack.
I also contacted friends in France last night who told me that the whole French nation is in shock at the barbarity of the attack and are sickened by the inhumanity of those who could have such hatred in their hearts. The families of the deceased and the injured will be in our thoughts and prayers.
Je suis Charlie.
Maor of Craigavon