herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Wounded Irishman to be honoured at ceremony in Paris

Katie Healy and David Nolan
Katie Healy and David Nolan
French ambassador Jean-Pierre Thebault

The Irishman shot in the Paris terror attacks will be among those honoured at a special commemorative ceremony in Paris today.

The French Ambassador to Ireland, Jean-Pierre Thebault, has told TDs and senators that the family and friends of David Nolan will be honoured at the special commemorative ceremony at the historic Les Invalides.

Mr Thebault delivered his own heart-felt thanks to all the Irish people for the solidarity shown to France following the horrific terrorist attacks which hit the French capital a fortnight ago this evening.

"On behalf of the French people, I want to wholeheartedly acknowledge the mass solidarity and support of the Irish people," Mr Thebault said at Leinster House.

Friendship

"We were overwhelmed by the huge friendship and shared sorrow expressed by the people of Ireland throughout all the country, in each county, each city, each school," the ambassador added, summing up the outpouring of messages received at the Dublin embassy.

Mr Thebault delivered a report on the aftermath of the November 13 attacks in Paris to the TDs and senators of the EU Affairs Committee. He said 17 nationalities were represented among the 130 people murdered and 350 wounded.

These included Mr Nolan, who was wounded while shielding his girlfriend, Katie Healy, from the gunmen's bullets.

The ambassador insisted the ultimate target of the attacks was more than this diverse group gathered in a centre of European and world culture. "The target was clearly Europe's security and fundamental values," he said emphatically, adding that the attacks in Beirut and Tunisia carried the same malign motivation.

Mr Thebault said the terror group Islamic State had declared war on the civilised world and France was determined to play its part in defeating this threat.

"Our absolute priority is now to further strengthen the security of our nation and the one of the European territory, in close co-operation with our European partners and, at the same time, to contribute actively to international peace and security," he said.

The ambassador added that all EU states must play their part with France in the international war on terror and in line with United Nations resolutions and agreements. This must include a strong military response and cutting funds.

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