Vigil for victims of Christchurch massacre
Candles were lit in silent reflection at The Bullring last week as members of the public gathered in solidarity with those who had been lost in the recent terror attacks in both Christchurch, New Zealand, and Utrecht in the Netherlands.
In Christchurch, a crazed gunman stormed a Mosque where people were engaged in silent prayer and opened fire on the crowd, killing 50 people and injuring 50 more. A 28 year old Australian man, described as a 'white supremacist' and a member of the 'alt-right' was arrested in relation to the incident which shocked the nation.
Following on from this, three people were killed and five others were injured after a shooting on a tram in the Dutch city of Utrecht in what appears to have been a terrorist attack. A 37 year-old man from Turkey was arrested in this case.
Local Sinn Féin councillor Tom Forde said he felt compelled to do something in solidarity with those who were grieving.
'There's a big Irish connection in Christchurch in particular,' he said. 'In fact some of the people that were at the vigil have family out there. I just felt it was important that we show solidarity and support. It's terrible to see any community under threat or afraid to express their faith. These were peaceful people in their place of worship. It's horrendous.'
While attended by Cllr Forde's party colleague Cllr Mick Roche, the event was said to have been open to everyone and both councillors are hopeful that a book of condolences for the victims will soon be opened at County Council offices.