Sunday 20 October 2019

Wexford opens its heart to Paris

Some of those who gathered at the candlelight vigil
Some of those who gathered at the candlelight vigil
Wexford people gather in solidarity with Paris on Sunday; inset: Nicola Sobesto and Pavlina Kubelkova

By David Tucker

WEXFORD opened its heart to the people of France on Sunday in a spontaneous vigil of solidarity in the wake of the Paris terror attacks.

More than 150 people braved the foul weather to gather for a silent candlelit vigil on the Quays in response to a notice put up social media, which was re-tweeted by the French Embassy in Dublin.

Among those at the vigil was French woman Sandrine Pac-Kenny who said complete strangers came up and hugged her.

'What happened touched the Irish people. If we keep together it will get better,' said Sandrine, who teaches at the Presentation Secondary School, in Wexford.

She said members of the French community were very appreciative of the support of the people of Wexford and the vigil, which she learned of on Facebook. When the attack happened, our first though was with our exchange school in Paris, Groupe scolaire Saint Vincent de Paul, to make sure they were all OK,' she said,'fortunately they are all fine.' Former Wexford councillor Joe Ryan said the vigil was very touching and very moving and provided the French community with a clear sign that the people of Wexford and of Ireland have huge sympathy for what they are suffering at the moment. Mooney's opened a Book of Condolence and provided those at the vigil with tea and coffee.

'The people wanted to show their solidarity with the people of France and it was greatly appreciated,' he said.

The idea for the vigil came from 26-year-old Nichola Murphy, from Castlebridge. 'I was watching what was going on on the TV on Friday night and it scared the life out of me. I asked some of my friends whether we should hold a vigil and the response was unbelievable,' said Nichola, who has never been to France, but has French friends.

In another gesture of solidarity, the tricolour was flown at half mast at Wexford County Council yesterday (Monday, November 16).

Wexford People

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