Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Injustice and Racism and anti-Semitism or Islamophobia must be challenged - Gerry Adams TD

14 January, 2015 - by Gerry Adams

Speaking in the Dáil this evening Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams TD expressed his sympathies “to all the victims and the families of last week’s dreadful attacks in Paris” and he expressed “solidarity to the people of Paris and of France our solidarity at this very difficult time.”

Gerry Adams said:

“Ba mhaith liom mo chombhrón a dhéanamh le clanna na ndaoine a maraíodh i bPáras an tseachtain seo caite.

"Chuir sé déistin orm nuair a chonaic mé na himeachtaí ar an teilifís.

"Caithfidh muid uilig seasamh go láidir in aghaidh na hionsaí seo.

"On behalf of Sinn Féin I want to extend my sincerest sympathies to all the victims and the families of last week’s dreadful attacks in Paris.

"I also want to extend to the people of Paris and of France our solidarity at this very difficult time. 

"France and Ireland enjoy good relationships not least in our revolutionary history and the values which we share.

"And Irish people, like people around the world watched in shock and revulsion as the brutal events in Paris unfolded.

"Families were robbed of loved ones, sons, daughters, spouses, colleagues, workmates, parents, siblings and this weekend saw millions of ordinary people in Paris and France, and of countless others around the world, including here in Ireland, making a courageous stand against fundamentalism.

"They were also making a stand against those whether from the extreme right or left, whether they are fundamentalists, or bigots, or racists, or homophobes, who seek to impose by violence and intimidation their values on others.

"But part of the tragedy of the modern world and of what happened in Paris is that many other barbaric acts are ignored by the international community and particularly by the western powers.

"Ionsaí uafásach a bhí ann a chuaigh in aghaidh na saoirse.

"Tá an tsaoirse tábhachtach do gach duine.

"Ach tá go leor daoine, iriseoirí san áireamh, thart fán domhan nach bhfuil saoirse acu.

"Caithfidh muid aird a thabhairt ar na rialtais seo a dhiúltaíonn saoirse chainte do dhaoine.

"Sadly, the mass slaughter of perhaps two thousand men, women and children in northern Nigeria by Boko Haram attracted little mainstream media attention.

"The car bomb attacks last week in Sanaa in Yemen which killed 35 people, or in Aleppo in Syria which killed 14, did not attract the same level of media coverage and international condemnation.

"And while we think of the victims in Paris and Nigeria and Syria let us also remember the two thousand, mainly civilians, including over 500 children, and the 13 journalists who were killed during the Israeli assault on Gaza last summer.

"The deaths of journalists, of cartoonists and satirists, in Paris have provoked justifiable outrage which we share.

"But so too must the deaths of 61 journalists who were killed on duty in Syria, Ukraine and Iraq.

"There was also some understandable - and this probably says a lot about the spirit of the people of France - there was some understandable scepticism in France about some of the condemnations of the Paris attacks from governments whose own record in defence of freedom of the press, or the killing and imprisonment of journalists, or the use of political censorship leaves much to be desired.

"And many French opinion makers drew attention to those leaders who could demonstrate their commitment to freedom of speech by opening the prison gates for the journalists they currently hold.

"However, whatever the colour of our skin, or our religion, or our race, or our gender there can be no excuse for the actions that occurred in Paris or elsewhere in recent weeks.

"Wherever injustice or oppression or racism or attacks take place on religious minorities or where anti-Semitism, or Islamophobia or sectarianism exists they must be confronted and they must be challenged.

"So too must poverty, injustice, inequality, discrimination and racism.

"It is our responsibility - and the Taoiseach did represent in Paris the people of this island -  to join with those citizens who courageously took to the streets in defiance of murder and threats, and to make a stand.

"But it also means going beyond the rhetoric.

"We do have a duty to understand what happened; to understand the differences which divide us.

"And I note and commend the French President’s warning that last weeks horrific attacks must not be excuse for an attack on Islam or the rights of Muslim people.

"So we need to be alert to the dangers of fundamentalism of all kinds.

"That means actively working for and investing in processes of education, information, learning and dialogue that can overcome prejudice; inform and educate citizens and seek to resolve long standing conflicts based on democratic principles.

"Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anam."

Connect with Sinn Féin