The Bishop of Derry and Raphoe, Ken Good, and the Bishop of Derry, Dr Donal McKeown, have signed the Book of Condolence opened at Londonderry’s Guildhall for the victims of Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris.
The bishops visited the Guildhall at 11 o’clock on Monday morning, just as staff observed a minute’s silence for the victims. The two church leaders felt it was important that they signed the book together as a sign of their solidarity with the people of Paris.
The two men wrote short messages of sympathy in the book. Bishop Good wrote, ‘You are all in our prayers’, while Bishop McKeown’s said, ‘Make us channels of Your peace’.
Speaking to journalists in the Guildhall, Bishop Good said that while it was a moment of darkness for France, there was light too in the response of the people of Paris. “The perpetrators of these attacks wanted to generate fear and hopelessness. But what we are seeing, instead, is resilience and calmness in the face of danger.” Bishop Good said the scale of Friday’s attack was outrageous but he sensed a resilience among Parisians and a determination that they would not give in to the terrorists.
Bishop McKeown said there was an awareness that this kind of attack could happen anywhere. People in this community had all lived through moments of horror and could empathise with the people of Paris. He hoped that our experience in Northern Ireland would show that there was a better way to resolve our differences. “We have to keep saying to everyone who’s involved in the killing of civilians and the killing of military personnel that that is not the way to find a resolution. Simply to send in more warplanes, after what happened in Paris, to kill more people in Syria, that is not the way forward. That will not find a resolution.”