Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

15.43 15 Mar 2019


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Community gardaí will attend Friday prayers in mosques across the country in the wake of the New Zealand shootings.

The attacks at two mosques in the city of Christchurch left at least 49 people dead, while 48 others were injured.

One man in his late 20s has been charged with murder and is due to appear in court tomorrow.

Two other people remain in custody.

The attack has been widely condemned by world leaders, with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern calling it an "extraordinary act of unprecedented violence".

Here, President Higgins said it was an "attack on innocent lives at spaces of worship for a religious community".

He added that the shootings will be condemned "by all those who believe in freedom and democratic values".

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, meanwhile, said "tolerance and openness will overcome hate".

Community gardaí

An Garda Síochana this afternoon confirmed community officers will be on hand today at Irish mosques today to provide support to the Muslim community.

Chair of the Irish-Muslim Peace and Integration Council, Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri, said the move is welcome.

He said: "I think their presence gives a lot of reassurance to the community."

Speaking about the Christchurch attacks, he added: "I'm outraged, saddened and sickened by the terrorist hate crime that took place in New Zealand mosques.

"I strongly condemn this cowardly attack."

Meanwhile, Bishop Kevin Doran, Bishop of Elphin, said he was "deeply saddened" by the "savage attack".

He suggested: "Responsibility for these attacks clearly rests with some violent individuals.

"At another level, however, there are serious questions to be answered, including in our own society, by those who unjustly blame the entire Muslim community for the extremism of some."

Main image: File photo. Picture by: Photocall Ireland

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Bishop Kevin Doran Christchurch Gardai Irish Mosques New Zealand Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri Shooting

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