'The most important thing is not to be afraid': Taoiseach condemns New Zealand terror attack

By Juno McEnroe
Political Correspondent

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has condemned the attacks in New Zealand and called the killings an act of cowardice, saying Muslims should not be afraid, writes Juno McEnroe in Chicago.

At least 49 people have been killed and 48 injured in mass shootings at two mosques full of worshippers attending Friday prayers in an attack broadcast in horrifying live video by an immigrant-hating white nationalist wielding at least two rifles.

New Zealand's prime minister Jacinda Ardern said there is "a real range of ages" among the dead.

Speaking in Chicago, Mr Varadkar said: "Well first of all I condemn the act of terrorism that occurred in New Zealand. It was an act of terrorism. Also an act of cowardice because it targeted children and people who were at prayer.

"We've expressed through our embassy and our diplomatic channels our solidarity and support for the people of New Zealand and the government of New Zealand at what is a very difficult time for them.

"To our Muslim community in Ireland, all 70,000 of them, to Muslim communities all around the world, I think the most important thing is that we not be afraid.

"That we don’t allow the terrorists to win by changing our lifestyles or changing the way we look at each other because of what was a terrible act."

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