Local authority opens book of condolences in light of New Zealand tragedy

In light of the tragic events which unfolded in Christchurch on Friday last, Cllr. Aengus O’Rourke, in his capacity as Leas Cathaoirleach of Westmeath County Council, has requested that a book of condolence be placed in the civic centre in Athlone for those wishing to express their sympathies to the people of New Zealand.

“Over the weekend I have arranged for both Athlone and Mullingar to open books of condolences for the people of New Zealand and for the Muslim community as a whole, following the tragic mass shooting dead of 50 people in the horrific act of terrorism in Christchurch last Friday.

“There are many similarities between Ireland and New Zealand. Therefore, I think as a country we feel a great deal of solidarity and sympathy for the people of New Zealand, particularly at this awful time.

“Our landscapes, our industries and our people have a lot in common. A very friendly, peaceful and tolerant people like the Irish, New Zealand cherish their Maori culture as we do our Irish culture. As a country we should express our sympathies and solidarity with New Zealand as they try and come to terms with this terrible tragedy,” Cllr. O’Rourke remarked.

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