Galway to hold vigil for victims of Orlando massacre tomorrow

Event to "remember, reflect, or pray" to take place in Eyre Square

The victims of the Orlando massacre, the worst mass shooting in US history, and the greatest act of homophobic violence since WWII, will be commemorated at a special candle lit vigil in Eyre Square tomorrow.

The shooting at a gay club in Florida left 49 dead and 53 wounded, has shocked the world, and been described by US president Barack Obama as “an example of the kind of homegrown extremism that all of us have been concerned about".

In response to the tragedy, Amach LGBT Galway has organised a candle lit vigil "in solidarity with families, friends, loved ones and LGBT+ community and wider community in Florida, and in solidarity with all the people around the world who have been and continue to be affected by terrorism and all forms of violence and oppression".

The event runs from 6.30pm to 8.30pm, and Amach said it will feature a minutes silence, where the public is urged to "remember, reflect, or pray in your respective religious or spiritual belief". Those coming to the vigil are encouraged to bring a candle.

The Mayor of Galway City, Noel Larkin, has opened a Book of Condolence at Galway City Museum, Spanish Parade, in memory of the victims of the tragic shooting in Orlando. The book will be available for members of the public to sign during museum opening hours until Saturday June 18. On Monday, city council members unanimously passed a vote of sympathy with the people of Orlando and with the LGBT Community worldwide.

The killing has also been condemned by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Ireland. "We categorically condemns the horrific attack," the community said in a statement issued this week. "This is a tragic loss of human life. The Qur'an teaches us to save lives, not take them away. Reverence for all human life is the essence of Islamic teaching. This is a time for prayers and efforts to stop such senseless violence in the world. We pray for the speedy recovery of the injured and offer our deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims."

Flags will be flown at half mast today in Ireland as a mark of respect for the victims and in solidarity with LGBT people worldwide. The LGBT Helpline is also open at 1890 929 539.

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