Speaking during a Matter of the Day in the Assembly today after the attacks which saw 129 killed and 352 injured, Mr Ford each person had a “unity of purpose” to protect human life and dignity, particularly in the wake of the horrific incidents.
“In showing our solidarity to the people of Paris, it is right we should also not forget a similar atrocity in Beirut the day before or the ongoing terror attacks being carried out by ISIS daily in Iraq and Syria, or actions in recent times across the Middle East and parts of Africa.
“But France is geographically one of our closest neighbours and has been an ally in good times and also times of difficulty, and for many of us was a place we first had an opportunity to experience a different culture, so Friday’s attacks was particularly sensitive for the people in these islands.
“One of the ironies of this past weekend was one of the attacks took place at the Stade de France, where France was playing Germany in a friendly football match. It shows how Europe has moved on. But there remains a fundamental challenge for those who don’t accept the fundamental principles of human life and welfare.
“That’s why we must ensure we don’t just have words but that we do stand together in practical solidarity with our French neighbours. Whatever language we speak – English, Irish or French – the message has to be solidarity in the face of those who would carry out such terror.”