Irish News

Living with terrorism threat is new reality – Paris chaplain

An Irish priest working in Paris has said that living under the threat of terrorist attacks has become the new reality for the people of France.

Fr Dwayne Gavin, chaplain to the Irish Community in Paris, told The Irish Catholic that there was a sense that the latest terrorist shooting was “inevitable” and “it’s going to happen at some stage”.

“Unfortunately this is the reality we live in Paris,” he said. “It is a very different world. This is the new reality for all the people of Europe, but particularly in France.

Security

“Security checks are hard to accept but necessary, and there is a more noticeable presence of armed police and soldiers. It’s part and parcel of daily life.”

Fr Gavin said there is still tension in Paris but a sense of solidarity. “The French are resilient and tend to get on with their lives. But there is an awareness that despite the normality there is a certain level of danger.”

A police officer was killed and two others wounded in a shooting on Paris’ famed Champs Elysees last Thursday night. The gunman was killed after opening fire on police officers and the so-called Islamic State group has claimed responsibility.