STUART McGINLEY: Stand shoulder to shoulder with the French

IT seemed very hard to talk about anything else this week after the truly dreadful and shocking events in Paris last weekend.

Almost a week after the attacks, we are still hearing more heartbreaking stories of innocent people enjoying an evening out being killed or injured by purely evil extremists trying to hijack a religion and use it for their own perverted ideology.

One question I am sure we are all thinking is how much danger are we in here in the UK and if there will be an attack here?

It’s only slightly reassuring that because we are an island, it isn’t as easy for terrorists to have access to the weapons like those used in the French capital or move them so freely across our borders.

However, one thing that worries me is how much our police forces are being pushed to the limit with a lack of resources due to budget cuts.

Are we really able to cope with a major atrocity on our shores?

Are we also screening people including some of the migrants heading to the UK thoroughly enough to ensure they are in genuine need, and not masked terrorists.

I also wonder if those people who question our intelligence agencies’ requirement for access to some of our personal data will feel any differently in the light of these recent attacks?

It’s clear these agencies need more powers and I for one have no problem with them doing this.

If you have nothing to hide, why would you mind?

The same argument was used about CCTV cameras when they first came out, with some saying it’s an invasion of our privacy, but how reassured are we when out late at night to know a camera is watching us?

It’s been very moving to see and be part of the solidarity with our French neighbours in light of these attacks.

We stand shoulder to shoulder with them in sending a clear message to these murderers that they will never change our way of life and that terrorism will never succeed.

My thoughts are with all those who were killed or injured, and of course their families who will have to live with the events of that evening for the rest of their lives.