Fr Aidan Troy speaks of French fears after priest's murder

Fr Aidan Troy said people living in France feel "nervous and vulnerable".
Fr Aidan Troy said people living in France feel "nervous and vulnerable". Fr Aidan Troy said people living in France feel "nervous and vulnerable".

FORMER Belfast priest Fr Aidan Troy has said the brutal murder of Fr Jacques Hamel has left people in France feeling "nervous and vulnerable".

The Passionists priest was speaking after two men believed to be linked to ISIS murdered 86-year-old Fr Jacques Hamel as he said Mass in a church at Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, which is near Rouen in the north of the country.

Fr Troy has lived and worked in Paris since leaving Holy Cross Church in Ardoyne in 2008.

On Tuesday night he branded the murder Fr Hamel as “horrendous”.

“It leaves everybody very nervous and vulnerable no matter what they are doing, driving a bus, working in a shop or a priest offering Mass,” he said.

The latest attack comes after 84 people were knocked down and killed by a man believed to have been sympathetic to Islamic extremists who drove a truck through the streets of in Nice earlier this month

Last November 130 people were killed in Paris in a series of gun and bomb attacks carried out by men linked to Islamic State.

Fr Troy said people in France will remain cautious.

“We have been on high alert for a good while and you take the normal precautions you can,” he said.

He added that he will seek guidance from his local dioceses as to what precautions to take.

“We don’t want to raise the fears of everybody,” he said.

Fr Troy said those impacted by the attack "deserve our prayers".

Meanwhile, Irish foreign affairs minister Charlie Flanagan said he was “appalled” by the elderly priest’s murder.

“I want to convey our condolences to the French Government and the people of France, who have yet again been targeted by those who have no regard for human life and no respect for the freedoms we all hold so dear,” he said.

“Our thoughts are with the family and loved ones of the murder victim and with all of those affected by this horrific incident.”