The Minister for Social Affairs, Séamus Brennan T.D., is representing the Government at ceremonies in the Spanish capital, Madrid, to commemorate the first anniversary of the terrorist bombings in the city which killed 192 people and injured more than 1,800.
Two events have been planned around the anniversary. On Thursday (10
th March) an international seminar on terrorism has been organised by the Club de Madrid, a private organisation led by prominent international figures, including former U.S. President, Bill Clinton, and former Irish President, Mary Robinson. On Friday, the second event is a Spanish Government organised commemoration in the Retiro Parc ("The Grove of the Absent") and will centre on the planting of 192 trees, one for each of the victims.
Minister Brennan said the bombings represented a cruel and terrible tragedy for Spain, the Spanish people and the whole of Europe.
"I am bringing with me the heartfelt sympathy of the Irish people. I understand the political, psychological and emotional importance attaching to the first anniversary of this terrible event. Remembering the dead is a natural human reaction. It is also a way of showing that evil will not be allowed to prevail. In recent past, my country paid a high price at the hands of terrorism. We, in Ireland, understand the pain of the Spanish people and share their belief that, no matter the cause, terrorism can never be justified."
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