Northern Ireland

Paris terror attacks: Some Belfast-based French expats "scared to go home"

French terror attack vigil Image copyright L. Reghal
Image caption French and Northern Irish people at a vigil outside Belfast City Hall on Saturday evening

Belfast-based French national Violaine Malié said she is "scared" to go back to Paris after terror attacks in the French capital on Friday.

Miss Malié said that it is a sentiment shared among some of the French expatriate community in Belfast.

"With everything that has happened, I think people are very worried about going back to Paris," Miss Malié said.

"I was myself in Paris a week ago, at the same time, the same place. I could have been in the middle of this."

Image caption Belfast City Hall was lit in the colours of the French national flag on Saturday evening

Miss Malié found out about the terror attacks on Saturday morning.

"I was very worried for my friends in Paris and I had no news for the whole weekend," Miss Malié said.

"As an expatriate it's more difficult because we don't really know what's happening on site."

Image copyright Nathalie Trinh
Image caption Paris expat Mrs Trinh said it was "touching" to see locals at the vigil outside Belfast City Hall

"We're all very shocked and very sad about what happened," Miss Malié said. "We don't really know what to do, or how to react to something like this."

"It's been a huge attack and it's been very devastating."

Members of Belfast's French community held a small vigil outside Belfast City Hall on Saturday.

Paris-born Nathalie Trinh has been living in Belfast for three years.

She said she was moved after seeing French people and locals gathered in the rain for the vigil.

Image copyright L. Reghal
Image caption "As an expatriate it's more difficult because we don't really know what's happening on site," Belfast-based French national Miss Malié said

"It was really nice to see a lot of people that are not French," she said. "It's touching."

Mrs Trinh said that she will not be changing her flight plans back to Paris in December.

"I don't feel nervous because it's still my home," she said.

"This is where I come from. I just think that if you get scared this is what they want.

"I don't want to give them this feeling. This is my home so no matter, if this were to happen again I would still go home."

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