Today, on 21 October, French Ambassador-designate to Ireland H.E. Vincent Guérend was at the Lycée Français d’Irlande to pay tribute alongside students and staff to Samuel Paty, French teacher murdered for his defense of free speech. On 16 October, Samuel Paty, a history teacher in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine (France), was killed in a terrorist attack on the ground that he taught his students about the freedom of expression. This attack against him was an attack on the most fundamental values of the French Republic.
During the tribute, the letter sent by Albert Camus to his elementary school teacher after winning the Nobel Prize was read by a student in French, English and German. The French Ambassador and the teachers and students of the Lycée Français d’Irlande then observed a minute’s silence in honor of Samuel Paty. Every one across Ireland was welcomed to join this moment of silence at 9am this morning.
President Macron will pay a national tribute to Samuel Paty tonight at the Sorbonne University in Paris, alongside the Prime Minister and members of the French government.
In a speech on the fight against separatism at Les Muraux on 2 October, President Macron said that France is committed to fighting radical Islamism, and reaffirmed secularism as the guarantor of freedom of conscience and religion, without falling into the trap of generalization, which would involve stigmatizing all Muslims.
French Minister of State for European Affairs Clément Beaune stressed in a speech on 20 October that France is asking other Member States to join its initiative to speed up of the adoption of measures to remove terrorist contents from the Internet. This is both a necessity and an emergency.
Albert Camus’ letter to his teacher after winning the Nobel Prize
19 November 1957Dear Monsieur Germain,I let the commotion around me these days subside a bit before speaking to you from the bottom of my heart. I have just been given far too great an honor, one I neither sought nor solicited. But when I heard the news, my first thought, after my mother, was of you. Without you, without the affectionate hand you extended to the small poor child that I was, without your teaching and example, none of all this would have happened. I don’t make too much of this sort of honor. But at least it gives me the opportunity to tell you what you have been and still are for me, and to assure you that your efforts, your work, and the generous heart you put into it still live in one of your little schoolboys who, despite the years, has never stopped being your grateful pupil. I embrace you with all my heart.Albert Camus