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SERVICES 
Friday, 14 September, 2001, 17:55 GMT 18:55 UK
NI mourns terror attack victims
Crowds packed Belfast city centre as a mark of respect
Crowds packed Belfast city centre as a mark of respect
People throughout Northern Ireland observed a three-minute silence on Friday, which is also being observed as a national day of mourning in the Irish Republic.

The silence to remember the victims of the United States terror attacks - American, British, Irish and from many other nations - was held at 1100 BST, when life in other major European cities also paused.

Thousands attended a memorial service at Belfast City Hall and there were also large religious services in Londonderry, Armagh and Portadown.

US Consul General, Barbara Stephenson, Belfast's Lord Mayor Jim Rodgers and representatives of the province's main churches led thousands in prayer at Belfast City Hall.

US consul to Belfast Barbara Stephenson
Barbara Stephenson: "I hope something good will come from this"
Ms Stephenson said she was deeply touched by the flowers and messages of support left on the steps of the US consulate in Belfast.

She added; "My prayer today would be that somehow something good could come of this tragedy.

"That people all over the world but especially here would respond to Tuesday's horrific attacks by channelling the grief that now unites us into lasting reconcilation."

Councillor Rodgers said Belfast shared America's grief.

Offices and shops stopped business, public transport halted and the crowd stood in total silence for three minutes, as their thoughts turned to those bereaved. Representatives of the four main churches led prayers.

Floral tributes outside the US consulate in Belfast
Floral tributes outside the US consulate in Belfast
However, in north Belfast where Loyalists on the Ardoyne Road were due to suspend their protests against Catholic schoolchildren and their parents, around two dozen people continued the demonstration on Friday morning.

They remained silent and there were no incidents, but they also indicated their protests would resume next week.

In the House of Commons on Friday, Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble said "terrorism can be beaten" if the macinery of terror was destroyed.

He was speaking during an emergency session called by Tony Blair at which the prime minister said terrorism must be beaten in a new push.

SDLP leader John Hume said MPs were speaking with one voice in their condemnation of the terrorist attacks.

Weather hampers rescue

Thunderstorms and driving rain are hampering the rescue effort in New York. There are also fears about the instability of other damaged builidngs damaged.

Search for survivors continues in New York
Search for survivors continues in New York
The list of people still missing in New York is remains at about 4,700. Only about 100 bodies have been recovered.

But it is believed many more were killed when two passenger jets crashed into the World Trade Center, causing the twin towers to collapse on Tuesday.

About 190 people are believed to have died when another plane hit the Pentagon in Washington.

The British Government has said the number of Britons confirmed dead is about 100 and it is feared more than 500 were killed.

The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs has so far confirmed four Irish people were killed in the attacks.

Other services

In Derry hundreds joined the mayor, local church leaders and policticians from all parties at a memorial service in the Guildhall Square.

Among those gathered were a group of American students.

Ruth McCourt and her daughter Juliana were on hijacked plane
Ruth McCourt and her daughter Juliana were on hijacked plane
In Omagh, County Tyrone - rocked by a Real IRA bomb in August 1998 which killed 29 people - an interdenominational church service was organised by the Churches Forum for the victims, their families and for world peace.

Shops and businesses closed and several hundred people stood quietly on the town's Main Street.

The Church of Ireland Primate, Archbishop Robin Eames, led a prayer service to remember the victims on Friday afternoon at St Patrick's Cathedral in Armagh.

Schools and universities also observed the three-minute silence.

Irish day of mourning

In a national radio address in the Irish Republic, President Mary McAleese said Irish people were "sad, sickened, outraged and frightened" by the terrorist attacks.

President McAleese
President McAleese led mourners in Dublin
She said: "These horrible scenes represent an attack on the very foundations of our human dignity." The President called on all Irish people to show solidarity with the people of the United States.

Mrs McAleese and the Taoiseach attended a special ecumenical service along with hundreds of people in Dublin city centre to mark the national day of mourning.

Mr Ahern said he wanted Irish people to show solidarity with the victims the families and the people of the United States.

The queue of people waiting to sign the condolences book at the US embassy in Dublin on Friday morning was about 1.5km long.

Shops, banks, schools, government offices and businesses closed and many people across the country attended religious services.

Practically every Irish town and village has family connections with the United States, and there are thousands of people employed in Ireland by American technology companies.

In Britain, the Queen joined Prime Minister Tony Blair to lead mourners at St Paul's Cathedral in London, where the US national anthem was sung.

The Foreign Office emergency number for British people worried about friends and relatives is: 020 7008 0000.

The Dublin Department of Foreign Affairs emergency number is: 00 353 1 408 2000.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC NI's Mervyn Jess:
"People filed into City Hall to sign the book of condolences"
BBC NI's Mervyn Jess
reports from Belfast City Hall
BBC NI's Malachy McCourt:
"Services are being held in several towns across Northern Ireland"
See also:

13 Sep 01 | Northern Ireland
Families fear loved ones dead
13 Sep 01 | Northern Ireland
Belfast paramedic recalls US terror
12 Sep 01 | Northern Ireland
Survivors' family die in tragic twist
14 Sep 01 | Northern Ireland
Belfast mosque attacked as fears rise
14 Sep 01 | UK Politics
Blair pledges action against terror
14 Sep 01 | Americas
Nations grieve for US terror victims
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