Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has described the attacks on the United States as an attack against all the free people of the world.

Bertie Ahern describes the attacks on America on 11 September as an appalling atrocity which had ruined thousands of lives. He says that he believed that the United States is entitled to retaliate as long as the retaliation is carried out under the terms of the United Nations Charter.

Speaking outside RTÉ studios, Bertie Ahern says,

Nobody wants to see innocent people killed. Nobody wants to see just a broad sweep of attack.

He says that international terrorists do not seem to mind who gets killed so long as their agenda is fulfilled.

They are prepared to die themselves.

Mr Ahern says that the more cooperation there is, the better the outcome will be.

The Taoiseach also joined President Mary McAleese, the American Ambassador Richard Egan and staff from the US Embassy in Ireland for a special mass at the Pro-Cathedral to commemorate the victims of last Tuesday's attacks. At the mass, Cardinal Desmond Connell described terrorism as a great evil but also warned against the taking of innocent lives in retaliation. He described terrorism as "cowardly, cynical and base" and said it must be disarmed but without the loss of innocent lives.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 16 September 2001. The reporter is Orla O’Donnell.