Unlike my normal entries this Blog will look at the voices of the people of Northern Ireland in light of political violence. I normally disassociate with political viewpoints but sometimes it is hard to ignore. This story looks at the events of this weekend in Ireland and the views of Catholic and Protestant unison against political violence in our country.
In Omagh, Northern Ireland, many people were taking a nightmarish view of history this weekend.
As Constable Ronan Kerr left his home for work all appeared normal. Recently qualified as a police officer for the PSNI it is safe to say Constable Kerr was optimistic of his day. However, for him and his neighbours the Saturday routine was soon to be massively disturbed.
As Ronan got in his car, neighbours heard an enormous explosion echoing the sounds of Omagh’s past. A bomb had exploded. The device was placed in the 25 year old police officers car and exploded as Ronan left his home for work. His neighbours in solidarity came to help and brought fire extinguishers to save the young Constable. Unfortunately it was too late, and today the families of Northern Ireland are in mourning of another life lost to political ignorance.
It is believed that dissident republicans placed the bomb in Ronan’s car which caused the loss of life. The political radicals claim to act for Ireland, however the message was clear yesterday that very few citizens of Ireland wish to return to the days of bombings and violence on the streets.
In 1998 the town of Omagh lost 29 lives to political bombing. 13 years is a long time and the people of Ireland have long since wished such violence away. The extreme minorities of Northern Ireland act alone and a country full of history and beauty and should not so often be brought together in mourning the pointless loss of life.
Social sights like facebook filled with people’s disgust toward the act and the media were quick to speak with the most senior political voices of Northern Ireland, all of whom strongly condemned the attack.
And with good reason. As I talk of the incidents of political distress in Ireland to my flatmates in England they are in constant awe and shock at the radical acts still in motion in Ireland. As I talk of the violence and disruption they too often ask am I scared when I go out or when I’m at home. The sad answer is no. Not because I live in a privileged area or that the trouble is too far away to effect me, but because it has become such a constant discussion and disruption that even in this age the youth of Northern Ireland see political Violence as normality.
This is a chilling thought but even now there is nowhere near as much surprise as there should be when we hear of attacks on our police services or figureheads. It is a distraught Ireland asking in desperation for this violence to stop that draws me to the conclusion that the attacks we suffer on our good-willed society are not wanted, welcomed or supported by the general public.
Messages are clear. The political views of Northern Ireland will always agree on one thing, that the acts of violence and destruction to our lands and communities are no longer welcome. The positive message I can see from all the destruction in Ireland is that communities still act together when the call is needed, it is simply unfortunate that they must come together in times of sadness more often than in times of success.
To see more on this story see here