Category: Archive

A dark shadow

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

The murder of two British soldiers last weekend as they took delivery of pizza, the wounding of those making the delivery, and Monday’s shooting dead of a PSNI officer, will be considered by a misguided few as blows that will bring forward the day when Ireland is again united.
We simply cannot see that; indeed, the shadow cast by these acts of violence is so long and so dark that we see nothing at all other than death and grieving families.
The manner in which these attacks were carried out was especially chilling. British troops are still based in Northern Ireland, but the circumstances of their presence is a far cry from the dark days of the Troubles.
The two soldiers who were gunned down, and then finished off while they lay defenseless on the ground, were about to ship out for Afghanistan. No doubt they thought about this a lot. No doubt they dwelt on what might happen if they ever came face to face with the ferocious Taliban, a group not exactly known for the quality of mercy.
The two did not have to travel as far as Afghanistan to face savagery of the Taliban kind. They faced it on Irish soil. That should make us all take a deep breath.
It would be wrong to consider this attack, and the murder of the PSNI officer, as taking place in Northern Ireland. They took place on the island of Ireland, an island where the great majority of people voted yes to peace, and no to violence, after the signing of the Good Friday agreement.
Their will has been defied, and the peace defiled, by the kind of people that, if anything, will ensure that the all too many borders that still exist in Ireland, the border between the North and South, and the borders of division that still exist between the communities in the North, will linger even longer.

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