Category: Archive

An evil cloud

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Kevin McDaid is but the latest victim of a pervasive sectarian hatred that still hangs over Northern Ireland, like a storm cloud that just won’t blow away.
Readers of this paper will be all too familiar with sectarian attacks such as the one that took the life of Mr. McDaid, caused critical injuries to one of his neighbors, and serious injury to his wife, who is in fact Protestant.
Evelyn McDaid had valiantly tried to protect her husband against a mob fired up with hatred and bloodlust. Her own faith was no protection. It was likely known to some of her assailants.
But, of course, she had married a “Taig” for reasons that were the precise opposite of the hatred that was flowing along with the blood on an early summer’s evening.
Nobody, it seems, is immune to sectarian hatred.
It can be directed at the old and the young, parents, grandparents and, as has been the case more than once, kids just walking the streets of Belfast or other towns, not least Coleraine where the latest outrage occurred.
Not for the first time, the response from unionist political leaders has been less than stellar. Unionism has never quite come to grips with the darker corners of its soul and, once again, the McDaid death has been a reminder that sectarianism has not only festered of its own accord, but has been allowed to do so, effectively facilitated as a result of silence, more than a decade after the Good Friday Agreement was signed.
How do you rid society of it?
In truth, it’s not possible to eliminate it completely. There will always be those who harbor hatred and resentment towards those they see as being inferior, different, other.
But it can be reduced, confined, cornered and turned back. Community workers like Kevin McDaid worked to turn back sectarianism’s rank tide every day.
But when there is but one politician who does not stand up to be counted, that tide just keeps rolling on in.
And sadly, even in today’s mostly at peace Northern Ireland, there appears to be more than just one politician who has not delivered consistent and unqualified condemnation of what is a most profound evil.

Other Articles You Might Like

Sign up to our Daily Newsletter

Click to access the login or register cheese