Somewhere on the island of Ireland this Mothers’ Day, perhaps in a pub, perhaps across a Sunday lunch table, some people sat, self satisfied in their latest endeavour for Irish freedom.
They revelled in the unfolding story on the television news and convinced themselves that in their murder of a young man who sought to protect and serve his community as a police officer within it, they had struck a blow against the Brits.
Perhaps even as some people drove to take their mother to dinner today, they heard the words on the radio of a catholic, Irish woman as she told how her catholic Irish son had been murdered in a car bomb in Omagh.
The idea that such finely planned violence in all its utterly senseless futility can exist, so divorced from the feelings and thoughts of the majority of Irish and Northern Irish people, is chilling and deeply concerning. Most people will look at these sorts of actions and wonder how it’s possible to negotiate or come to a shared understanding of the world with people like this; there can’t be much common ground between people who think this is appalling and those who think this is justified and worthwhile.
Some people we can negotiate with, some people we just have to differ with, and some we shouldn’t have to breathe the same air as. I think I know which category these belong to. Gerry Adams, however, seems to think he can negotiate with them; for the first time ever, I find myself wishing him well.