The callous and vile murder of a man in Coleraine demands a response, not just from politicians in Northern Ireland, but from the people of Coleraine and its surrounding districts.
Kevin McDaid, a 49-year-old father of four, was beaten to death yards from his home in Coleraine, Co Derry, on Sunday night.
Mr McDaid was targeted by a gang of up to forty men who entered a mainly Catholic housing estate after Rangers beat rivals Celtic to the Scottish Premier League title.
There really must be a strong and clear message sent out that sectarian violence and murder are beyond our Pale; the people who perpetrate acts like this are beyond our understanding and must be, abandoned, isolated and brought to justice.
It demands unequivocal condemnation from the ‘community leaders’ and ‘local community activists’ who we used to be allowed to call terrorists, not on the basis of damage to their strategy, but on the basis of bad people having done terribly bad things.
And finally, as an adjunct, it requires a response from the Orange Lodges planning to march on Coleraine on Friday as part of their Pride of the Bann event. They should reroute far from the scene of the dispicable and grotesque gang murder, and, should they come within earshot, they should march by in silence.
I also suspect that they should be addressed by the Grand Master of the Orange Order, who should lay out in crystal clear terms how the Order is disgusted by this killing, and how violence like this has no place in a civilised society.
But then, the sort of people who maraud into a catholic houing estate to commit violence and chaos after watching twenty two men kick a pigskin up and down a field might not know what a civilised society is.