Saturday 29 April 2017

Celine Naughton: I was naive to ever think our country was safe

LIKE most other parents throughout the country, my heart cries out for the family of Thomas Heinrich, the 22-year-old German student killed in the small hours of Saturday morning. Such a merciless, violent, senseless attack on a young man with his life ahead of him, now cut short just three weeks before he was due to return home for good.

As part of their post-graduate study, Thomas and his friend Robert Rinker – also 22 and also stabbed in the incident – had to spend their third semester abroad. They chose Dublin. That's the first of the 'if- onlys' that will shatter the hearts of their parents in the weeks and months ahead. If only they had gone to Cork, Rome, Paris or London. If only they had been somewhere else that night. If only...

Sadly, tragedies like this can and do happen anywhere. In 2010, a young Spaniard was fatally stabbed by a Dublin man in Tenerife. In August, 28-year-old Gerard Burnett was stabbed to death in Mulhuddart, and it hardly seems like three years since 22-year-old Sebastian Creane was stabbed to death in his home in Bray by 22-year-old Shane Clancy, who then turned the knife on himself.

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