Wednesday 7 December 2016

A test of humanity that we are failing badly

Published 09/01/2016 | 02:30

A man carries a child as they try to reach a shore after falling into the sea while disembarking from a dinghy on which they crossed a part of the Aegean sea with other refugees and migrants, from Turkey to the Greek island of Lesbos. Photo: AP Photo/Santi Palacios
A man carries a child as they try to reach a shore after falling into the sea while disembarking from a dinghy on which they crossed a part of the Aegean sea with other refugees and migrants, from Turkey to the Greek island of Lesbos. Photo: AP Photo/Santi Palacios
A body of a young migrant, with a Turkish coastguard boat in the background, lies on the shore in the Aegean coastal town of Dikili, near the western city of Izmir, Turkey. Turkish authorities said they found the bodies of 27 migrants, including children, at two separate locations on the Aegean coast on Tuesday after a migrant boat capsized as it tried to reach the Greek island of Lesbos. Photo: Reuters/Depo Photos

All politics is local and undoubtedly this Government will be judged on its performance primarily on national issues which mostly concern the electorate. That reckoning is imminent as an election draws ever closer. With all the domestic demands of unprecedented floods and storm damage, angry nurses and inter-party rivalry, inevitably the political and media focus has drifted away from foreign affairs.

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But this week we were jolted back from domestic preoccupations by a compelling photograph taken on a shoreline near the western city of Izmir, Turkey.

The image bore an uncanny similarity to the photo which shocked the world last year. Again, it showed the drowned body of a red-coated young child who perished along with 33 migrants trying to reach the safety of Europe from Turkey.

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