Tuesday 23 August 2016

Editorial: Let's get to root of murder and violence

Published 16/07/2014 | 02:30

Wayne Dundon and (inset) Roy Collins
Wayne Dundon and (inset) Roy Collins

The convictions secured against Wayne Dundon and Nathan Killeen for the murder of Roy Collins will give some comfort to the dead man's friends and family who have endured so much following his death. For all of us, the prosecution and verdict is an important demonstration that thugs cannot cause murder and mayhem with impunity – as some offenders had clearly believed.

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The murder of Mr Collins, an innocent father of two, at his place of work in Limerick in 2009 along with that of the equally blameless Shane Geoghegan a year earlier marked a low for the murdered men's native city.

The killings prompted a wave of popular revulsion, followed by a huge and successful garda action to stamp down on gangsterism.

With the killers behind bars and with Limerick today basking in its status as Ireland's vibrant and upbeat city of culture it might feel like a good time to draw a line under the past.

But what happened in Limerick can and has happened across Ireland.

Firm policing is important, but gangsterism can and will re-emerge unless hard questions are asked about how cities like Limerick, Cork and Dublin came to produce cold-blooded killers, during what was after all a period of economic boom.

Most of us take civility, the ability to live alongside others in peace, for granted. We should not. Experience shows that when social bonds break down, including when significant numbers of young people are allowed to be economically and educationally marginalised, or worse when those social bonds are never developed, then all of us lose.

Ireland is a small country and the success in tackling crime gangs in Limerick shows we will not tolerate the emergence of no-go areas for the gardai.

But it's equally important that we don't tolerate the emergence of no-go areas for education, ambition and civility.

The murder investigation is over, now it's time to investigate the roots of murder.

Irish Independent

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