Friday 19 January 2018

A tragedy to pierce the hardest heart but one that will not lend itself to the powers of reason

When the unthinkable is thought, and that thought is acted upon, the shock reverberates beyond those connected with a tragedy – echoing throughout society at large.

We blanch at events which subvert the natural order, such as a child's death at the hands of its parent. We perceive it as evidence of social malaise. And we ask ourselves not whether – but how – such an act of violence could have been prevented.

That pattern of communal recoil follows a distressing case near Ballydehob in west Cork, where the bodies of 50-year-old Martin McCarthy and his three-year-old daughter Clarissa were recovered from the shoreline in the early hours of yesterday morning.

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