Editorial: 'Saoradh rabble tramples on every decent value we hold'
The sickening "parades" staged by Saoradh are a mortal insult to our Republic established 70 years ago this week.
But a legacy of democracy - hard-won by authentic heroes - will not be lightly mocked by a delusional rabble devoid of courage or conviction.
They seek to walk in historic footsteps. They defile them. The peace we cherish and protect was carved out of sacrifice and love of freedom.
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We will not give it up to craven thugs. We did not need a Parades Commission - which might have spared us these revolting spectacles of quasi-paramilitary posturing - to have zero tolerance for anyone comfortable with murder.
We also have the coldest of contempt for anyone who would seek to present firing live rounds at an unarmed civilian as a "tragic accident".
The people of Ireland are repulsed by these "marches", which are actually demonstrations of impotency and inadequacy.
These "seasoned warriors", who feel it is legitimate to murder women in the night and run away so they can be free to do so again in pursuit of a toxic version of history, are definitely not "us".
Yesterday, the friends of Lyra McKee went to Derry and put imprints of their hands in red paint on the walls of a building used by those who support the New IRA. It was a show of defiance against these "hard men".
As one of Lyra's friends put it: "We're strong women. People have been afraid to stand up to people like this. We are not afraid."
We appreciate calling on the dissidents to take responsibility for murdering Lyra may well be futile.
Their actions are not governed by rational thought in accord with any moral or legal framework.
They debase every decent value we hold.
Their very existence is an affront to the ideals of community, consent and a shared future North and south endorsed in the Good Friday Agreement. But if new legislation is necessary to hammer home the point these shows of bigotry and intimidation are unwelcome, then bring it on.
Gardaí can ably snuff out any threat they hold. This is a contagion that can be readily wiped out for it has no significant host on which to thrive.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar aptly branded them as "beneath contempt". He pointed to the words of the 1916 proclamation, saying those involved in dissident activity "dishonour the flag through cowardice or inhumanity".
And so they do.
Dwight D Eisenhower decried violence and those who spread it: "This world in arms is not spending money alone... It is spending the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron."
Humanity on this island will win out. Some 70 years ago we chose the ballot over the bullet, and those who dare threaten that peace trample on the ideals on which our Republic was built.