Tuesday 16 January 2018

Unity key to beating the evil of terrorism

IT was the first time Northern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson had attended a Catholic Mass. The first time any Taoiseach had attended the funeral of a PSNI officer. The first time a bearer party composed of the upper echelons of the GAA had shared its melancholy task with a PSNI bearer party.

If the terrorists who so callously murdered the Catholic PSNI Constable Ronan Kerr on Saturday thought that they were somehow advancing their cause, then yesterday's funeral should give them cause to think again. Instead of driving a wedge between nationalists and unionists and between North and South, the aftermath of last weekend's murder has actually brought them closer together.

Unfortunately, for those of us who had hoped that Northern Ireland had finally put the bad old days of paramilitary violence behind it for good, last Saturday's murder served as an unwelcome reminder that there still remains an irreconcilable rump of so-called "republicans" who are determined to drag the region back to its bloody past.

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