No return to the dark past

The week’s headlines were for the first time in many years dominated by something which we had hoped was all in the past. It wasn’t exactly inevitable, but it’s fair to say it came as no great surprise.

Last weekend I was in Omagh for the Tyrone v Galway match. Although it wasn’t a great game and ended in disappointment from my point of view, this all paled into insignificance with the chain of events which was to unfold that night. I walked through the town past the spot where 29 people and 2 unborn twins were killed by the so-called Real IRA. Little did I know that these bastards would strike again that very night. Not content with killing police and army personnel, the self-styled liberators of Ireland have now added pizza delivery men, pregnant women and schoolchildren to their list of legitimate targets as another “glorious step” towards a united Ireland. Yet out of this despair comes hope as the people have taken to the streets en masse to demand a stop to this futile killing. And who would have thought just a few years ago that the leaders of the DUP and Sinn Féin would host a press conference with the North’s most senior policeman and call for an end to the violence?

The past has shown all too poignantly that there have been too many false dawns, but this time there can be no going back.

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