The images of the past week or so, culminating in the death of a fellow human being, have brought back to me the reality of what, as children growing up in Northern Ireland, we've had to endure.
Things ARE different now and I don't want my child growing up with the fear of speaking out against what is WRONG. Murder is Murder is Murder - There can be no justification for taking a son, daughter, brother, sister, mother, father, cousin, neighbour, colleague, friend or EVEN "Perceived" enemy away from their loved ones, simply because their vision of the future is different from yours.
Anybody who tries to forge their country's future upon the death or murder of those whose ideals they disagree with, has lost the argument before they've begun.
What sort of United Ireland would we live in if we feared opposing the views of others, and if we faced death just because we disagreed with them ? Surely that’s akin to a regime !!!
Everybody (including those who murdered Ronan Kerr) is entitled to their views and aspirations - what they are not entitled to, is the right to murder people like Ronan.
This country no longer belongs to the Dinosaurs who tried to shape the Ireland of yesterday. Things have moved on and watching the youth of today, Catholic and Protestant, stand together in rejecting the violence that claimed the life of a 25 yr old Irishman should be enough to stop any self proclaimed hard-line Republican or Loyalist in their tracks and realise that times have changed and that the right thing to do is to dedicate the future of this Country to the inhabitants of the future.
PS - Sorry to burst everybody's bubble - but there are no separate afterlives. No individual PSNI, Garda, UVF, IRA, English, Irish, Catholic, Protestant, Christian, Muslim or Jewish conveyor belts to Paradise.
We're on the one road sharing the one load to God Knows Where.
RIP Ronan & Here's to better days ahead in your memory.