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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

 

Ballymena Murder

These posts at bebeo are almost unbelievable. Almost as unbelievable as the murder of Michael McIlveen itself. I say "almost" in both cases because in my line of business I come across incidents of mindless violence almost daily. In a society that used to pride itself a 1950's sense of community how has it come to pass that we have in our midst baseball bat wielding child killers, people who disfigure others by using thieir teeth to rip off lips and ears and the almost casual use of near fatal violence as post pub entertainment? Could it be that Northern Ireland is indeed a place where you can get away with murder?

Comments:
In a society that used to pride itself a 1950's sense of community how has it come to pass that we have in our midst baseball bat wielding child killers, people who disfigure others by using thieir teeth to rip off lips and ears and the almost casual use of near fatal violence as post pub entertainment? Could it be that Northern Ireland is indeed a place where you can get away with murder?

Come off it.

Would this "society that used to pride itself a 1950's sense of community" be the same one where 200 to 400 people were being killed each year in murders every bit as senseless and brutal as this one during most of the 1970's? Try reading through the pages of "Lost Lives" sometime.

You seem to have far too rosy-tinted a view of the way things were. Sectarian murder of this kind is far from being a new phenomenon in Northern Ireland, even if Bebo pages may be a novelty.
 
I have nothing but a tragically realistic view of the way things were/are. It is society in general that perhaps has the rose tinted perspective you complain of.

What commentators tend to overlook is the different experiences different parts of NI had of the "Troubles". The murder triangles of North Belfast and Mid Ulster are a long way from the leafy avenues of BT9 and North Down. In the areas unscathed by the violence I contend that people, perhaps in denial about what was happening up the road, did have a smug 1950's attitute towards their immediate community. Ballymena used to be one of those places yet now we have baseball bat weilding child killers roaming the town.
 
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