Belfast Telegraph

Editor's Viewpoint: Mother's courage is example to all

A number of individuals who have had violence perpetrated against them or their families have shown courage and nobility of spirit in the most difficult of circumstances.

Such a person is the mother of the police officer who was targeted in her Londonderry home for the second time by republican dissidents because her son, a Roman Catholic, is serving with the PSNI.

Last week she and her husband were watching television when a shadowy group left a pipe bomb outside their house. The elderly couple and their neighbours had to evacuate their homes while bomb experts dealt with the device. In September 2009 a similar device exploded outside the couple's house, but no-one was injured. On the same day a pipe bomb was defused at their daughter's house elsewhere.

The mentality of those who commit such atrocities beggars belief. No normal person could think an attempt to kill and maim a policeman's family is in any way justified. On the contrary, such actions are evidence of warped mentalities which cannot comprehend that life here has moved on, and that violence cannot play any part in the future. The elderly lady says she prays every day for those who tried to maim her and that she bears no malice or hatred towards them. Her remarkable courage and lack of bitterness shines like a beacon which is an example to us all.

She said that she received comfort from the church representatives who visited her home, and the strength that she has been given in dealing with the aftermath of last week's attack.

While it is important that this lady and her family are given comfort and strength by the local community, they need something else as well.

They need people who know anything about these incidents to tell the police, so that the perpetrators are brought to justice as quickly as possible. Such dastardly incidents in Derry and elsewhere continue to remind us that we must not drop our guard against those who constantly threaten the very basis of our democracy.

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