Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Ireland's road to freedom 'not built on murder'

The murder of Constable Ronan Kerr is nothing short of horrific and, as an American of Irish heritage, I am thankful that the people of Ireland united in condemning the violence. While principles conclude that Ireland should be united, the road to freedom is not built through murder.

It is patriotic to keep the peace and engage in civil discourse. The people of Ireland have endured generations of occupation and many have sacrificed dearly to create lasting peace.

The sons and daughters of Ireland deserve to live in a nation without fear. The recent tragedies are attacks on humanity and are disgraceful in the eyes of anyone - regardless of their vision for the future of Northern Ireland.

As the world approaches the 30th anniversary of the hunger strikes, the greatest honour to the men who sacrificed is enduring peace. As was the dream of Bobby Sands, the world should hear the laughter of the children of Ireland. Violence brings only tears.

I believe in love for family, friends, community, our persecutors and our God. Unionists and republicans are all members of the Irish community.

God calls us all to embrace our neighbours as our brothers and sisters. No words are adequate to express sympathy to the families of the victims of the recent tragedies.

It is my hope that some comfort can be taken in the outpouring of support from across Ireland and across the world.

If any good can come from such a tragic loss, it should be the confirmation that violence is not an acceptable means to an end.

JAMES UPDIKE

Bloomington, Indiana, USA

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