This week the ordinary decent people of Ireland have an opportunity to welcome home the brave young servicemen and women, from all parts of Ireland, who have recently returned from active service in Afghanistan
These young heroes are Ireland’s representatives in a war that the civilised democratic nations of this world dare not lose.
Make no mistake, if the evil forces of unsatisfiable global terrorism are not challenged and defeated at their roots, then they will one day have to be fought, from a weaker position on our own shores.
This week is an opportunity for the Catholic community to at last welcome home in spirit the past generations of brave Catholics who united with their Protestant countrymen to enlist in the British Army during two world wars and to fight for a greater cause.
It is also an opportunity for the Protestant community to at last welcome home in spirit the thousands of Ulster Scots Presbyterian volunteers who united with their Catholic countrymen during the 1798 rising to fight for civil and religious freedom for the working class in Ireland.
All of them were shamefully dishonoured, disowned and forgotten by their own communities.
This week, let us all be there to give our brave young heroes the welcome home which our forefathers were shamefully denied.