A young man has been brutally murdered in west Belfast. This was a criminal act, and irrespective of his background or misdemeanors there will never be any justification for this savagery.
This was an act carried out by criminals, and it was an act of revenge, it was not justice.
There was no moral high ground achieved in the murder of a young father to a six-year-old child who will be left traumatised and deeply scarred until the day he dies and a young mother left alone to deal with the aftermath of an evil circumstance which was the furthest thing from her consciousness when Kieran McManus went to work.
The perpetrators of this cruel act, if apprehended, will avail of all the human rights legislation open to all citizens and they will receive a fair trial, represented by their choice of lawyers.
They will demand that all evidence be thoroughly scrutinised and challenged by their legal teams and this is how it should be; all of these rights were denied to Kieran McManus.
There is no place in any society for vigilantism; there is no place in society for self-appointed executioners. Today we have a justice system, and if it is not perfect or if it fails to live up to expectations, it is still a lot better than what is offered to the young people left brutally maimed or dead.
The silence of those who fail to speak out against such acts of brutality will echo loudly across the community of west Belfast and beyond. Support for the rule of law must be strengthened. Critical engagement with those charged with administering justice must continue and the people with the blood of our young folk on their hands must be made realise that they are not wanted and that they will pay the price for their callous cruel disregard and the suffering inflicted on their victims, their victims' loved ones, and the wider community.
Donncha Ó Ceallaigh
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