Belfast Telegraph

Editor's Viewpoint: All sides need to condemn violence

The attempted bomb attack on a female police officer in Kilkeel is the latest in a series of incidents which must be condemned unreservedly, and most political and community leaders have been quick to do so.

The local MP and SDLP leader Margaret Ritchie said: "Everyone in Kilkeel will be disgusted by this attack", but she was representing the views of the vast majority from all sections of the community.

So, too, was Caitriona Ruane, the Sinn Fein MLA and Education Minister, who accused the perpetrators of "attempting to carry out an unjustified campaign of violence."

Surprisingly, however, there was no strong comment from the young woman's uncle, Martin Connolly, an Independent Republican councillor and a former member of Sinn Fein.

He claimed that condemnations of violence have not done any good in the past, and that they will not do so in the future. This newspaper disagrees fundamentally with such a view.

Violence of any kind must be condemned by people on all sides, not only because it affects people from all sides but also because it is counter-productive, morally unjustified and unjustifiable.

It is imperative that political and community leaders, and ordinary members of the public, continue to condemn acts of violence whenever or wherever they take place.

This is the surest way of opposing the brutally misguided men and woman of violence, and of supporting the political process which provides our only hope for the future.

The reprehensible incident at Kilkeel, and those attacking security forces in Bangor and Londonderry, have no part to play in the future of Northern Ireland. Those responsible must be opposed at every turn, and brought to justice to answer for their crimes.


From Belfast Telegraph