Belfast Telegraph

Editor's viewpoint: Good people of Derry speak for us all in their defiance of evil bombers who would drug us back to the past

People attend the trade union-organised rally in the Peace Garden in Londonderry
People attend the trade union-organised rally in the Peace Garden in Londonderry

A week has passed since the outrageous dissident republican car bomb in Londonderry last Saturday night, but the horrible implications linger. It is a miracle no one was killed or injured.

Today we carry a most revealing article highlighting the revulsion still felt about it.

The people of this fine city make it clear there is no appetite for a return to violence. They state firmly that the dissidents don’t speak for them.

They also speak with pride about what Derry means to them and how they have taken back their city after the decades of terrorism which they and many others elsewhere endured.

The citizens of Derry have shown vision, and also their determination to work for and to seize a better future. Indeed, it is the city that has shown the rest of the province how to resolve contentious parades disputes.

What happened last Saturday night was a reminder to all of us who lived through the Troubles that terrorism has nothing to offer but suffering, death and the destruction of property.

One woman tells our reporter how she wanted to ask the bomber if he could see anything more positive in his future life than such an attack and attempting to take people’s lives. She speaks for us all.

For those younger people who have been fortunate to grow up in relative peace, the shock and horror of their near miss as they walked past the bomb will live with them for a long time.

A city hotelier tells of the bewilderment of his young staff that night as he led them to safety.

These young people are from a generation for whom references to the city are associated with the hit series Derry Girls, whose characters are being painted on a city wall this weekend.

Set in the early Nineties and screened nationally, the series has done much to promote the city. It is a sad irony that the last episode of the first series ended with news of a bomb.

The nihilists who set out to kill and maim in Derry last weekend are a twisted micro-group, unrepresentative of broad opinion on all sides.

The best way to face them down is to continue to enjoy days and nights out in this vibrant city, and to make Derry a part of a modern, all-embracing future.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph