Thursday, May 25, 2017

Ireland Mourns Manchester's Fallen Angels

As a father and grandpa I know only immense sadness at Manchester's tragedy. I cannot fathom what the parents of those fallen angels are feeling. To be honest, I don't want to. I have three grown children. Five grandchildren. It is impossible for me to fully take on-board the never-ending nightmare families and whole communities are experiencing. I can't. If I think too much about it I worry something will happen to my own. A parent's worst fears, realised. As they have been in Manchester. 

I know I am not alone.

And yet - because those who mourn the Manchurian dead are also located in Ireland, some of my fellow countrymen can't understand it. One nameless soul yesterday asked me: 

"I thought the Irish hated the British. Why would they care?" 

How misguided was this question.

Yes, a difficult history between the two countries stretches back over 400 years. Yes, over those years, most recently during the Troubles, some from Northern Ireland - a part of Great Britain - hated Ireland. Some in Ireland hated all things British. Words of hatred were hurled across borders. Words turned to action. For a long time the island of Ireland's newspapers and television sets were filled with acts of terrorism and violence. People died. Men and woman. 

And children.

But I emphasise: those who chose a bloody path were the minority. Kindness and tolerance, both north of the border as well as the south, has usually been my experience. No matter what the papers say most over here give a damn. That goes for the citizens of the Republic of Ireland as well as Northern Ireland. Truly, I have never met an island of people who are so caring.

And they care for the fallen children of Manchester as well as their parents and the wider pool who connected with them during their young lives. Oh how they care.

They care for a number of reasons. First, it is a human thing to care. Humanity's ability to care separates us from creatures of this earth who have not that innate characteristic. They care because, since the peace process began over 20 years ago, each side has worked to understand each other. In doing so, in learning to appreciate that Catholic is not so very much different from Protestant; that nationality is tied only to a passport rather than some sort of ill-defined character flaw; we've learned we are all the same. We've learned to care. We've learned too to reach out to those who suffer and require solace. 

In Ireland we know that Manchester is filled with people - families with children, the young and the old, Catholic and Protestant and Muslim and Jew - who need comfort when suffering strikes. They need a shoulder to cry on. And though this country is separated from much of Great Britain by an Irish Sea, we can easily express our solidarity with those whose lives have been shattered by outrage.

So no. The Irish do not hate the British, We are one with them. We are flesh and blood, and parents who fear harm for our children. And when they are harmed, we express our sympathy, our support, our love - and yes, our outrage at the monstrous perpetrators. 

Yesterday and today and tomorrow and for all the days hereafter, I believe Ireland is one with Manchester and the rest of Great Britain.

Our common tears bind us together. After all, our children are all the same.

They are all Angels.

A Survivor's Guide to Living in Ireland 2017 Kindle Edition Now Available!

If this blog interests you and you want to learn more about Ireland why not consider purchasing A Survivor's Guide to Living in Ireland 2017 Edition. Are you thinking about living and working in Ireland? Would you like to move to Ireland? Do you want to know how to get an Irish work visa in this country? Do you need to know how Brexit and Trump policies may affect your plans? If so, consider purchasing the 2017 edition of A Survivor's Guide to Living in Ireland by Tom Richards. Now almost 90,000 words long, this book could make the perfect gift for  those interested in this wonderful country. Over 14,000 people have now learned how to live, laugh, and drink like the Irish by reading this Kindle ebook. I hope you enjoy, and my very best - Tom

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