A child in England dies

I’ve just been listening to BBC Radio Four reporting on the death of that nine-year-old child Olivia Pratt-Korbell in Liverpool. She was fatally shot when a man who was being chased by another man with a gun ran into her house. The gunman followed, the child was fatally wounded.

Not surprisingly, the reporters and even the police are expressing their horror that such a thing could happen – that a man with a gun should pursue another man into the house and fire so recklessly that a young life that’s barely begun should be suddenly ended.  I feel a similar revulsion, listening to the radio.

Then I think of the Finucane family in 1989, sitting down to a meal together, when men with guns enter and deliberately – not accidentally, deliberately – shoot the father of his family in front of his wife and children until they’re sure he’s dead. And this deliberate killing – prompted, many would claim, by the speech of a Tory MP in the House of Commons a few weeks earlier  – this killing more than thirty years later has still short-changed the Finucane family, robbed them of justice.

And I’m thinking of what some termed, during the Troubles, ‘the five o’clock knock’.  Or was it four o’clock? It doesn’t matter. This was when loyalists, armed with a sledge-hammer, would beat in the door of someone associated with republicanism, enter and shoot the man dead. I don’t have figures for it but I’m pretty certain it happened and happened more than once. And I’m remembering a DUP election poster of the time, with the slogan “Smash Sinn Fein!” and a sledge-hammer prominently displayed. Wink-wink, nudge-nudge.

None of this is to take any sympathy away from the poor child shot dead in England yesterday. But do you remember the English public or public representatives expressing their horror at the deliberate killing of Pat Finucane, or at the barbaric practice of breaking down people’s front door so they could be slaughtered?

I don’t. But those Irish – you know – a mad lot. Nothing you can do with them. Right?

One Response to A child in England dies

  1. Barry August 23, 2022 at 11:20 pm #

    Not to mention the husband and wife murdered in front of their young children.
    Not in any way active republicans, but their home invaded and shot for being of the wrong tribe.