Who could not be affected by the awful tragedy in Omagh? A whole family has been wiped out in one dreadful act and that the act was apparently carried out by the father of the family only increases the horror of it.
For most of us it is unimaginable. Is that why, all today, I’ve been hearing terrible accusations made against the father? It must be because we cannot possibly conceive of any circumstance in which we would deliberately murder the ones we love most of all?
It seems to me that people have become very quick to judge others who have experienced, or are a part of, the loss of children. Obviously the Madeleine McCann disappearance comes to mind here. The most hateful stories have been circulating about the McCanns even though we, the public, do not have the facts, we were not there and we do not know. I think we make little of ourselves by circulating these salacious stories.
Perhaps it’s the fault of today’s ‘celebrity culture’. When people like Barrymore, Winehouse and Spears, not to mention a legion of reality ‘stars’ make a soap opera of their lives, the rest of us think that’s how it should be for anyone who slips into the public consciousness.
The difference, of course, is that Barrymore et al choose to live their lives in public. Those people hit by loss and tragedies do not. You could argue that the McCanns sought publicity after their daughter disappeared. Maybe they were naïve enough to think it would do some good, would help. We certainly disabused them of that notion.
I’m sure there will be people who disagree with me on this. And maybe you’re right and I’m wrong. Maybe the McCanns are evil hoodwinkers and maybe those stories I heard today about the Omagh family are true. But all I’m saying here is that we don’t know. And that by passing on and repeating the nasty stories we are making ourselves smaller, meaner people.