When I take Matty shopping on Thursday nights we usually go this convoluted journey that avoids both the rush hour traffic on the A26 and the narrow roads around Cookstown Junction. Tonight I found myself, without thinking, taking the narrow road instead of our usual route. I realised that I wanted to avoid passing the entrance to the army barracks where those two young men were murdered last Saturday night. I mentioned this to Matty.
She told me that on that night my 16 year old niece had been visiting a house very close to the barracks and had heard the shots and then afterwards the sirens. She knew that something very bad had happened. When she got home she found out, from Sky news, what exactly had taken place. The next day she told her granny that she felt very tired. When Matty asked why, she said she had been unable to sleep for thinking about the shooting.
I felt very sad about this. I really had dared to hope that her generation would not have to go through what we experienced.
For it was only when it was over, when I really, truly believed it was over, that I knew how much living with the troubles had blighted all our lives. I don't want those times to come back. Nobody wants it. Do they?