It is all too easy, and often inaccurate, to describe a particular atrocity as a ‘turning point’.
The Troubles was littered with supposed turning points, after which nothing in fact turned — except perhaps for the worse.
However, the murder of Robert McCartney in east Belfast in 2005 sparked real revulsion, from his one-time area of Short Strand, where there was a vigil days later, to Washington, where McCartney’s sisters were invited. It was an uncomfortable moment for the republican movement.
Now the murder of Ian Ogle, on the loyalist side of the divide from Short Strand, in similar circumstances — as a result of extreme violence, allegedly after an earlier row — has sparked a similar reaction. A vigil involving more than 1,000 people took place on the Albertbridge Road.
Reputable people who know well the loyalist communities of inner east Belfast say that Mr Ogle was an opponent of drug dealing gangsters. His killing was a heinous crime, which the police are exhaustively investigating.
On the opposite page a letter writer from Dundalk (see link below) makes a valid point about the use of the word paramilitary to describe thugs. Lest there be any doubt, this newspaper is a relentless user of the word terrorist, and long-standing advocate of far longer prison terms for terrorists who injure or kill people, and more confiscation orders against terrorists who trade in misery to enrich themselves.
We hope east Belfast breaks free of the grip of criminality that led to this terrible murder.