Reading about the Sinn Fein MLA Cathal Ó hOisín and his experience of losing a child set me thinking about just how many hundreds of parents across Northern Ireland lost children due to the actions of his political party’s ‘comrades’ in the IRA over three decades.
Of course it is always tragic to lose a loved one — especially a child.
But what do we class as a child?
For Mr Ó hOisín, his child was a baby daughter.
For Rita Restorick, her child was Lance Bombardier Stephen Restorick who was shot a close range by a Provo sniper in Bessbrook back in 1997.
For Gordon Wilson, his child was Marie Wilson ... and so on.
Without wishing to make light of Ó hOisín’s loss, it needs to be pointed out that every time he (or one of his colleagues) trumpets the actions of IRA murderers, he is effectively giving a retrospective sanction to the events that caused hundreds of other parents to lose their children too.
I suspect the irony was totally lost on him when he gave his BBC interview.