Monday, April 24, 2006


Love Thy Neighbour

Tensions are high"And the second is like this, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these." - Mark 12:31

I was saddened to hear that a Protestant man has been left with serious facial injuries after an attack in Derry.

The attack has been condemned by the city's Sinn Féin mayor
Lynn Fleming.

Chief Inspector Ken Finney said the man had "received a very serious beating":

"When the police went to speak to him, they had to do it by pen and paper because he couldn't talk.

"I would hope that this can be nipped in the bud in an early stage, and the communities can calm themselves down."

Michelle Hayden, from the Irish Street Community Association, said she was concerned about the atmosphere:

"Tensions have increased from the attack."

"I think it was the seriousness of the attack that has been reported back on the ground that has heightened tensions."

She said she thought this had probably brought "run of the mill" interface violence in at "an earlier aspect than we would have in the month of April".

A friend of the injured man was also hurt in a separate attack, though not seriously. There have been ongoing problems in the Waterside area. A Catholic family recently said they were leaving their Heron Way home due to the tensions.

Shame on these thugs who are damaging community relations through their pathetic sectarianism. As if this wasn't depressing enough, the Belfast Telegraph reports that a cross-community deal which saw the removal of a UDA mural overlooking Harryville Catholic Church, which I praised here back at the start of April, is now in ruins after a war of words erupted between loyalists and republicans. (Hat tip Slugger)

Loyalists issued a statement saying the deal was off because republican flags were still in place and officials said the UDA mural could go back up in place of an Ulster Scots mural which was unveiled a few weeks ago.

Old mural could be restored

I think both parties in this mural dispute should take a long hard look at themselves. The Republicans have reneged on their word for which they should be condemned but the Loyalist threat to restore the mural is ridiculously petty.

All in all this is a pretty depressing day for community relations in the North!

"How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!" - Psalm 133


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