It often takes something traumatic and deeply tragic to make a neighborhood out of the whole country.
he brutal killings in Sligo have stunned the community and united the rest of us in need for the victims and their families.
Minister of Justice Helen McEntee described the murders as gruesome crimes.
She also referenced the fact that it has been a difficult week for the LGBTQ+ community following a series of incidents. “Incidents,” she noted, “we thought we were through with.”
The brutality of the killings plunges to the depths of extreme hate crimes.
Officials are also investigating whether they contained homophobic elements.
As repulsive as it is, such abominable violence must be confronted.
Ms McEntee has pledged to introduce new measures to provide longer prison sentences for those who target victims motivated by their own blind prejudice.
The hate crime bill she intends to submit to the Dáil “in a few weeks” must send the strongest signal that there will be no tolerance for those responsible for such crimes and that the perpetrators will face the harshest penalties.
For far too long communities in our country have been forced to endure and accept injustice in silence. But it is up to society as a whole to ensure that the integrity and identity of all people is valued and respected equally, socially and culturally.
As American activist Barbara Gittings affirmed, “Equality means more than making laws. The battle is truly won in the hearts and minds of the community, where it really matters.”
Discrimination against individuals or groups must be denounced to the fullest extent of the law.
As Sligo Chief Superintendent Aidan Glacken said: “Michael (Snee) and Aidan (Moffitt) were well known and respected in this community. They were attacked and murdered in their own homes. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families at this time – and indeed with their friends and the wider Sligo community.”
Both victims were attacked through a dating app.
Gardaí went out of their way to indicate that meeting people online should be a normal and safe activity, although individuals can take practical measures for their own personal safety.
The value of any society depends on the fact that a person is free to have their own sense of self.
Inclusion means that everyone is accepted for who or what they are without being judged, scared or oppressed to think that they have to conform to other people’s expectations.
How easy it is to throw down walls and find differences instead of acknowledging and appreciating the diversity and richness of life. The effort to understand and appreciate one another should not challenge our humanity, but confirm it.
As Abhijit Naskar said, “Love has no gender – compassion has no religion – character has no race.”
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/editorial/all-members-of-society-must-be-respected-equally-41551963.html All members of society must be respected equally