ANYONE reflecting on the horrific events in Britain will have felt not just sympathy for but also empathy with our friends and relatives in the UK.
Despite being two distinct islands with different political structures, we remain united by our friendship, our shared history, and our concern for the British people and overseas visitors and guests who have been targeted by extreme Islamists.
While we mourn and grieve with them for their loss of life and the carnage that ensued, we cannot but admire their courage and determination not to allow the atrocities to change the way they go about their daily lives.
In the immediate aftermath of the murders in Manchester and London, we witnessed proud and forceful acts of defiance, the kind of spirit exhibited in the Second World War during the Dunkirk evacuation and the Battle of Britain.
Britons, being a cultured people, have a side to them that literary Ireland will recognise. It is a quieter and gentler resolve, as evidenced by a poem left outside a bar where commuter James McMullan was killed.
It reads: “These bridges are London; they’ve seen worse before... witness to the ages, they steadfastly remember, the Blitz, The Troubles and Fifth of November.” It has three stanzas, none of which may win a literary prize but all evoke tenderness for the victims and prove that the pen is, indeed, mightier than the sword — even the sword of Islam.
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