I'd just like to spare a few thoughts and a prayer for the souls of the two young soldiers shot on Saturday night and the policeman shot last night, in Northern Ireland; and for their families and friends reeling in shock and grief.
Mark Quinsey and Patrick Azimakar were the two young men shot on Saturday. They were only 23 and 21 years old respectively. Two other soldiers and two young men making a delivery to the army base were also injured in that attack. Last night, a policeman was shot dead as he and a colleague went to investigate some activity at a school. The dead man has not yet been named.
It seems that dissident republican terrorists claimed responsibilty for the soldiers' deaths. It's not unlikely that they too are behind last night's attack.
Northern Ireland has had its fair share of troubles for the last 40 years but since power-sharing implemented some years ago, so much progress has been made. No one wants a return to sectarian violence and these are absolutely horrific and barbaric attacks done with abject cowardice and malice by madmen who speak for no-one's but their own twisted ideology.
We in Ireland absolutely condemn these attacks. They are not carried out in our name. The people who perpetrate them deserve the full weight of justice - and please God they'll be caught and given it in measure for what they have done. It won't help those who died, nor their grieving families and friends, but there needs to be full sanction against people who do such things.
Rest in peace Mark, Patrick and the Policeman shot tonight. Our hearts go out to you and your families and friends. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anamacha