Tuesday, 11 January 2011

The truth is that some tragedies are worse than others.

Listening to the news reports on the murder of Michaela Harte (I have used her maiden name purely because everyone else has) I couldn't help but feel that, as with the Jo Yeats murder, it is such a sad fact of life that some tragedies are just more important to us than others.

Firstly, let me say that I am not criticising the coverage or trying to insinuate that the story wasn't important. What I am trying to get across is that, for all the murders that happen daily across the UK and Ireland, it is only the ones that have an 'angle' that end up on our front pages. This is natural, no doubt, but very sad nonetheless. Each death is a tragedy in it's own right and to those closest to the deceased, it is the most important story in the world. In reality though, for most people the only way we can connect with such tragedies is if there is some way to link the life of the victim with our own, however tenuous that link may be.

For many of the people within NI and the ROI, that link to Michaela is most obviously through GAA. For mothers of daughters at that age and fathers with daughters who have just married it is the sense that it could happen to their child. For me, personally, as a relative newly-wed (18 months) it brings out a fear of losing my wife. We can, of course, feel sorrow and pain for anyone who has suffered regardless of their nationality, circumstance or beliefs, but when we can easily connect ourselves to the victim, it seems to make it all the more genuine.

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