This has been a rough Holy Week, starting off with the destructive fire at Notre Dame and continuing with the murder of journalist Lyra McKee in the city of Derry in Northern Ireland. The timing of her murder, attributed to an IRA dead-ender shooting at a police van during a riot initiated by police searches of houses, is particularly inauspicious, coming right around Good Friday, which lends its name to the agreement which largely ended 'The Troubles' in 1998. This murder seems to presage a return to the Bad Old Days. My suspicion is that it can largely be attributed to the recent Brexit vote and its implications on the conditions at the Republic of Ireland/Northern Ireland border.
The murder of Lyra McKee is particularly upsetting in light of her growing prominence, signaled by the publication of her first book, about the violence which ultimately claimed her life. In this debased age, when even the President of the United States calls for violence against journalists, losing a brave truth-teller like Ms McKee is particularly disquieting. Hers is a voice that is sorely needed, the sort of voice which can tell of overcoming personal trauma and of overwhelming national trauma.
Here's a video of Lyra McKee's TED talk concerning the potential of religious reform to reduce violence against LGBTQ persons:
She hits on some of the same themes that Pete Buttigieg hit on in his speech earlier this week. Finally, people are talking about putting the Christ back into Christianity. Sectarian violence and violence against minorities should be considered unacceptable to the worshipers of the Gentle Nazarene.
The whole thing is upsetting, not only the loss of a bright young star, but the implications of further Troubles to come. Hey, I don't want to be a complete downer, but I don't want to break this melancholy mood, so here's tearjerker Derry City as performed by my great and good friend Mary Courtney:
Here's hoping that cooler heads will prevail and outshout those who seek to divide us.