Letter: Poison of hate that killed Ulster victim

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Sir: Parts of Ballymoney are radioactive with hatred. The mob which kicked Constable Taylor to death last weekend was just one small critical mass of this sectarianism built up by years of insidious radiation.

And from where has this radiation come? What influence could have caused such an explosion of barbarism in this outwardly peaceful and once liberal town? Quite simply, the radiation of a few charismatic politicians and others who have preached hate, constantly and loudly, sometimes publicly and more often privately. Violent verbal abuse of Catholicism, of the Pope, of any politician daring to talk compromise or peace. Many of us have watched this uninvited phenomenon, powerless to stop what free speech in a free country makes lawful. Lawful or not, this is the radiation that kills if enough of its poison is spread into enough impressionable minds.

No matter that the great sectarian nuclear reactors, these powerful and sometimes charismatic and colourful politicians, never themselves get directly involved. No matter that they can never be connected directly to, nor ever intended, the thousands of sectarian killings that their emanations have made easier to contemplate. No matter that they are the first to use the megaphones of the press to condemn the murders that blind sectarian hatred has caused. They are still the truly guilty men.

Constable Taylor's widow is no victim of an accidentally gathered drunken mob. Her husband was killed by the unintended explosion of a sectarian time-bomb assembled over many years. Shame on us all.


Ballymoney, Co Antrim