The Best and the Worst
Deaglán de Bréadún
There is an item on the news that illustrates the best and worst of our society. Following an arson attack on the home of an 87-year-old woman in Cork, the victim is in hospital, as are two gardaí who rescued her from the blaze.
One the one hand, we have the criminal depravity of those who set fire to the house in the middle of a cold winter’s night and, on the other, the sheer selfless heroism of the two police officers who rescued this elderly lady.
Not only was this firebrand action depraved but it was also marked by sheer stupidity, since we are told the attackers picked the wrong house!
The disintegration of our society is proceeding almost unnoticed as we focus most of our attention on the economy.
It’s not a question of “hang ‘em and flog ‘em”: the problem goes much deeper than that and right-wing Pavlovian lorranorder responses are not the answer. Having said that, it is undoubtedly necessary to catch the arsonist(s) and put him/her/them in a place where they can do no more damage to their fellow-human beings.