Sir, – They say a picture paints a thousand words, and Margaret McLaughlin’s photograph on the front page of the weekend edition of The Irish Times is no exception (April 20th).
Amidst the heartbreaking story of Lyra McKee’s murder, a picture was taken from the Fanad Drive vigil of Lyra’s partner Sara Canning, Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald, the DUP’s Arlene Foster and the Right Rev Ken Good.
Despite the sense of grief the image shows, there is also a glimmer of hope. Both Mary Lou McDonald and Arlene Foster represent historically opposing ideological, political and religious views that led to much bloodshed. Both women are pictured together mourning the murder of a young woman who worked to reconcile the fallout of those oppositions and bloodshed.
And not only that, but standing between these two women it shows Sara Canning holding a rainbow flag and the Right Rev Ken Good wearing a cross, both symbols that represent agreement, reconciliation, forgiveness and peace – all the cornerstones of a safe and thriving society.
The picture itself may only be symbolic but perhaps the tools needed to bridge the divides are closer at hand than many are willing to admit.
My prayers are with the family and friends of Lyra McKee. – Yours, etc,