Reports that the dismembered remains of a murdered teenager have been left in two locations in Dublin on Monday and today, have shocked people to their very core. All human life is sacred and an attack of this nature on someone who is still a child is disgusting and beyond belief. To murder another human being in such a way is to totally disregard the basic tenets of our Christian faith and is, indeed, an attack on God in whose image we are all made. This desecration of life has diminished our common humanity and our sense of ourselves as a civilised people.
This murder has been linked to a violent feud in Drogheda which already claimed two lives during the past year. There are people living amongst us with blood on their hands, and we all have a responsibility to assist the Gardaí to apprehend, not just the perpetrators of this evil, but the gang leaders who orchestrated it.
Enough is enough. The reprehensible sub-culture in our society which views all human life as expendable, including the lives of children, must be defeated. Such gangs are grooming children and we need now to take back control so that such vulnerable children can be cherished, not exploited. I earnestly hope that all the community-based organisations who fight against the scourge of drug abuse in our country will receive the resources that they need to be effective. This issue needs to be seriously addressed in all communities during the current general election campaign as well as being a genuine priority for the next government.
By way of prayer and action we all have a role to play in maintaining the common good. I reiterate my offer to liaise between those who are feuding. From the bottom of my heart, I ask individuals and communities to stand together and cooperate with Gardaí in every way possible to help permanently bring to an end this cycle of bloody violence in our community.
· Bishop Michael Router is the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Armagh
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