FERGUS FINLAY: In the North, they abandon peace; in the South, we abandon babies

The burial place of 800 babies who died in the Bessborough mother and baby home is unknown.

Public policy yesterday, public policy today. The more things change, the more they sometimes stay the same. We never seem to learn from the mistakes of the past. And no newspaper has been better at catching what that means than this one.

I’ve always been proud to write for the Examiner. There isn’t a better newspaper in Ireland, none more in touch with the mood of the country, none with a sharper social conscience. But I’ve never been prouder than I was of two front pages of the last few days.

On Saturday, the paper carried no headline, just a quote from the Ted talk given by Lyra McKee last year. The quote, the pictures, and a brilliant article by Aoife Moore, captured the essence of a woman and a journalist who had the capacity to make a huge contribution to the world around her.

She will never make that contribution, because she was murdered, without apology or regret, by paramilitaries. You only have to watch her Ted talk to see the reasons she was loved, and admired as well, by so many people. To see a life like that, with so much promise for the rest of us, snuffed out so callously by people who went on to demonstrate, in Dublin on Saturday, how little they cared, was utterly wrenching.

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