Sean Hoey acquitted... So the survivors and victims' families from the Omagh bombing of 15th August 1998 still have no justice. Not that they would have had justice if he'd been convicted though innocent. In fact, no system of human justice can ever render true justice. Even like-for-like, eye-for-eye retribution will only ever give what the offender deserved, which is easier to bear than the injustices meted out to the victims... - That was my conclusion from watching Dead Man Walking years ago...
But what a mess for us all to live with. The police have so many questions to answer around the collection of evidence that one wonders... what will this do to our society's fragile respect for law and order?
[I heard this week of a policeman who bought his son a car, and said that there was no need to pay Road Tax until stopped and challenged about it. I hope, I hope that he was misunderstood or misquoted. I hope such cavalier attitudes to the law are not endemic.]
But my heart was warmed by the widower of an Omagh victim, who spoke today as a lawyer and said something to the effect that he believes in our system of Law and Order, and that although he is not happy for the victims at the outcome of Sean Hoey's trial, Sean Hoey is a human being with human rights, and those rights were protected from a miscarriage of justice today. Nonetheless, he reminded us, the victims' human rights were not respected. The implication was that as a society, we do not/should not reduce ourselves to the level of the terrorists. I can imagine that some of his family, friends and fellow victims can't agree with him; some will be angry that he still trusts such a system... but I thank God for his courage and integrity in holding to the higher good.
For every father teaching his kids to evade the law where possible, there will always be one living in integrity and instilling faith and hope.