Page last updated at 18:31 GMT, Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Bloggers shocked by NI killings

Northern Ireland's bloggers have been reacting to the three murders of security forces personnel by dissident republicans.

Armed policeman
Heavily armed police are once again patrolling the streets

The blogs' authors have largely called for unity and a determination that violence will not destroy the peace process.

There have also been straightforward appeals to republican sympathisers to turn the killers in.

For Patrick Corrigan in his Amnesty International blog the shooting of two soldiers in the town he grew up in took on a very personal dimension, threatening his family's safety and happiness.

He wrote: "I was in Antrim again yesterday, bringing my three boys to see their grandparents. Those boys have such exuberance, zest for life, innocence.

"As a father, I don't want to have to explain the likes of Saturday night to my children.

"I don't want that callousness and disregard for life to be a feature of the Northern Ireland in which they grow up.

"My generation have been there, done that and we don't want our kids wearing the hand-me-down t-shirt."

These people have to be faced down, the Irish people need to decry in one clear and determined voice: not in my name!!!
Chris Gaskin

There was a similar sense of outrage apparent in the writings of republican blogger Chris Gaskin.

Responding to the murder of Constable Stephen Paul Carroll he wrote: "I'm starting to feel slightly angry at the moment, and I never thought I would ever feel that reaction in relation to the death of a peeler."

He said the murders would lead to only two consequences: more Irish sons and daughters in the grave and in jail.

"These people have to be faced down, the Irish people need to decry in one clear and determined voice: not in my name!!!"

Writing in his own blog, Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams said the killing of two soldiers at Massereene Army base on Saturday was an attack on Northern Ireland's political institutions, the peace process and Sinn Fein itself.

"They [the attackers] cannot be allowed to succeed," he writes, and pledges that "genuine republicans and democrats" will work with the police to catch the killers.

'About-turn'

But, blogger and SDLP supporter Conall McDevitt said the politicians had to play their part too, and called for a joint "symbolic appearance" by the leaders of Sinn Fein and the DUP.

"The fundamentalists are killing for a headline", he wrote and said the leaders standing together in rejection of these acts would be a powerful statement.

He added: "The media will feed well on the image of a former IRA man (Gerry Adams) alongside a man (Peter Robinson) who infamously 'invaded' the Republic of Ireland and then donned a red beret in the Ulster Hall, standing together."

The Irish republican terrorists who have murdered in Antrim and Craigavon DO enjoy significant support in certain areas
David Vance

However, at least one of Northern Ireland's bloggers stepped outside the consensus in response to the shootings.

David Vance condemned what he terms "the blabbering of mainstream journalists" as "surreal" and "entirely detached".

"Contrary to what is being stated, the Irish republican terrorists who have murdered in Antrim and Craigavon do enjoy significant support in certain areas, " he said.

"Remember when all those convicted terrorists walked free from prison and we were told that this was the price to be paid for peace?

"Tell it to the next of kin of those slaughtered on the streets of Northern Ireland during the past 72 hours."

And he says "Sinn Fein/IRA" only condemned the attacks because they believed "that they alone have the right to be judge, jury and executioner".



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