Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Without forgiveness, there's no future...

...(Desmond Tutu)

The chaplain of our secondary school had that quote on a sign over his desk. Something that no mention was ever made off but a lesson that sat like a mahogany halo over his head as you spoke to him. It's something that's played on my mind time and time again. The notion of carrying something that eats away at you and from which you'll never be free. A row you had, something someone said or did that surfaces in your train of thought or is triggered by some occasional stimulus. We all have them. I’m sure if I put my mind to it there’s things I’d have out with people of this parish. I know for sure there’s things I’ve said or done in the past that people here have been kind enough to overlook, ignore or forgive.

The reason I’m posting is that the quote came bounding back into my brain this morning. I wouldn’t normally listen to talk radio in the morning. I’m distracted in work until after 9am so my days of enjoying Cathal MacCoille lambast a Government Minister or tree hugger are few and far between. This morning though I caught a fair bit of their coverage on Wayne O’Donoghue and his release from Portlaoise.

Does he have a future? Will there ever be a day when he’ll be allowed to return and live in the community with whom he grew up? Equally if he was to live abroad and start a new life would it just be a matter of living his life in fear of the day that a reporter or photographer turns up outside his door? It was interesting to see the varying degree of opinion on his release recorded in Cork today. How do you see it? He committed his crime, was wrong to try and cover it, has served his sentence and has to live with his actions for the rest of his life?

Will he be forgiven? Can he be?


  1. This is a tough one Tib alright. He has been tried, convicted and served his time and yet the odds of him being able to live any kind of life here are fairly remote.

    So, does he have to move to another country where, chances are he'd be hounded by the tabloids anyway?

    Don't know Tib. What did you make of his statement today?

  2. Re the statement, (thanks for your sympathy comment by the way).

    The kind Christian soul in me saw a guy, who knows he has to live with the fact that he's fucked up countless lives, trying to make up in some minor way for what he did.

    The side of me which works in the media saw a guy who knew that he'd be hounded if he didn't come out in some way and give the Fourth Estate, and the morbidly fascinated elements of society, what they wanted.

  3. Grand he's done his time but it's a bit much him wanting to move back to the town where it all happened, sticking in the face of the family who's son died. People migrate all the time. I think it would be the honourable thing for him to do.

  4. Feck him in all honesty, he killed a kid and in my opinion has not served long enough.

    I find the sentences laid down by our courts to be farcical and the time people send "inside" unfair.

    I agree with Milan (because if I dont lord knows what the power she feels she has now, may do to me) going back to the town where it all happened would be rubbing salt into wounds that aint fully healed.

  5. I'm divided on this one, I am a mother and if someone hurt my child I would hunt them down and not rest until they had suffered as much as my child and the rest of my family had!
    On the other hand I believe in forgiveness, it's a gift, to the person who forgives, it sets them free, not the person they forgive. He should start again of course he should, but also instead of talking about him and his life we should look at the justice system and what we consider serious and what we let slip, child abuse, sexual assult, domestic violence...why don't we protect the weakest members of our society?