If we are to measure social climate and general thinking by what we see in the media then our attitude to murder and death has been well exposed in the past two weeks. This isn’t an easy subject to write about because one wrong word or a clumsy, unexpanded thought and I could be wholly misunderstood in the extreme. I don’t want that to happen so from the outset can I just add my voice to the hundreds of thousands of others who were deeply saddened by the violent and tragic death of Michaela McAreavey. I’m sure we’ve all had similar thoughts of ‘Why?’ particularly as we were privy to the chain of events leading up to her death which would suggest five minutes, either side, and the outcome would have been altered; a heart wrenching story in so many ways.

As the news unfolded we learned more and more about this beautiful young woman who had just become a wife and the tragedy seemed to deepen. Her name was on everyone’s lips and all our thoughts and prayers were with her parents, siblings and husband. Random chats in bars and shops revolved around it and we all nodded in agreement at how awful it was, as indeed we should have done. I don’t think any of it was over the top; we should be this shocked and appalled by such a violent and needless death and it should tear our hearts out that someone was robbed of a future.