So I wake up Tuesday, I have a shower and shave and a fast breakfast and then do as I do every day, I go back up and sprawl out on the bed and spend 20 mins (I give myself 20 minutes for Social Media and am strict with this. I catch up on all the notifications, messages, FB and trending on Twitter(my favourite platform by a mile)
I see a headline on Facebook. It reads “Ariana Grande terrorist attack in Manchester”.
This is alarming, only across the sea, Manchester arena, I’ve been in it.
Every single trending topic tells me that something devastating has happened in Manchester. All 20 items
Ariana Grande was performing her “Dangerous Woman” tour. I don’t know much about Ariana Grande, I do know she has a large young following, so I feel sick.
19 feared dead initially. Children amongst the 19.
I couldn’t believe what I was reading.
It’s a new form of evil we’re dealing with now. Killing and maiming innocent children.
I want to pay respect to those who died..
Ariana Grande superfan; Georgina Callender; 18. Georgina had posted on Twitter expressing her excitement for concert.
Saffie – Rose Roussos; 8. So unbelievably young,
Alison Howes and Lisa Lees; 45 and 47 respectively. Parents waiting to pick their children up from the concert.
John Atkinson; 26. A competitive dancer, known to be a very cheerful soul.
Olivia Campbell; 15. Uncertainty initially regarding whether missing or dead. Her mam distressed all over television initially. Olivia had her whole life ahead of her.
Kelly Brewster; 32. Dead after shielding her young niece from the blast. An absolute hero.
Marcin and Angelica Klis; 42 and 40. They leave behind 2 daughters who they had travelled to collect from the concert.
Martyn Hett; 29. A popular well liked young man, again great sense of humour.
Nell Jones; 14. Barely a teenager. Her young friends now having to process the tragic fact they won’t see her again.
I (of course)want to pass on my respect to all who passed. The above are a sample I am aware of.
All of these people had gone to the concert for fun. They were expecting to have a good time. Now their families have to deal with their overwhelming grief. Their lives changed forever.
I don’t give a damn about terrorists.
I care about the people I have listed above. Their lives. Their families.
I care about the people of Manchester who are united in grief.
I care about the people who are lying in a hospital; some with life threatening and life changing injuries. Again, their lives affected forever.
I care about the heroes and heroines I’ve heard about over the week.
The homeless guy who was sleeping rough at the arena and did all he could to help others in their desperate time of need. He was a hero.
(This gentleman has a good amount of money from a GoFund Me and a home for 6 months-Best of luck, good guy, good luck)
Terrorism is a word used so frequently these days. The world (including Ireland) is at risk / a frightening time. Unprecedented even.
Advice for us all, as we all are in danger/at threat,
Be aware. Be vigilant. But don’t stop living your life. This is what we’re told by politicians, journalists and public figures. And I think we’ll all take heed of this advice. But, I think all of us will always remember May 2017. In the same way we remember 7.7.2005 and September 11th 2001.
They are dates that stick in our minds. For all the wrong reasons.
My thoughts are with the families of those who have lost a loved one. Those people who have lost friends. And the people who have been affected by this heinous act, but going forward, just a couple of tips-
Watch for suspicious behaviour. While large-scale terrorism has more wide-reaching effects, terrorism in Dublin is not something most of us can conceive, my advice is be on guard, as we are a major European city. Ireland too is quite exposed if selected for attack. For all my friends in Europe and the states, you know about being vigilant.
Look for suspicious activity in your city to help thwart terrorism. You might overhear something in your local coffee shop. You. might notice strange movements from a “To Let” house, you might read something obscure on the edge of the internet that worries you.
Recognize the diverse forms of extremism. To truly be vigilant and observant of suspicious behaviour, avoid narrowing your scope to a specific demographic or profile of terrorism. Violent extremism is not unique to any one social group or religious belief system, and should not be regarded as such. Make a point of being aware of suspicious activity regardless of race. Don’t become a racist.
Note alarming changes in members of your community. Individuals who commit terrorist acts generally go through a period of radicalization that leads to their violent behaviour. Be on the lookout for alarming behavioural changes in colleagues, acquaintances, friends, or family that might indicate radicalization. Pls be cognisant of Personality changes. It’s up to each one of us.
Don’t change how you live though. Smile. See your friends, Have s coffee. Go to concerts. Go out to the city centre.
If we do any different, we let the terrorists win and we are not doing
Take care folks.