Meet Mark Cooke, a young adult of 23 from Crumlin who shares the same foibles as any one of us; employed we make ends meet, unemployed we share a daily fate of uncertainty.
The only thing that sets Mr. Cooke apart from the rest of us, is that while he joined the collective Irish public in enjoying the recent resplendent weather, he was brutally smashed over the head with a bottle and left in a coma.
The attack, which occurred on Wednesday afternoon at The Rialto luas stop as Mark walked along the line from Fatima, has left his life in jeopardy and his family in trepidation.
Justice from a legal point of view is sure to be swift, yet has an attack like this left an open wound in the side of our nation’s bludgeoned ethics?
We hear of the plight in Syria over Bashar Al-Assad’s regime, the blood filled-streets of Cairo over President Morsi’s ousting from government and it all seems like a distant nightmare the like of which we shall never comprehend. The reality is that it is much closer to home than you think, it is right at your doorstep.
Paralleled with the seemingly motive less attack Mr. Cooke sustained is the almost laughable glorification given to the underworld of gang violence, helped in no small part by certain areas of media coverage. A stark fact is that Ireland holds a higher gang-related death rate than the city of Baltimore (synonymous with hit tv show The Wire).
Many of us in Ireland still hold the naive opinion that gang violence, to put colloquially, is simply Thug vs Thug. The death of innocent Shane Geoghegan back in 2008 ( who was mistakenly executed as part of a gang feud) shows that this simply is not the case anymore. The public are becoming embroiled unwillingly in this concoction of evil and it is high time we came to terms with that.
The old parameters of civilised society simply do not exist anymore. If an innocent man such as Mark Cooke cannot walk a distance no less than half a mile without an attack leaving him on the cusp of life and death, it goes to show that morality has simply become part of the refuse heap.
Far too often has violence been fobbed off as “the inevitable result of misguided youth” or “alcohol related”. While both are very much the epicentre of certain crimes, the truth is that violence on our streets is becoming both more volatile and unpredictable.
No longer is it a case of “what nexts”, they are already happening on a grand scale. Last week saw the heinous double murder of a Lithuanian mother Jolanta Lubiene, 27 and her eight year old daughter Enrika. No edification can bring recourse to a person, so far in the depths of an abyss, that their conscience cleared the path for murders so horrific.
There are no guidelines that will teach you how to spot a potential attacker, nevermind a killer. When every pathway becomes tumultuous, one can only make themselves fully aware of how thwarted the society they live in really is. A thin line separates good and evil in this modern age.
Dostoyevsky’s idea that “all is permissible” seems to have come to fruition in Ireland. That being so, overt from the old way of thinking. Crime has well and truly become disconsolate and unfathomable.