By Sean Byrne
On the morning of Tuesday 13th June, a terrible tragedy hit the English midland city of Nottingham when 3 people were murdered in two separate incidents.
Ian Coates was a sixty-five-year-old school caretaker, a father of 3, and a very popular kind gentleman lost his life along with two 19-year-old university students Barnaby Webber and Grace O Malley Kumar (whose mother Sinead hails from Ireland).
Grace was a medical student and lost her life by going to the assistance of her friend Barnaby. In another cruel twist of fate Grace’s father Dr Sanjoy helped 3 young men two years ago who were stab victims and stabilised their lives after an incident happened near his London practice.
On Thursday evening the people of Nottingham rallied in tens of thousands in a vigil of support for the victims’ families. All 3 bereaved families were present and spoke with glowing emotion. BBC News gave it excellent coverage which was a good antidote to the Boris Johnson circus which was ongoing the same day.
Barnaby’s young brother Charlie said “Be kind to each other, don’t have hate in your heart. Cherish your loved ones and spend all the time you can with them.”
Emma Webber Barnaby’s mother appealed to the crowd “Don’t hold no hate in your heart that relates to any colour, sex or religion. The magnitude of the grief reflects the magnitude of the love”.
What an astounding message to give and what an amazing heart of forgiveness to show in such horrific consequences.
At his passion just before he died Jesus said “Father forgive them for they do not know what they do” (Luke23:34).
May the memory of the 3 victims of this terrible tragedy be honoured through the values of tolerance, forgiveness and courage which their families showed.
May their message reach the hearts of many throughout the world.