The Editor’s Corner

There is only one topic dominating the news now, the war in Ukraine. The idea of one nation invading another is something we thought we left behind in the Middle Ages. Sadly we were wrong. Putin’s fragile ego has caused untold suffering to hundreds of thousands of people; most unforgiving is his callous disregard for children. To see hospitals and health centres being bombed, and the look of perpetual terror in innocent young eyes is heart-wrenching. Children deserve to grow up in a happy carefree world. To play and laugh and be children, not have cruise missiles rain down on them. This is simply unacceptable and will remain forever a blight on Russia. And yet the response from ordinary people to this butchery has been awe-inspiring. All across Europe people are reaching out to strangers, inviting them into their homes like they were family. Trucks loaded with food and other goods have left these shores in recent weeks, and despite our own domestic problems, the welcome the Ukrainian people have received in this country has been second to none. Here the government is talking about fast-tracking the building of new homes to deal with the expected influx of refugees. For this they are to be lauded, it’s just a pity such innovative thinking, following by swift action couldn’t also be evident in peace times. We stand in silent vigil at the immense bravery and courage of the Ukrainian people, in the face of such unprovoked aggression. And let us not forget the courageous Afghan girls too who are now being denied the basic right of an education. And education is a theme in this issue. The Junior and Leaving Certs can be a time of great anxiety for many young people, seen almost as an initiation rite to enter the world of adulthood. The governments latest plans for this years Leaving Cert comes under scrutiny on page (6), while elsewhere we weigh up the merits of same-sex versus coed schools; both models having a lot to offer. (32-3) And to complement that theme, our fiction section takes a compassionate look at that ritual in a family setting. (23) And turning to mental health, we look at an exciting project from Walk In My Shoes, along with a new initiative from Mental Health Ireland, (4) all about saying Hello. One simple word that can make such a difference to people. Elsewhere we welcome the return in physical form of perennials such as Darkness into Light (15), the Women’s Marathon (9), and Barretstown House (17), and acknowledge the outstanding work they, and others do. And we salute the Royal National Lifeboat Institute, and the Irish Underwater Search & Recovery, two organisations that save lives at sea, upon receiving awards (25). So even in this hellish nightmare the world has been plunged into we still find so much good, so many people making a difference. There is much kindness and goodness in humanity, and much to be proud of. So, however you celebrate Easter, if at all, we at News-Four would like to extend warm holiday greetings to you. We are all refugees in one way or another. And to those of you who find your way to our shores I know you will be greeted with that renowned Irish welcome, and hope that at last you recognise you’ve found somewhere you can call home.