What does Melanie's killing say about us?
THE shooting dead of 16-year-old Melanie McCarthy-McNamara in Tallaght is both deeply shocking and tragic.
The innocent teenager was sitting in a parked car with three others when she was hit last night with a shotgun blast fired from a passing car.
Despite the best efforts of the emergency services and doctors at Tallaght Hospital, she died some hours afterward in the early hours of the morning.
This was a young woman who was just two weeks away from celebrating her 17th birthday. But today she lies dead in Tallaght Hospital mortuary.
The savage killing has left us asking how such a thing can happen in our society today.
Violent crime has sadly become a regular occurrence in this country, but the nature of this killing is truly distressing, particularly because of Melanie's age and the fact that she was an innocent young woman.
This is not something, in their worst nightmare, that any parent would ever have expected to happen to their teenage daughter.
As such, it raises grave questions about where Irish society is headed.
That will be debated in the coming days, but our hearts go out to Melanie's devastated family this evening. The extent of their loss is immeasurable.
The gardai have set up an incident room, and anybody with information should contact them immediately.
This is a vile crime perpetrated on a young woman. The perpetrators must be brought to justice.