If your actions result in someone else getting hurt, then you need to own their pain. If you can vote you can hardly claim diminished responsibility. What actually happened was that the witnesses massaging their memories of the events and the families of the accused lawyered up and did everything they could to prevent their boys suffering any inconvenient consequences for their behaviour. Eventually one chap was sentenced to four years for manslaughter and two others were convicted for violent disorder. Even those sentences were quashed on appeal. Those involved protested when Power's book brought all the events back into focus when raw memories were beginning to scab over.
But here's the thing; on the way up to the castle I leaned out over the wall over the bit of a beach, looking for buoys, and saw a tinplate sign fixed to the sea-wall promoting the Samaritans. Feeling crap? phone this number, we're here for you, we will listen. [I paraphrase]. It seemed a peculiar place to put a sign where the only person likely to see it is a deckhand (with binoculars) on one of the container ships passing up-river to the port. On the other side of the wall, where every passing car and pedestrian can see it, is a discrete in memoriam sign for a young chap who died at the age of 26 a few years ago. Surely there is a relationship. Is that sheltered and secluded bit of scrubby beach, with a view of the river as a metaphor for the wide and impossibly distant world, the place where the young chap decided to end his pain? Was his pain made worse by an uncaring, competitive peer group that didn't include him in their