EAMONN: Most of us have gasped and hung our heads in shame at how people in Afghanista­n have been left at the mercy of the Taliban. When someone holds on to the wheels of an aeroplane as it climbs to 30,000ft, in the hope of escape, that tells you all you need to know about their desperatio­n. In my own small way, I remember as a child in Northern Ireland hearing calls from some people on the British mainland, saying, ‘ Why are our soldiers dying? Why don’t we pull out and leave them to fight among themselves?’ I understand the sentiment – but I also remember how scared people were who weren’t extremists, and who would have been left defenceles­s, caught in the middle.

Eamonn: ‘I remember how scared people were who weren’t extremists’

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