A massive project recording the accounts of people involved in the decades of violence and the continuing search for reconciliation in Northern Ireland has been launched at the Northern Ireland Assembly.
The project will record the experiences of key figures from the Troubles and the Peace Process. It will also see pilot scheme recording the experiences of these in the border areas.
“We are recording key witnesses to the most traumatic and significant events in Anglo-Irish history,” Anna Bryson, the project’s co-director told the Press Association. “This is urgent and important work because many of these people are old and frail. It would be a major loss to our national heritage if their voices were not to be heard."
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The aim of the project is to capture the voices of the Troubles at every strata of society. The will record people who can speak authentically about the challenges of the past. They emphasized that the interviews will not be confined to the corridors of power.
Bryson said “We want also to engage with those who were involved in culture, health, education and community relations at various levels…Many of these people were once household names who have now long since been forgotten."
The project will include two main sections. Firstly the collection of 100 interviews with key figures in peace and reconciliation over the past 40 years. The second will be to train and equip local people in the border areas to collect their own stories about conflict and peace.
The Lomond online directory of these recordings will be established as part of a $1.55 million (£700,000) initiative funded by the European Union.
Peter Robinson, First Minister of Northern Ireland recently spoke about the importance of “story telling” to help cope with the aftermath of the Troubles. He unveiled the new research with First Minister Martin McGuinness at Parliament Buildings.
First Minister Peter Robinson, who recently spoke of the importance of "story telling" to help cope with the legacy of the Troubles, unveiled the new research with deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness at Parliament Buildings.
The Peace Process: Layers Of Meaning project has developed this project which is a three year initiative. It will be led by researchers at Queens Mary, University of London, in association with Trinity College Dublin and Dundalk Institute of Technology.