Belfast Telegraph

Our deep pain, by those who lost parents in Northern Ireland's Troubles

Victims' group launches audio interviews

By Suzanne Breen

The largest cross-community victims' group in Northern Ireland has launched a series of powerful audio interviews with people who lost a parent during the Troubles.

In Stories From Silence, 18 victims from across the religious and political divide tell how their lives were changed forever when their father or mother was murdered.

One of those interviewed, Stella Robinson, lost both her parents in the 1987 Enniskillen bomb.

Most of the interviewees were children when their parent died.

Paul Anthony Bridgewater's mother was six months' pregnant with him when his father was killed in the IRA's 1974 Birmingham pub bombings.

Paul's mother was plunged into a crisis, which led her to attempt to take her own life shortly after he was born.

The interviews were carried out for the Wave Trauma Centre by award-winning journalist and author Susan McKay.

"These recordings give a moving sense of the enormous loss that haunts the lives of those bereaved in the Northern Ireland conflict," she said.

"The poet Philip Larkin wrote: 'What will survive of us is love'.

"We are profoundly grateful to those who were willing to share their stories.

"Their courage and resilience shines through."

Kids who lost parents in the Troubles tell of their agony 'Dad took his last breath with a boulder across his chest' 'It's all about the truth now, as there will be no justice' 'We lived beside the cemetery and I used to go to the grave and lie on it every day'

Alan McBride of Wave said: "Victims and survivors are told by politicians almost daily that their needs must be at the centre of any attempt to take us forward.

"But the reality is that they have seen precious little acknowledgement of what happened to them and the effect it had.

"These powerful testimonies literally give victims and survivors a voice to reaffirm their humanity."

Belfast Telegraph

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