A MESSAGE FROM OUR CHAIRMAN
It is more than forty years since a terrorist attack, universally known as The Miami Showband Massacre, irrevocably changed my life. Since then, I have visited troubled parts of the world and spoken at international conferences on the needs and concerns of victims of terrorism. Having addressed radicalisation awareness conventions and organisations across Europe that study the cause, effect and prevention of terrorism, I am convinced, now more than ever, that there is not a more efficient deterrent to violence, a more effective antidote to radicalisation or a more valuable instrument of reconciliation than the testimony of the victim.
Great progress has been made in bringing peace to the island of Ireland but, sadly, true reconciliation on which genuine and lasting peace depends, continues to elude us. Nevertheless, Truth and Reconciliation Platform (TaRP), the organisation I founded with my friend and colleague, Eugene Reavey (who lost three brothers to a senseless sectarian act in 1976), will, hopefully, fit the final piece to the jigsaw.
Truth and Reconciliation Platform was established to give victims, regardless of their political, religious or cultural background, an opportunity to speak for themselves; to tell their own story – in their own words – so that the terrible consequences of political violence will never be forgotten and the mistakes of the past will never be repeated.
Today in Northern Ireland, the politics of suspicion and division are once again gathering for the perfect storm which can quickly convert public anger to violence. Our organisation is already playing an important role in defusing such anger. However, real testimony by real people about the consequences of such violence must be heard not only in the north but throughout Ireland if we are to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past. The doctrine of violence as an instrument of change must be exposed for the folly that it is. Our new online peace centre, The Miami Showband Peace Centre, allows us to share such testimony in order to do just that.
TaRP ONLINE EVENTS
The first TaRP events attracted live audiences of around 100 to 200 people. The intention was to expand to fill larger venues across the island of Ireland and beyond, presenting testimony and discourse from a broad spectrum of witnesses and panelists. Thanks to the power of online media, over the past four years Truth and Reconciliation Platform has been able to share its message of reconciliation to hundreds of millions of people all over the world, through first-hand testimonies of real victims of terrorism. TaRP now attracts and influences a global audience which continues to grow exponentially.
Contact The Miami Showband Peace Centre to discuss the feasibility of presenting a TaRP event for your constituency anywhere in the world.
Below is a typical TaRP event format, but events can be tailored to the requirements of the host.
- Chairman’s Introduction (max 3 minutes)
- Witness A reads a prepared Witness Impact Statement (max 8 minutes)
- Witness B reads a prepared Witness Impact Statement (max 8 minutes)
- Panellist A comments on testimonies in context of question/topic (max 5 minutes)
- Panellist B comments on testimonies in context of question/topic (max 5 minutes)
- Online audience (or pre-submitted) Q&A with Witnesses and Panellists (max 14 minutes )
- Chairman‘s Closing Remarks (2 minutes)
Total event time = max 45 minutes
To ensure that every victim is not just heard but also listened to, Truth and Reconciliation Platform requires funding. The cost of each presentation is considerable but worth every penny to witness ancient barriers come down and old enemies reconcile. You can help us to build a safer, more peaceful and tolerant future for everyone by contributing to the ongoing work of Truth and Reconciliation Platform.
Please support the essential, ongoing work of Truth and Reconciliation Platform (registered Charity number NIC106763) by donating below.
TaRP’s work is assisted by: