Queens University Belfast – Compromise after Conflict
August 31, 2013 | Nick Taylor
The blog, Compromise after Conflict is based at Queen’s University Belfast & University of Aberdeen. Post conflict situations require us to examine our past and how we heal the emotions and hurt endured by victims as well as society as a whole. The blog publishes the thoughts os different writers and Compromise after Conflict welcome your comments on any of the postings and will consider articles for posting from academics, victims groups, politicians and other interested parties.
Our Founder, Colin Parry talks about his journey in the latest blog posting.
In memory of my son, Tim Parry
By Colin Parry 29/8/2013
Everything I do is in memory of Tim, my 12 year old son who was killed in 1993 by an IRA bomb in Warrington.
I have always striven to keep Tim’s name alive and make his life and his death count for something good and worthwhile, and I should add that despite the enormous pain of losing a bright and promising lad, I do not want vengeance and I do not expect justice.
What I do want is for the charity that my wife and I set up, the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation and the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Peace Centre, to outlive me and to continue long into the future providing support for others who have either suffered through violent conflict, whether as victims or perpetrators, or who are at risk of becoming victims or perpetrators.
My politics, my race and my faith, such as it is, do not steer the direction of my Foundation, which takes no side in these matters, but merely serves as best it can, the cause of peace building and of improving the prospects of reconciliation between people who are deeply divided in their beliefs and their causes.
People have often assumed that I have forgiven the IRA and their members who planted the bomb which took my son’s life, but I have not forgiven them and doubt that I ever will. Nevertheless for me to have created a Peace Foundation and lay down its fundamental guiding principles, I have had to better understand what leads to extreme violence in pursuit of political goals.
To this end, I have met and listened to people who took up arms in pursuit of their political goals, and in doing so, I have gained an insight into how their determination to overturn what they see as an injustice, has led them to believe that the use of armed force is justified.
My very personal journey has caused me to reassess certain intrinsically held beliefs about my country, its history and its relationship with Ireland and its peoples across many generations. It has caused me to stand back and see that history in a more balanced way and to recognise wrongs committed by intent, or omission by Britain, both in and with Ireland.
I have talked to former members of the IRA and its leadership and had to question my motives for doing so. I have been criticised by some people for doing what I do and I have been called a traitor to my son, and been told he will turning in his grave!!
This then is my journey; it involves compromise; it causes me to have doubts and moments of self reflection which can be deeply uncomfortable; but it is the right journey / the only journey; it keeps my son alive and has kept my family together when it would have been so easy to have been blown to the four winds