Healing Through Remembering is a diverse member-led organisation working on how to deal with the legacy of the past as it relates to the conflict in and about Northern Ireland. It is a voluntary initiative whose purpose is to provide as much opportunity and learning as possible in order to inform broader debate about dealing with the legacy of the conflict.
In 1999, Dr Alex Boraine, Deputy Chair of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), visited Northern Ireland at the invitation of Victim Support Northern Ireland and the Northern Ireland Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders (NIACRO).
He consulted with 61 groups and individuals to discuss the lessons and experience of the TRC, and to consider any bearing they might have on the conflict in Northern Ireland.
His visit resulted in a report, All Truth is Bitter, launched in 2000, recommending that wide-ranging discussion should explore and debate ways of examining the past and remembering so as to build a better future.
The Healing Through Remembering Project was established in 2001, and undertook broad public consultation around the primary question:
All Truth is Bitter launch
How should people remember the events connected with the conflict in and about Northern Ireland and in so doing, individually and collectively contribute to the healing of the wounds of society?
Launch of 2002 HTR Report
A total of 108 submissions were received from individuals, groups and organisations.
Encouraged by the number of people who endorsed the value of remembering and the many who spoke of the importance of finding ways to move society forward, the Board felt they had a responsibility not only to reflect what was said but also to help chart a way forward.
In 2002, The Report of the Healing Through Remembering Project captured the wide ranging issues that emerged during this consultation. It made six recommendations, which included that work be done on the following five areas:
The sixth recommendation was to establish the Healing Through Remembering Initiative to carry out discussions and work in those five areas.
In October 2003 Healing Through Remembering became a limited company and independent funding was sourced to allow the Initiative to begin formally working on the further discussions on the 2002 Report’s recommendations.
In August 2004 five Sub Groups were formed and met for the first time. Each Sub Group addressed its own diverse membership, discussing and debating the issues around each of the recommendations made in the 2002 Report. The Sub Groups identified areas of work to enable further discussion on their particular topic. In light of their work and their discussions a number of projects were undertaken to further each recommendation. For more details on each of the Sub Groups and how their work has evolved, visit Themes of Work.
Healing Through Remembering is a membership organisation and it is growing. Additionally, there are participants in the work of Healing Through Remembering who are not members. For more information on becoming part of Healing Through Remembering, visit Get Involved.
2002 Project Board
The Healing Through Remembering logo featuring an illustration of a whin, gorse or furze (depending on your location) has raised many a question given the bright yellow plant’s contemporary reputation as little better than a troublesome weed.
However, after the bleakness of winter, this commonly occurring plant clothes the hillsides with a welcome blanket of headily scented yellow flowers. It is one of the first flowering plants of the Spring, with most bushes in full bloom by April. Apart from its welcome yellow flowers in early Spring the plant has also served these islands well in past years.
A full history of the plant and its versatile role can be found in a little 1960’s book, ‘Furze’, compiled by Dr AT Lucas and published for National Museum of Ireland by The Stationery Office, Dublin, (1960).