As part of this year’s Gasyard Feile, a panel discussion will take place at the Nerve Centre Magazine Street Derry, tomorrow night, Thursday, August 14 2014 at 7.30pm.
The topic on the night will be: “We will have a sustainable peace in Ireland when we cherish our children more than we value our past.”
Guest speakers Brian Dougherty, Dr Lesley Carroll, Padraig MacLochlainn TD and Chaired by Paul OConnor Pat Finucane Centre with audience response and discussion to follow.
The Feile would like the panel and audience to consider some or all of the questions below as prompts for the discussion. This topic has been on the table for quite a while and some would argue it may never be dealt with but Feile hopes that this might be the beginning of some new and imaginative thinking on the topic.
Q. Is it possible to accommodate the expectations of many Victims & Survivors? i.e Truth, prosecutions, jail terms etc.
Q. Is it conceivable that the objective of an ‘Agreed Future’ can be achieved unless all protagonists publically accept and express remorse for the consequences of their decisions and actions in the past?
Q. What necessary conditions would be required that all protagonists would agree to and all (or a significant majority) of Victims & Survivors would accept? Would repudiation of allegiances be necessary or achievable?
Q. Is such a process of conflict resolution and community reconciliation possible unless all protagonists agree to participate?
Rev. Dr. Lesley Carroll is minister at Fortwilliam & Macrory Presbyterian Church. She has worked in the North Belfast community for over 25 years, in and between divided communities, focussing on restorative justice, relationship and peace building. She was a member of the Consultative Group on Dealing with the Past which reported in 2009 and an Associate member of the Victims and Survivors Forum, March 2012-March 2014.
Brian Dougherty is the current director of St Columbs Park House in Derry has been working in the community and voluntary sector for over twenty years. He has been a member of the Policing Board and served on the Board of City of Culture 2013.
Pádraig Mac Lochlainn is Sinn Féin’s 26 County spokesperson on Justice, Equality and Defence and is Chairperson of the Oireachtas Public Services Oversight and Petitions Committee. Prior to being elected to the Dáil in Febuary 2011, he had served for many years onDonegal County Council and Buncrana Town Council.
Paul OConnor has worked at the PFC since its inception in 1993 and was also one of the founder members of the Bloody Sunday Initiative.