Children in Crossfire founder Richard Moore has been named as the recipient of the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award at the Derry Journal People of the Year Awards.
In 1972, aged 10, whilst on his way home from school in Derry, Richard Moore was blinded by a rubber bullet. Amazingly, from childhood to the present day, he has never allowed bitterness to stunt his development.
In 2005, 33 years after he was shot, Richard met Charles, the British soldier who blinded him and the two are now good friends. A native of ‘the Creggan’ in Derry, from a family of 12, Richard married Rita in 1984 and they have two daughters Niamh and Enya. After university, Richard went into the family business and ran two pubs in the centre of Derry. Music has always been a big part of his life; Richard learnt the guitar shortly after he was shot and within a short space of time he was playing in local bands. In 1980 Richard and Rita set up the Long Tower Folk Group which is still going today. As well as once having his own recording studio, in 2009 Richard set up Derry’s first community based radio station, Drive 105. In 1996, he felt the need to harness all that he had learned, and put it at the service of humanity, particularly children around the world who have been caught in the crossfire of poverty.
The story of Children in Crossfire has its roots in what began as a tragedy and ended as a triumph of the human spirit to overcome adversity.
Since 1996 Children in Crossfire has supported projects in Africa, Asia and South America and today works in Tanzania and Ethiopia focusing on Early Childhood Education as well as delivering Development Education in Ireland. The Dalai Lama has described Richard as his “hero and a wonderful son of humanity”.
In 2009 Richard published his autobiography ‘Can I Give Him My Eyes’.
Richard’s been recognised for his achievements. These include the Harry McKillop ‘Irish Spirit Award’ for his humanitarianism in 2008. The Beacon Special Prize (the Nobel Prize of the charity world) in 2008 for founding Children in Crossfire. An honorary degree of Doctors of Laws in 2011 from University of Ulster for his services to reconciliation and children’s rights.
He was ‘Person of the Year’ 2012 at the iBAM Festival, Chicago recognising his outstanding contribution to Irish American culture and the ‘Exemplar of Love and Forgiveness’ in 2013 from the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University, Virginia and the Albert Schweitzer’s Leadership for Life Award in 2018.