Children in Crossfire founder Richard Moore has spoken of the importance of the child victims of the Troubles at the launch of a new book recalling all 186 children who lost their lives.
Mr Moore spoke at the Derry launch of acclaimed new book ‘Children of the Troubles’ by Irish Times northern correspondent Freya McClements and veteran RTE broadcaster Joe Duffy in the Guildhall on Tuesday night.
The families of some of the children whose short lives are featured in the books were among those who attended the launch.
Mr Moore said he was humbled to be asked to launch the book in his native city, and spoke of the impact being blinded by a soldier’s bullet as a child has had on him and his family.
“I can’t deny that I am a victim of the Conflict,” he said.
“I can remember after I was shot in the hospital and my mammy used to kneel beside my bed at night - she thought I was sleeping -she’d say a prayer and then she would break down and cry and start pleading with God to give me back my eyesight. She’d say things like, ‘Look at him God, he’s only a 10-year-old boy, please give him back his eyesight’.
Mr Moore went on to describe how the life-long injuries he suffered as a child had impacted on his parents, siblings and the wider family as well as himself.
Despite being a positive person, Richard said that “throughout my life I will always be dealing with blindness, I will always be dealing with the consequences”.
He said there were pivotal moments in life where everything came back to him, and he was sure the families gathered in the Guildhall also experienced that. “That’s the legacy of war... and we all have to ask the question, is it worth it? it certainly wasn’t worth it for me, or for my mammy and daddy and my brothers and sisters,” he said.
Mr Moore said however you had to find the positive, and he had found the positive in surviving because of the family he had and support from his friends.
Speaking about the new book, Mr Moore said: “It’s very important that we never forget these children; it’s very important that we never forget the futility of war.
“I think Joe, Freya and the families, you should be very proud of this book. You have ensured that these children will never be forgotten.”
Also speaking at the launch, Joe Duffy and Freya McClements expressed their gratitude to the families who had lost their children during the Conflict and who had shared their stories.