Individual Accounts of Peace Process To Be Recorded for History Project

Posted on: 15 November 2011

A new research project will offer training to community and voluntary groups across border towns in Northern Ireland to help local people accurately record their own stories of conflict and peace.  The oral history project is the second strand of the Peace Process, Layers of Meaning project, a €1.1m three year initiative that aims to capture accounts and recollections from every sector of society, documenting the challenges of the past for future generations.  The inter-institutional project is being run by researchers at Trinity College Dublin in association with Queen Mary, University of London and Dundalk Institute of Technology.   

Speaking about the initiative, research fellow at Trinity’s Centre for Contemporary Irish  History  and Project Co-Director, Dr Anna Bryson said: “Anyone who has lived through the challenging and difficult years of the conflict and through attempts to resolve it has important memories. What we want to pass on are the skills accurately to record these accounts, and thus to recover a deeper and truer understanding of critical events that affected individuals, communities and almost every part of ordinary life.  Building on several years experience of similar projects, we are acutely aware of the sensitivity of what we are doing.  Ethics, legality, confidentiality, security and, above all, respect for interviewees are at the heart of our work.”

Supported by the EU’s PEACE III programme, the project collaborators believe there are hundreds of untold stories about the peace process waiting to be recorded.  The oral history training programme will take the form of a series of workshops and seminars at Queen Mary, University of London, and at Dundalk Institute of Technology.  An Information Evening is scheduled for 23rd November at 7.30 pm at Dundalk Institute of Technology, Dublin Road, Dundalk, Co Louth.  If you would like to attend, please contact Margaret Andrews, Project Manager (Room S229) by email: or telephone: 00 353 (0)42 937 0420. The project aims to establish a critical mass of people capable of initiating, costing and completing oral history projects within their communities, organisations or workplaces.

This training forms part of a wider project that has already begun to collect and archive one hundred heritage interviews with key peacemakers. These include senior political figures, victims and survivors, civil servants, community and religious leaders, people in business and others involved in various attempts at conciliation over the last forty years or so.

The project has also established the LOMOND directory, a substantial online directory that draws together interviews relating to the Peace Process. The LOMOND directory was launched by the Northern Ireland First and deputy First Ministers at a reception at Stormont earlier this year. It provides access to much of the valuable work that has gone before and is intended as a first port of call for citizens, academics, policy-makers, journalists and anyone with an interest in the conflict and its resolution.