We are determined that we will have a future given what we have endured in the past to secure our existence.
Our views and voices must be listened to and our experiences respected if we are to forge a genuine peace in South Armagh. We are the people whose bodies and lives have been shattered. We are a constant reminder of the ethnic cleansing and genocide that has taken place. Our aim is to ensure that the great sacrifice of the Unionist Community in South Armagh will never be forgotten.
We plan to create a permanent centre of Rememberance which will incorporate many facets to ensure that we can regain our dignity and begin the long road to recovery. The world needs to be able to visit, hear and understand what it is like to be a Unionist in South Armagh and what price that has been paid by the Unionist community. This has not been a colonial war, as protrayed by the Republican Movement, but it has resulted in the Unionist community decimated by fear, murder and evil without any moral justification.
Innocent Protestants and Roman Catholics have been slain in order that Republicans could
pursue a ruthless and relentless terrorist campaign. It is the responsibility of
FAIR to ensure the truth is uncovered and to pave the way for both Protestants and
Roman Catholics to live in perfect harmony in South Armagh.
Despite that the fact that the members of FAIR have suffered quite appalling experiences at the hands of terrorists, the outlook for much of the group is largely a very positive one. The traumatic effects of terrorism have long taken their toll on many of the members, something which has greatly damaged family life, financial well being, and caused numerous personal and social problems. As an organisation we have sought to address these problems on a number of fronts, and we feel that progress is being made, although it seemed slow at the start. People are gradually gaining confidence to move beyond the current state they are in, so that they can engage properly in society.
Currently there is a large increase in the numbers making use of our services. Group membership has also been increasing steadily over the past months, to an extent now that the workload being done by the group is excessive with insufficient staff to handle the array of things that require attention. Of course such a problem is a very positive one, and the overall growth and achievement of the group has been cause for great encouragement, both in our own area and across the sector. We believe that by continuing the consistent and principle path the group has trodden so far - refusing to be bought by government schemes that will only serve to set victims back rather than bring them on, that even more substantial progress can be made in the future.
HELP US FULFIL OUR DREAM
We see the building of trust in our communities as being the way forward. Fear of Republican violence and intimidation is still present among ordinary Protestants and Catholics in South Armagh. Currently everything is geared toward the Republicans with Victims groups not being listened to. We feel the government and media must start listening to the people who have suffered - what it is they want and how they can rebuild their lives.
As a Protestant who has had 5 members of my own family murdered, I have no problem with ordinary Roman Catholics, but with the Republican movement who has ridden on their backs for 30 years. If the victims issue is not addressed properly what real hope is there for reconciliation. Our children have witnessed the murder of friends and loved ones, without seeing any justice. As a community that believe in law and order, perhaps a centre which will remember their loved ones will allow the true story to be told. They will know their names will not be forgotten.
HELP US TELL THE TRUTH