Introduction to the Project
Seán McConville and Anna Bryson started out with a proposal to create a heritage archive of one hundred interviews on the peace process and to produce a short narrative history of the process of conflict resolution. In consultation with the Consortium responsible for administering the funding (Pobal and the Community Relations Council) and with numerous historical and community organisations, this developed into a much more complex hybrid programme of work. In particular, we came to see how we might provide important and constructive opportunities to disseminate oral history and social research skills through a number of agencies in the border region.
By stimulating community level interest and by constructing practical and self-sustaining programmes to preserve the experiences and voices of ordinary men and women who have lived through troubled times, an important and instructive national and international tool may be developed and passed on. These projects and their methods will speak across the generations, to supplement, modify and correct history seen only or substantially as high politics.
Reach of the Project
A key reason for our success in securing funding (this was the only project to be supported under the EU's PEACE III Strand 1.2 in June 2010) was our ability to demonstrate that we could deal with organisations and individuals across a spectrum of enmity and antipathy (from former Secretaries of State for Northern Ireland and former Ministers of Justice in the Republic of Ireland, to paramilitaries of various hues and affiliations, victims, and those who were simply onlookers).