The story of how the charity came to be is remarkable. Wendy Parry, mother of Tim, visited Northern Ireland shortly after her 12 year old son was killed, not full of anger, but full of drive. She met with women who supported the IRA. Poignantly, they laid flowers on the floor for her loss and told her that this bombing had most definitely not been done in their name.
Wendy - and her husband Colin - wanted to make something positive happen in order that Tim’s death was not in vain. She explains, on the Peace Foundation website:
“The Foundation was launched in 1995 from the spare bedroom (Tim’s bedroom) at our house.
Tim’s death was a difficult time for the family but the determination to keep his memory and name alive has helped us to deal with the loss of our beautiful and cheeky second child. The death of any child is the most painful loss to bear for any family in any circumstances but Tim was killed by a terrorist bomb, making it a political act which attracted enormous publicity and public outrage throughout Britain and Ireland.
Consequently, Tim and our family became public figures for a very long time through TV, Radio and the Press. Constant media attention meant that Colin and I were very busy in the days, weeks and months that followed Tim’s death but it helped to take our minds and focus, to some extent, off the raw pain of losing Tim.
The Foundation’s first programme was called ‘the Tim Parry Scholarship’, and it helped young people from Warrington, Dublin and Belfast to learn about each other’s’ lives, hopes and fears, and through this programme, they came to see that that there was very little difference between them in terms of things they liked and disliked as young people.
The end product was that they became friends who remained in touch with each other after the programme ended.”
I’m sure I’m not the only delegate there who was moved by the actions which gave birth to a designated centre for peace and a desire for collaboration and understanding.
Many of us will remember the Troubles, and the chain of events in Warrington in 1993, and elsewhere, across England. Indeed, my wife tells of a time when she was waitressing as a student in a hotel in Oxford and how everyone had to evacuate because of an IRA ‘bomb-threat’ call to The Samaritans. Such calls were remarkably commonplace.
The 1993 bomb in Warrington was far from commonplace. The film which follows details what happened there and then. The fact remains that although the terror has changed name and reason, it has not gone away. Tim’s father, Colin, talks about more recent global developments in the latter part of this film.