Alan’s father, Trevor, was killed along with two other people in December 1975 in a gun and bomb attack on a bar in Silverbridge, Co. Armagh.
When asked what motivated him to join the Forum, Alan said:
“I have been working with and for victims and survivors for the last 15 years and I have gained a lot of experience dealing with the issues that affect them. I’d like to do all I can to help people live with what has happened to them. They may never get over it but they can learn to live lives that are as fulfilling as possible.”
Alan described what he can bring to the Forum:
“My experience of working with victims and survivors, including being the Co-Chair of the Southern Region Trauma Advisory Panel, has helped me look beyond my own trauma and to see how the conflict has affected others,” Alan said.
He hopes that the Forum will address some of the many outstanding issues that affect victims and survivors, such as legacy, pensions for the severely injured and ensuring access to good quality, appropriate services for those in need.
“I feel that we have to have an open and honest discussion with society as to what is achievable in relation to legacy, given that over half the deaths attributable to the conflict happened more than 40 years ago. We need to understand what is possible given the passage of time,” he said.
Looking ahead, Alan hopes that by the time he has served his full term as a Forum member, the outstanding issues such as legacy will be dealt with. He also hopes that those who need a pension and /or appropriate services will receive what they need.