Paul’s father John McCormac, a civil servant, was in west Belfast when he was shot seven times. He lived for two days and died on his 30th birthday on 14th May 1973. The shooting was the first claimed by the UFF. In 1985, Paul’s uncle Hugh McCormac, a Sergeant instructor with the RUC, was shot dead by the IRA.
Paul described his reasons for joining the Forum:
“I recently became aware of the good work of the Commissioner and the Forum and decided this was the right platform and time for me to get involved. I have suffered personal loss at the hands of both republican and loyalist violence. While growing up in Portadown I witnessed sectarianism and violence at the hands of both communities as well as the security forces. I am able to reason that this was part of a conflict and the story is not just one-sided. I can show empathy with both sides who suffered, while trying to find common ground. I want to bring positivity to the Forum, and a willingness to look ahead and move things forward”
“I hope to represent and be a voice for my late father, my late uncle and the other members of my family whose voice has never been heard, as well as trying to listen to and speak for the silent majority of those affected by the Troubles. I wish to ensure that the legacy of the Troubles is dealt with in a fair, equitable and respectful manner, but that it is also timely in its delivery. I wish to ensure that victims and survivors are at the centre of dealing with the past, and I hope that proposals like the pension for those injured are put in place.”
Looking to the future, Paul described his aspirations for the Forum:
“I would hope that we will see the successful completion of the implementation of the Stormont House Agreement. I hope that proposals we have helped shape will be up and running, and that difficult decisions around issues like the pension scheme will be agreed and implemented.”