This Summer local teens, Rebecca Beacom (from Maguiresbridge) Zara Ferguson (from Derrygonnelly) and Alex Kernaghan (from Ballinamallard) will represent South East Fermanagh Foundation at a Global Peacebuilding Conference organised via the Tuesday’s Children organisation and its’ Project Common Bond Programme. Ellie Heenan from Rathfriland will make up SEFF’s quartet of young people attending the Conference.
Those representing SEFF will be part of an International grouping of young people whose families’ lives have been directly affected by Terrorism.
The Conference will be held at Colby College in Waterville, Maine over the period; July 22nd – July 30th 2017.
The Tuesday’s Children organisation was founded to provide support and services for the children of 9/11 and others affected by Global terrorism organised the event through its’ Project Common Bond Programme.
Rebecca’s Grandfather Albert Beacom was murdered by the IRA on 17th November 1981. Albert was 44-years-old, married with 5 children, a farmer and a part-time member of the UDR holding the rank of Corporal and was from Boyhill, Maguiresbridge.
CPL. Beacom had just returned to his home after leaving his 2 young sons at a Boys Brigade meeting in Brookborough. He left his farm with his 2 boys about a half hour earlier and when her returned, he got out of his car and walked across his farmyard to switch on a pump. Two gunmen ambushed him and shot him 5 times. His wife (Essie) ran out and found her husband dying. He was taken to the Erne Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Zara’s Uncle Alan Ferguson was murdered on 25th June 1
978 aged just 23 years. Alan was single at the time of his death, and was a part-time member of the UDR holding the rank of Private, having joined the Regiment on 4th September 1973.
Alan was murdered by IRA terrorists in an attack near Scribbagh post office, Garrison. Other families within the area were systematically targeted and displaced from the area in a campaign of ethnic cleansing.
Alex’s Grandfather Herbie Kernaghan who was a part-time member of the Ulster Defence Regiment who was murdered by the IRA on 15th October 1979 when making his morning delivery of fruit and vegetables to a Primary School in Rosslea.
Herbie was a devoted family man, married to Sylvia (deceased February 2014) and at the time of his murder they had three children, Deborah (aged 10), Gary (aged 8) and Gordon (aged 6). His fourth child, a son was born on October 29 1979, just two weeks after his murder; he was called Herbert after his father. Herbie joined the UDR upon its formation in 1970. Click here to find out what Project Common Bond means for Alex.
Ellie’s Grandfather William Heenan (aged 51 years) was murdered on 3rd May 1985 by PIRA at his own home in a rural Townland located outside Rathfriland when he was on his way to feed livestock. William was a Protestant civilian.
Samuel (Ellie’s father) was the only child and at the time lived alone with his father having previously lost both his mother and grandmother in tragic circumstances. Click here to find out what Project Common Bond means for Ellie.
Kenny Donaldson, Director of Services for South East Fermanagh Foundation commented: “SEFF are honoured to be sending four young women to this year’s PCB Conference taking place in Waterville, Maine. Three of the young women are Fermanagh lassies and the fourth is from Rathfriland, Country Down”.
“SEFF encourages families and individuals connected with our organisation to build networks with others who come from similar backgrounds and experiences (irrespective of where they are located in the World) Together we are stronger”.
“Our participants have made a short Film in advance of attending this year’s Conference which they will be bringing with them, in-so-doing educating others from across the World as to the Truth of what happened in Northern Ireland and particularly the experiences of borderland Protestants in County Fermanagh who were murdered via a brutal PIRA campaign of ethnic cleansing”.
“The Conference will also examine how genuine and sustainable Peace can be built within and between our peoples of the World; we trust that our SEFF reps come back equipped with a set of skills and learning which will equip them to be leaders within the community in the times that lie ahead”.
Mr Donaldson concluded: “SEFF are clear that the use of terrorism and criminal violence in the furtherance of or defence of a so-called political objective cannot ever be justified whether that violence is perpetrated by Republican or Loyalist terrorists or individual members of the security forces who criminally breach the code. This message of consistency must be conveyed within public policy. Finally there must be recognition for those who refused to pull triggers or detonate bombs, who refused to bring to another’s door that which had been brought to theirs’ – these individuals are victims and survivors not those who created their circumstances,” concluded Mr Donaldson.
For further info, please contact: Kenny Donaldson on: 028 677 23884 or 07900882770