RESIDENTS of Rathfriland and Banbridge district have taken the courageous decision to venture down the painful avenue of revisiting The Troubles to pen a book of their experiences.

For the past year members of TEAR (Together, Encouraging and Remembering) in Rathfriland who meet up once a month, have been busy putting pen to paper recording their stories of losing and caring for loved ones following the ongoing cycle of heartache caused by the war.
 
 
The end result will be a compilation of memories which will form a book aimed at enlightening future generations of Northern Ireland's flawed history. A spokesperson for TEAR commented: "Over the years there have been various stories about The Troubles. With this book we want to cement the history in the minds of future generations."  They continued: "WAVE Co-ordinator Alan McBride is helping us bring the book to fruition and once formed it will also contain pictures, poems written by children and a five minute CD chartering victims' stories.  “It's also a therapy in itself for the people who have suffered tragedy." Among the people to record their story is John Bell whose father worked as an RUC Reserve and was murdered in 1985; Samuel Heenan whose father was also murdered in 1985; Hilary Hamilton whose husband, a Newry Council worker at the time, was shot and is still today suffering the repercussions.  A girl, who now lives in England, whose uncle survived a bomb attack, has penned two poems.  The book will be funded by benefactor of TEAR, the Community Relations Council.

The WAVE trauma centre helps bereaved or traumatised people from all denominations affected by The Troubles.  A weekly drop-in centre in the McGrath Centre in Newry is available and you contact the centre on: 028 3751 1599.