A NEW book highlighting the impact of Republican terrorism on members of the local community is being launched in Rathfriland on Friday night.

Tears and Memories is a compilation of personal and poignant stories of the affects of terrorist violence on 12 members of Rathfriland-based victims' group TEAR - Together Encouraging and Remembering Victims of the Troubles. Each of those who relate their 'tears and memories' have a connection to security force families who, for over 30 years, had to endure a sustained Republic campaign of terror.  This has left both mental and physical scares and all too often the death of a loved one. Tears and Memories recounts the strength, courage and resolve shown by these families and tells of how they coped during their darkest days.  A spokesperson for TEAR said: "At times is can seem that people in Northern Ireland are so eager to move on and embrace a peaceful society that they forget the sacrifices that were made.  “The pain and hurt of victims is still felt today. TEAR believe that this book will act as a lasting memorial to the sacrifices that were made during The Troubles in Northern Ireland and become a legacy for future generations.

 “Copies of Tears and Memories will be placed in local libraries and schools so that everyone will be able to learn of the atrocities that Republican terrorists inflicted on our society."  Prior to Friday's launch - which is by invitation only - the book is being promoted by TEAR Chairperson Hilary Hamilton and her husband Sammy. Both tell their stories in the book. This relates to an attempt on Sammy's life on 17 November 1981.  Sammy said: "To date, no-one had been charged with my shooting. I still suffer a lot of pain, but I am grateful to God for sparing my life and I know that the evil men and women of terrorist organisations will have to meet their maker at the end of the day. I will let God be their judge." Hilary also gives her account of that awful day when their lives were changed forever. She has commended all those who have written and recorded their stories, as Tears and Memories is also available in CD format as well.  She said: "TEAR are fully aware that the book and CD recalls the stories of group members only and, sadly, there are many more individuals and families who suffered as a result of our troubled past whose stories remain untold. “This was a big project for a small house group such as TEAR to take on, but we feel the book reflects tears and memories of the past and demonstrates the strength and resolve shown by victims during their darkest days."

The project was funded by the Community Relations Council.