Victim of 1970s Northern Ireland violence speaks on forgiveness

 Richard Moore, a man blinded by a rubber bullet in Derry, Northern Ireland in 1972, will be sharing his inspiring story with Westminster school students at a gathering organised by Pax Christi on 23 March.


Mr Moore, who was shot by a British soldier when he was just 10, went on to found Children in Crossfire to help other children across the world who are caught in conflict.

He said: "I have first hand experience of what it is like to have your whole life changed or affected by conflict. In the last 10 years Children in Crossfire has been working to improve the lives of young people right across the world. We have seen the difference that support and understanding can make,"

In 2007, Richard met the soldier responsible for the shooting. Richard said he did not want the meeting to be about "revisiting the evidence" about the circumstances of the shooting. "What I was doing was meeting a human being behind the gun that was fired at me."

"At least we agreed on the fact that I wasn't a rioter - because that was something that was very strong to me. I was a child going home from school, and it is important that the soldier accepted some bottom line as well. I felt that he and I - where we may not agree on everything - we have reached a common ground that both of us can live with."

The gathering will take place at St Pancras Parish Church, Euston Road between 10am and 12.30pm and will be introduced by Bruce Kent, Vice-President of Pax Christi.

Bruce Kent said: "Pax Christi is delighted to be able to offer this opportunity to young people who are exploring the meaning of forgiveness and reconciliation in their own lives. At a time with the Peace Process in Northern Ireland is being challenged by violent attacks from the Real IRA, it is important to be reminded of the consequences of violence and to hear of stories of healing and peacemaking."

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