Jobs cut at Healing Through Remembering voluntary group

Fundraisers at Bow Street
Fundraisers at Bow Street

A voluntary group dealing with the toxic legacy of Northern Ireland violence is to shed jobs and cut back work because of funding problems.

Healing Through Remembering (HTR) has organised workshops, international study visits and exhibitions. Its board members include IRA Shankill bomb victim Alan McBride.

The end of PEACE 3 funding from the European Union means two staff out of four will be laid off and a smaller team will focus on more specific projects.

A statement from HTR said: “The work of the organisation in helping society to deal with the past is perhaps more vital than ever before for the future of both the political process and the peace process itself.”

The Joseph Rowntree Trust has stepped in with some funding to allow the smaller staff team to work part-time.

HTR added: “With the end of the current PEACE 3 funding for the Voyager Project it will be necessary for HTR to cut some staff posts, reduce other staff posts and focus on specific projects.”

The organisation was established in 2001 as part of efforts to create a truth finding process for dealing with the past conflict.

It has held days of reflection, story telling and archiving processes, and in the course of its work has engaged with more than 2,500 people.

The PEACE funding now ending was specifically to acknowledge and deal with the past. The next round of grants from the EU is focused more on young people.

Meanwhile, separately, the Arts Council which funds 37 organisations has asked them to plan for five per cent budget cuts worth thousands of pounds due to Stormont public spending reductions following the June Monitoring Round.