Remembering Ray Davey, who passed away on this day twelve years ago.

The Interview that literally changed the direction of my life.

In the 1980s, I applied for a transfer within the BBC from Northern Ireland to London. That’s because I was tired of living with the “Troubles” in Northern Ireland. I felt that London would enhance not only my career, but my quality of life. As I was single at the time and without commitments, it seemed like a sensible move.

I had already had my first BBC interview for a transfer when I visited The Corrymeela Community at Ballycastle for the first time to interview its founder Ray Davey. This was very much a research interview since I had read about Ray and his wartime experiences, etc., and thought there might be documentary material. I had picked up the idea after meeting some young people in Belfast who had been radically transformed through a Corrymeela schools programme.

Meeting and interviewing Ray that day had a profound influence on me. His perspective on life’s meaning and purpose, spoke, almost prophetically, to my selfish motivation for wanting to leave Northern Ireland. I had a very uncomfortable drive home from Ballycastle that day. After a period of reflection, I knew I was being led by God to stay and make whatever contribution I could to a better Northern Ireland, instead of running away for the sake of a potentially more comfortable life.

I got to make that documentary for the BBC. It was called “The Path of a Peacemaker” and was broadcast in 1990 for the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Corrymeela Community. It can be viewed below. 



The Path of a Peacemaker: A Profile of Ray Davey and the Corrymeela Community BBC Northern Ireland 1990