“I nearly made a big mistake in the 1980’s. I almost left Northern Ireland for good. I was working in my dream job as a BBC film editor, but my rota included periods on ‘current affairs’ when day and night I would be packaging stories about the latest atrocity of our ‘Troubles’, and sending them to hungry news outlets around the world.
Eventually, I became depressed and disillusioned by the constant bombings, shootings and funerals of good people. Being single at the time I decided that there was no way I would want to settle and raise children in Northern Ireland.
Since my employer (BBC) happened to have constant openings in London, I decided to apply for a transfer. People I spoke with told me it was a matter of doing three interviews. Before long, I had the first one under my belt.
One evening, however, while waiting for some footage, I picked up an innocent looking leaflet in the newsroom. It referred to a Christian Community called Corrymeela. I had never heard of this organisation and my first thought was, “If they were really doing anything significant, then we (the BBC) would have covered it, since it would have balanced all the negative news we were reporting.” But as I read more, my curiosity was aroused by what they claimed was ‘peace and reconciliation work’ happening in Northern Ireland. I knew I had to find out more…