While for most of the rest of the world, the Northern Ireland peace process is a thing of historic memory that brought an end to bloody sectarian conflict, there is still a long road of healing and reconciliation yet to be travelled. In this deeply honest and personal account Robin Eames offers a glimpse into the pain and suffering that the Troubles brought to so many across the communities in Northern Ireland. He asks piercing questions about how to handle the past and possible ways forward in relation to those who have suffered as well as the issue of contentious parades, symbols and identity. In this challenging book, Eames asks tough questions of institutions like the Orange Order and offers an insight into the dilemma he was faced with at the height of the infamous Drumcree stand-off. Told too is the story of heroic clergy who worked behind the scenes to minister to the bereaved and the suffering, and stretched the hand of friendship across denominational divides as well as reaching out to paramilitaries to bring an end to violence.
Robin Eames, born in Northern Ireland in 1937 and son of a Methodist minister, went on to lead the Church of Ireland during some of the darkest days of the sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland through the early days of the peace process towards the Good Friday Agreement. He studied law at Queen’s University Belfast and after a legal research post qualified for a PhD and honorary doctorate in law. He went on to study theology at Trinity College Dublin before being ordained in 1963. He was appointed Bishop of Derry and Raphoe in 1975 and translated as Bishop of Down and Dromore in 1980. He was elected Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All-Ireland in 1986. He has been an influential voice within the Anglican Communion and was co-chair of the Consultative Group on the Past in Northern Ireland. He has been a member of the House of Lords since 1995 and sits as a crossbench peer. He is married to Lady Christine and they have two sons and seven grandchildren.