March 4th, 1994
St. Columban’s College, Dalgan Park,
Navan, Co. Meath
Editor’s note: At the public talk in Dalgan Park, the speakers outlined the various activities of the group and gave an account of their own experiences. A summary of the work of FAIT is given below. The group visited Navan secondary schools on the following day, and were interviewed by local media. The talk was not recorded.
Families Against Intimidation and Terror (FAIT) was founded in 1990 by Nancy Gracey, after the “punishment” shooting of her son, Paddy, following sustained intimidation and harassment over a period of six months. Nancy decided to break the silence of fear and do something about the violence and intimidation that had become a part of life in many areas of Northern Ireland since the present “troubles” began. At the time her son was shot, no organisation existed to highlight and challenge human rights abuses by terrorists, so, with local community support, Nancy founded FAIT to help those who have suffered at the hands of the IRA and Loyalist organisations.
Membership: The membership of the organisation is representative of all shades of opinion of those who support the democratic process.
The management committee includes families, survivors, ex-paramilitaries and concerned individuals.
Range of work undertaken:
Support for individuals and families under threat.
Research and information.
Documenting and highlighting human rights abuses by terrorists.
FAIT collects statements about paramilitary atrocities, counsels victims and their families and supports those with the courage to speak publicly about their experiences. It also helps the families of known terrorists on the grounds that they too are victims. FAIT sends victims’ statements to human rights organisations such as Helsinki Watch and Amnesty International, as well as to the media. FAIT estimates that 90% of human rights abuses in Northern Ireland are perpetrated by paramilitaries. FAIT receives referrals from all the constitutional parties, from voluntary and statutory groups, from the RUC, from the clergy and from media work on it’s own behalf.
“It’s hard for you, or even me, to appreciate the bravery of Nancy Gracey” (Fr. Denis Faul)
FAIT: Washington House, 14-16 High St., Belfast BT 1 2BB