Recovery of Living Memory Archive (RoLMA)
PFC's RoLMA project provides an opportunity for families to recover the truth about the circumstances of their loved one's death, to record and express their own truth about their experience, and ensure that there is a permanent tangible legacy for their own families and for the greater community.
The Recovery of Living Memory Archive (ROLMA) is a project of the PFC and follows on from the Legacy Project.
It has developed in three phases:
In Phase I the PFC provides an advocacy, advice and support service to families, bereaved and/ or injured as a result of the conflict, who wish to engage with statutory agencies to establish the facts surrounding the death/s of their loved one/s or injuries sustained.
In both jurisdictions Phase I will result in the production of a factual document outlining, from an investigative perspective, the circumstances surrounding the death.
Phase II will aim to record the impact of the loss and suffering on victims’ families and on survivors and provide biographical background on the deceased and injured - the human side of the story that is missing from official accounts. This storytelling aspect has been piloted within the Legacy Project.
The need for this is very clearly apparent on both sides of the border. It has become very clear to both JFF and PFC that the forensic detail of an official report does not meet the needs of families to document the emotional, psychological and financial impact.
This is crucial for addressing the need to bring about closure and so that a negative legacy of the past is not passed to the next generation.
Phase III will combine the factual/ investigative information with the storytelling/ biographical aspect resulting in a final document that will be compiled in collaboration with families. This unique record will be archived at the Linenhall Library in Belfast and at the National Library in Dublin.
The Recovery of Living Memory Archive (ROLMA) is committed to the following objectives:
- To ensure that victims’ families and survivors receive the maximum permissible disclosure of information regarding the death/s of their relative/s from those statutory agencies tasked with investigating historic conflict related fatalities on both sides of the border and where appropriate information about incidents where survivors were injured.
- To ensure that the human impact of the bereavement and the biographical background of the victim is recorded.
- To narrow the list of questions passed from generation to generation following a violent death and thereby lessen the impact of trans-generational trauma.
- To collaborate with families in the production of an all-encompassing document that will record for posterity the factual background to the incident, the subsequent impact on survivors but also the positive biographical story of someone’s life.
- To make the final reports publicly accessible.
- To provide a template on how to bridge the gap between storytelling and truth recovery. It is hoped that this will provide valuable learning on how to deal with the legacy of the conflict in a more holistic way.
- To lessen the impact of the marginalization experienced by victims/ survivors in the Republic who have been excluded to date from the development of policy and practice in respect of victims issues.
- Provide skills sharing workshops for other support organisations in order to build capacity throughout the sector in advocacy and advice skills. In particular PFC will provide skills sharing with those groups more likely to gain the confidence of those in Protestant/ unionist/ loyalist community who wish to engage with statutory bodies.
- Develop informal support networks among families bereaved by the conflict and, where appropriate signpost people to appropriate support services.
- Creating a model for addressing the impact of conflict for use by the wider community, locally and internationally.