Eamon Rafter

Primary Photo

Affiliated Organizations
  • Peace Educator and Dialogue Facilitator
  • Author, ‘Deepening Reconciliation: Reflections on Glencree Peacebuilding’

What are contexts and issues that you work on? How are you using peace education to address these issues? What keeps you going?

Ireland is still divided by a border though since 1998 we have a peace agreement and process to offer hope for the future. Northern Ireland remains divided with miles of walls separating communities so there is a lot of work to do. A key part of our work is about bringing people, especially young people, together from north and south of the border and across the communities in NI. We focus on what we share and explore understandings of the past. Working together to create a shared future is the goal. What gets me through is the belief that dialogue and shared understanding is the only way forward. Going back to violence is not an option. There are many great organizations, projects and people who keep me inspired.

What has been your most meaningful or noteworthy moment in your peace education career?

It always strikes me when people who have previously seen each other as enemies listen to each other and something is changed as they realize their common humanity is stronger than the things that divide them.

How and why did you start working in peace education?

I started working in this field around 2000 and full time in 2005. Since then, I have worked with a wide range of organizations and groups in Ireland and internationally. I wanted to bring my skills as an educator to the arena of peace and reconciliation as I felt and still feel that this is a key arena to build peace and engage people in a meaningful way. Peace education is not a sideshow. It’s an essential prerequisite to action for sustainable peace.