Death of Dr Éamon Phoenix – In Appreciation

On behalf of all of us at the Tara Centre who have had the privilege of knowing and engaging in any way with Dr. Éamon Phoenix in the course of the six years he graced us with his presence here at this Centre, we offer heartfelt sympathy to his wife Alice, his daughter Mary-Alice, his son-in-law Stuart and his granddaughter Nicole on Éamon’s departure from this life on Sunday last.

The abiding gift Éamon leaves with us here at the Tara Centre is the cherished memory of the life-giving quality of his presence among us as he unveiled for us some of the darkest corners of the troubled story of our shared history in Northern Ireland in the context of the broader story of the Island of Ireland and of the British Isles. Without fear or favour on his part, Dr. Éamon empowered us all to embrace the full spectrum of facts and feelings stirred by visiting this, our so-often turbulent story in a manner consistent with the Centre’s commitment to being “… in the service of healing, peace and holistic wellbeing” at the heart of the community.

Under the umbrella of the title of one of the series of seminars presented year -on-year at the Centre namely, “Pathways from a Troubled Past”, Éamon’s profound scholarship, so lightly carried, provided a safe space in the Centre’s Conference Hall for so many of us from so many different backgrounds and historical perspectives to come together, banish fear of the unknown and together, under the gentle and enlightened guidance of Dr Éamon, gain an understanding of and respect for the multiple strands of our complex history.
We recall with gratitude how those seminars evolved into educational trips north and south of the border and never-to-be-forgotten days of cross-community inter-cultural celebration in song, dance and story-telling here at the Centre as well as some cherished occasions of personal contact with Éamon by some of us in the in-between times.

For those of us who believe that in death “ life is changed, not taken away”, we are comforted in the knowledge that Éamon’s gentle soul, which shone so brightly through his vivacious and enthusiastic personality in this life, remains with us as we continue our journey towards becoming a community of ever-greater mutual understanding and respect built on the solid foundations of justice and forgiveness, the bedrocks of true and lasting peace.

Beirmíd buíochas ó’s ár gcroíthe amach duit, a Éamon.

Is dóigh linn nách mbeidh do leithéad ann arís.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh d’anam uasal dílis.*

We offer you our deepest, most sincere and heartfelt gratitude, Éamon.
We believe that the likes of you will never walk among us again.
May your noble faithful soul reside at he right hand of God.