Tara Centre Celebrates 27 Years “.. in the service of healing, peace and holistic wellbeing”
A memorable day with an eclectic mix of speakers and musicians
On Saturday, 18th November the Tara Centre, a beacon of support in Omagh, marked its remarkable journey of 27 years with a celebratory event, made possible with funding from the National Lottery Community Fund. The celebration, attended by 120 selected guests and live-streamed with viewers from Australia, Germany, and the Republic of Ireland, marked a significant milestone in the Centre’s history.
The event was opened by the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees/Directors, Godfrey Young MBE, who gave a warm welcome to the audience. He expressed sincere thanks to those organisations and individuals who had vitally contributed to the creation and on-going development of the Tara Centre. Mary Daly, Co-founder, led a centering exercise which calmly closed with the reading of the Centre’s Mission and Vision Statement, setting the tone for the day. Maura Twohig, Co-founder, enriched the morning’s programme with ‘How it All Began’ from its foundation in 1996. The audience showed their appreciation to both Co-founders with a standing ovation.
Setting an uplifting tone for the afternoon were a number of heart-warming pieces sung by the Omagh Community Youth Choir accompanied by its Musical Director Daryl Simpson. The Chairperson along with local musicians Tom Sweeney and Gerarda McCann later added to the celebratory atmosphere with further pieces of poetry and song.
Keynote speaker Tim O’Connor, who served in the Department of Foreign Affairs during the critical period of the Peace Process addressed the audience giving an insight into peace and reconciliation with warmth and humour. Moving the theme ‘from macro to micro’, Mr O’Connor’s words eloquently underscored the Centre’s significant contributions to peace and reconciliation, echoing the sentiments of many who have witnessed and benefited from the Centre’s work over the years. Alice Phoenix, wife of the late historian and Tara Centre friend Dr Éamon Phoenix, reiterated in her follow-up speech the importance of the centre’s work in this realm. ‘Remembering’ marked a part in the programme in which contributors who have passed and who had formed an essential part of shaping the Tara Centre were fondly called to mind.
The theme ‘Bearing Witness’ celebrated the power of transformation, with five thought provoking talks. The speakers spoke with emotion and passion as to how the multidisciplinary approach of various services and programmes available at Tara have positively impacted lives. “All change comes from within” one speaker concluded, thanking the centre and its therapists. “I came with a broken heart, and I was always received with an open heart”.
The Tara Centre, since its inception, has been a cornerstone in the community, providing invaluable support and fostering a spirit of healing, peace and holistic wellbeing. This milestone event, with its blend of music, testimonials, and inspiring speeches, was not just a reflection of the Centre’s past but a beacon of hope and resilience for the future.
As the Tara Centre looks forward to continuing its vital work in the community, the support and involvement of people from all walks of life remain integral to its enduring success.
For more information, please contact: Katrina Deas, General Manager
To watch the event on YouTube, click here
To watch the event on facebook, click here
BACK ROW, L to R: Board members Marian Harte, Catherine Friel, Tara Boyle, Hugo Sweeney, Noreen McGirr, Mary O’Reilly, John Slane
FRONT ROW: Tim O’Connor (keynote speaker), Godfrey Young (Chairperson, Tara Centre Board of Directors/Trustees)
Tim O’Connor, Mary Daly, Maura Twohig, Godfrey Young
BACK ROW: Tom Sweeney, Katrina Deas (General Manager), Katrina McCrory, Lorena Cassidy, Fergus Cumiskey, Gerarda McCann, Joe Cuthbertson
FRONT ROW: Alice Phoenix, Declan Coyle
Backdrop image during the event
Enjoying lunch together: Photo taken in Realt Na Mara, the meditation room at the Tara Centre
Audience in the Great Hall at the Tara Centre