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Keeping the Faith - Alf McCreary

Keeping the Faith

By: Alf McCreary

Paperback | 31 July 2024

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In this book the award-winning Belfast journalist and author reflects on a long career of reporting on the main events in Northern Ireland over the past sixty years and on the aftermath of conflicts in the developing world including Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Vietnam and Rwanda. He covered the worst of the Troubles from the beginning in 1968-69 and reported on some of the most disturbing atrocities such as Bloody Sunday, the Kingsmills Massacre and the no-warning IRA explosion at the Enniskillen Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday. He has seen religion at its worst and its best, and he observes how the Christian faith has sustained so many people in times of great suffering and distress, and how the mis- practice of this faith has led to division, misunderstanding and hostility.

The author also reflects on his experience of reporting on well-known figures in Northern Ireland ranging from Gordon and Joan Wilson, whose daughter Marie died in the Enniskillen Cenotaph bomb to the Reverend Ian Paisley. He also writes about the courageous and often unheralded bridge-builders including the Reverend Dr Ray Davey, the World War II veteran and a Presbyterian minister who founded Corrymeela the Christian inter-church centre, and who was light years ahead of his church and his society in seeing the urgent need for reconciliation.

The author offers telling insights into well-known individuals in a society with no easy answers to challenging problems, and asks why the Christian message has been so badly represented by all the main churches. He questions the role of journalists over decades when balanced reporting was so important but at times very difficult, and suggests that truth has never been more in danger than it is today. His journey of faith through the unholy alliance between religion and politics does not make for easy reading but he still retains his personal faith in the best of human nature which can shine through inspiringly even in the worst of times.

Industry Reviews

'a book with a message of hope for all. McCreary's has been a life well and truly lived, and it is a life worth reading about, and above all, learning from.'

* The Irish Catholic *

'This book is a tribute to the human spirit.'

* The Irish News *

'a ray of light from an often dark landscape...this book is [Alf McCreary's] best in a range of works spanning over 40 years'

* The Belfast Newsletter *

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