Last Wednesday, the school community had the privilege of listening to a wonderful presentation by Margaret and Barry Mizen as they spoke movingly of how their son Jimmy was murdered, the day after his sixteenth birthday, in an unprovoked attack as he went shopping in his local high street in 2008. Since his death, Margaret and Barry have worked tirelessly for peace. They spoke to the school community of the need to be ‘agents of change’ by forgiving one another for any wrongdoing we have experienced as individuals, taking time to appreciate our families and friends, who are there for us in good and bad times alike, and the importance of our faith, which helps us to cope and grow as individuals.
In the thought-provoking talk, Barry and Margaret challenged us to accept our own individual responsibility for our actions and they asked the students to use their gifts and talents wisely to make a positive change in our society. It was an inspiring talk by a mother and father who have dedicated their life to Jimmy’s legacy, which is not one of vengeance or fear but rather one of hope and peace. As Margaret remarked on the night, ‘I want you to take hope and encouragement from all that we do; please don’t feel sorry for us, but take strength and determination to work for change’.
Fr Gerry Devlin, Chaplain