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WAVE Through the Years

WAVE was formed in 1991 from a small nucleus of eight women, all of whom had lost their partner in the Troubles/Conflict in Northern Ireland.

Initially the acronym ‘WAVE’ stood for Widows Against Violence Empower, as the objective of the organisation was to empower women whose husbands or partners were murdered.

The women chose a lighthouse as the corporate logo as they wanted WAVE to become a beacon of light for many people coping with the aftermath of traumatic bereavement and/or injury as a result of conflict.

Today WAVE is the largest cross community victims’ group in Northern Ireland, with five centres and 15 sattelite projects, spread across the country.

It is to the credit of all those involved that it has grown so successfully from what amounted to very modest beginnings.

The organisation was formed relatively late in the Troubles in response to specific need. Whilst initially concerned with the bereaved, in 1995 the remit was expanded to include those who were injured and/or traumatised in the Troubles/Conflict in Northern Ireland.

In 2020 WAVE Trauma Centre together with the Victims and Survivors service (VSS), launched a new service dedicated to supporting the health and wellbeing of Survivors of Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA).

Meet the WAVE Board

Marianne Moutray MBE

As a nurse in the Royal Victoria Hospital Belfast I witnessed first hand the physical and psychological impact of the “Troubles’ on the everyday life of people in Northern Ireland. Later, as a lecturer and then Associate Head of the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Queen’s University Belfast I came into contact with the staff at WAVE through the setting up of the BSc (Hons) Trauma Studies at Queens. Having become a member of the Management Board I took a special interest in the education courses offered by WAVE and now Chair the Trauma Education and Contract Review subgroups.

Jill Caskey

I have been involved with WAVE since I volunteered as a young person during some of their previous summer programmes. Following a path into Education and Community Relations, I completed and delivered various training courses with the organisation throughout the years. I have served on the Board for the past two years, bringing my experience of social media and communications from my role as Campaign Manager within the Integrated Education Fund.

Peter Heathwood

I have spent the past eight years working with the WAVE Injured Group to advance a pension for seriously injured people. I am a paraplegic following a shooting at my home in 1979, my father also died at the scene of a heart attack when he thought I was dead. I have been an archivist since the 1980s and have a large collection of ‘Troubles’ footage, which is housed on the Cain Website. I joined the WAVE Board in 2016.

Dennis Godfrey CBE

I joined the WAVE Board in May 2013 and am currently media adviser to the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains. Previous to this I was Director of Communications at the Northern Ireland Office until my retirement in 2011. I was also awarded the CBE in 2008 for services to the Northern Ireland Peace Process.

Cathy McCann

The Good Friday Agreement 1998 was the instigator of my initial contact with WAVE. My personal experience of the ‘Troubles’ drew me to WAVE, a service which represented my thinking on The Agreement. Over the years I have benefited from the many resources it has to deliver and in return I have had the pleasure of representing WAVE at international forums. I have been a member of the Board for over 15 years and have previously held the position of Vice-Chair and currently Chair.

Dr Mary Hannon Fletcher

I first got involved with WAVE at a Summer Graduation in 2016, on the Jordanstown Campus when Sandra was awarded a Doctorate for her work with WAVE. James Nesbitt introduced us and the rest is history. I was shot in October 1976 and have been in a wheelchair ever since. I am a member of the WAVE Board and the Injured Group, we are petitioning for a pension for the severely injured as a result of the “Troubles’. I often think I’m one of the lucky ones, as I was able to go back to my job after the shooting. I’m now a senior lecturer in Biomedical Science at Ulster University.

Reverend Dr David Clements

I have served on the WAVE Board for over 25 years, initially being drawn to the work with victims and survivors because my own father William, a policeman, was murdered in 1985. I am a Methodist Minister, currently leading the work in Cullybackey Methodist Church.

Martin McAnallan

I spent approximately 40 years in Criminal Justice, mediation and for the last 25 years closely involved in the development of Restorative Justice as a working philosophy in Northern Ireland. I came onto the Board after doing some work in this area of practice with the CEO some years ago. Hopefully my experience in these areas are of some benefit to WAVE Trauma.

Mark Kelly MBE

I have served on the WAVE Board for almost 12 years, 5 as Treasurer and 4 as Vice Chair. I was also pleased to chair WAVE’s submission to the Bill of Rights Forum in 2008. I am a double amputee of the lower legs following a no warning bomb in 1976. My career background is training and employment, I was Chair of the Statutory Committee for the Employment of Disabled People at the time of Disability Discrimination Act Consultation. I also ran several businesses in the Technology entertainment fields, before being employed as General Manager/Training Executive of Antrim Community Enterprises Ltd. I was awarded an MBE in 2000

Fiona Kelly

I first became involved in WAVE Ballymoney following the death of my father. I was drawn to the organisation because of its cross community work. I was privileged to engage with Colin Davidson in Silent Testimony and also in the ‘Hear My Voice’ film. I was also honoured to serve on the Victim’s Forum. I founded a charity in memory of my father in 1993, called 'Road of Hope' helping people affected by conflict. My work has taken me to Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia and Romania.

Lynn Stevenson

I having been working in the field of HR in excess of 30 years and have been involved with WAVE as a Board Member for over 20 years. I initially volunteered to assist with HR matters but since then I have variously been Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer and I currently Chair the Finance and HR Sub-Group. I feel privileged to be part of such an extraordinary organisation with a staff and volunteer team who always go the extra mile in support of victims and survivors of the conflict in Northern Ireland.

Aoife Gormally

My first involvement with WAVE was in 2016, where I took part in the Strictly Come Dancing fundraising event. I have worked in the financial services industry for 20 years, currently as a project / people manager. As a member of the WAVE Board I hope to be able to use my skills to support the work of WAVE in the local community.

Professor Tony Gallagher

I am a new and recent recruit to the WAVE Board. I’ve been involved in teaching and research at Queen’s for over 25 years and my main area of interest has been the role of education in divided societies. This work has largely focused on Northern Ireland, most recently on Shared Education, but I am also working in Israel, Los Angeles, Lebanon and parts of South East Europe. I hope my research experience generally, and my work in education in particular, will be of value to WAVE as we continue the process of learning to deal with the legacy of our conflicted past working towards a better, shared future.