Local students at Holocaust Memorial event

With 'Faraway Home' author Marilyn Taylor are pupils from Dunclug College, Ballymena. Photograph by Declan Roughan, Press Eye
With 'Faraway Home' author Marilyn Taylor are pupils from Dunclug College, Ballymena. Photograph by Declan Roughan, Press Eye

Pupils from Ballymena schools played their part at the Holocaust Memorial event hosted by Mid & east Antrim Borough Council.

Post-primary schools were invited to accept copies of a novel, entitled ‘Faraway Home’ by Marilyn Taylor, which tells a powerful story which draws on real life events, as well as an educational resource developed by Down County Museum and other HMD resources.

Mid and East Antrim Borough Holocaust Memorial Day. With 'Faraway Home' author Marilyn Taylor are pupils from Castle Tower, Ballymena.(Picture PEYE)

Mid and East Antrim Borough Holocaust Memorial Day. With 'Faraway Home' author Marilyn Taylor are pupils from Castle Tower, Ballymena.(Picture PEYE)

Mid and East Antrim Borough Mayor, Councillor Billy Ashe, attended the event in Larne Town Hall, when representatives of the schools met the author and received copies of the book.

Cllr Ashe said: “Thanks to support from OFMDFM through Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s Good Relations Programme, we are able to use Holocaust Memorial Day as a time to remember those whose lives were destroyed or changed beyond recognition, through hatred.

“We remember not only the Holocaust but also the subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur.

“We are delighted to be marking HMD by passing a legacy to the schools in the form of copies of this novel and welcome having the author, Marilyn Taylor, present and hope that the schools represented will benefit from being able to hear from her directly and ask questions,” he said.

Marilyn Taylor, who undertook a short reading said that it is important that as a society we learn from these atrocities and that we ‘Don’t Stand By’ in the face of such horrors.

“Along with the other Allies, the people and government of Northern Ireland in World War II made many sacrifices and played a vital role in bringing about the defeat of the Nazis and in closing down their concentration camps,” she said.

The first Holocaust Memorial Day took place in the UK in 2001

Holocaust Memorial Day takes place on 27 January

Further information can be found by visiting www.hmd.org.uk

The theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2016 is ‘Don’t Stand By’

This local project has received support from the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister (OFMDFM) through Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s Good Relations Programme