The Memory Project Interview with Charlie McMenamin

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Charlie Mc Menamin gives an account of the impact of the Troubles. He recounts his
experience of being arrested in April 1978 when he was 16 years of age and being falsely
charged with attempted murder. Charlie served three years in prison. In April 2007 his case
went before the Criminal Cases Review Commission and the conviction was overturned by
the Court of Appeal.

This video interview was carried out by Smashing Times as part of The Memory Project Interview Series in Northern Ireland highlighting the impact of the Troubles on the lives of ordinary people. The six interviews were conducted as follows:

Interview with William Caughey, at Ards Arts Centre, Newtownards, 31 September 2013 2pm
Interview with Olivia O’Hagan, at Metropolitan Arts Centre, Belfast, 26 October 2013, 6pm
Interview with Eamon Baker, Towards Understanding and Healing Offices, Derry/Londonderry, 23 November 2013
Interview with Carol Doey and Tony McGurk, at The Hub, Cookstown, County Tyrone, 21 September 2013, 3pm
Interview with Charlie McMenamin, at Gasyards Arts Centre, 23 November 2013, 6.30pm
Interview with Andrew Redican, at Abbey Arts Centre, Ballyshannon, 29 September 2013 6pm

The interviewees include William Caughey, an ex-member of the British Army in Northern Ireland and a psychiatric nurse; Olivia O’Hagan from Portadown who worked for Invest NI and is a board member of Smashing Times; Carol Doey and Tony McGurk, community drama practitioners who set up the Hub in Cookstown, County Tyrone; Andrew Redican, a retired secondary school teacher from Drumkeerin, County Leitrim; and Charlie McMenamin, whose false conviction for killings during the Troubles at the age of 16  was later overturned by an appeal court.

The Memory Project 

The Memory Project, implemented from 2012 to 2015, is an innovative arts-based project using drama and storytelling workshops, theatre performances and post show discussions and the screening of a television documentary to address a legacy conflict in Northern Ireland and the Southern border counties and to promote a peaceful and shared future for all. The project was implemented by Smashing Times in partnership with Corrymeela Community and High Wire Limited and in association with CAIN (Conflict Archive on the Internet) and the University of Ulster INCORE International Conflict Research Institute and funded by the European Union’s PEACE III Programme and managed by the Special Programmes body (

A body of archive material was created through The Memory Project and  this material has been archived digitally online by CAIN and the University of Ulster INCORE International Conflict Research Institute. The material is available to remember, for education and historical documentation and for future research or reference by students, academics, community leaders, and the general public.

The Archive Material consists of 12 Interviews with 15 people recorded on film and 12 Written transcriptions of the 12 Interviews recorded on film.  We are displaying six of the interviews here in the Smashing Times Virtual Arts Centre ‘Sinners and Citizens’ gallery.

As part of The Memory Project, Smashing Times made a  54-minute television documentary Stories from the Shadows  that charts the work of Smashing Times as they carried out The Memory Project over the course of two years in Northern Ireland and border areas in the Republic of Ireland. This documentary follows the company as they collaborate with a range of communities in a compassionate, honest and fascinating exploration of the legacy of conflict arising from The Troubles, exploring what it means to ‘break down walls that keep us from the unknown, ourselves and each other’. The documentary showcases the voices and stories of those affected by the Troubles, as well as the experiences of artists, facilitators and directors from Smashing Times who engage with young people and adults to explore a legacy of the conflict through creative processes and ways forward for a peaceful future for all. Themes include empowerment, transformation and the telling of untold stories, through engaging, provocative and emotional theatre.

The television documentary Stories from the Shadows is available only through direct contact with Smashing Times – The full archive material (interviews) can be found at Accounts of the Conflict – A Digital archive of personal accounts of the conflict in and about Northern Ireland, INCORE International Conflict Research Institute, University of Ulster