A story that started as a tragedy and ended as a triumph of the human spirit in overcoming adversity. A unique perspective on trauma, resilience, reconciliation and forgiveness, Richard’s story looks at the purpose of forgiveness and how sometimes people get justice, but they are no happier at the end of it.
Richard’s story is an example of where triumph overcomes tragedy. As a young boy Richard had a tragic experience which resulted in his life changing forever. However he did not allow this experience to hold him back and has gone on to live an inspiring and fruitful life. He has been recognised globally for his charity work: In May 2008, Richard was the recipient of the Harry Mc Killop ‘Irish Spirit Award’. It is awarded annually to a person of Irish or Irish-American descent in recognition of extraordinary acts of humanitarianism benefiting others and their local communities.
In November 2008 Richard was the recipient of the Beacon Special Prize for his work in founding and directing Children in Crossfire.
In May 2010 Richard was the recipient of the ‘Paul Harris Fellowship Award’ the highest honorary award given by the Rotary Association in recognition of his service to the community both locally and internationally.
In July 2011 Richard was awarded an honorary degree of Doctors of Laws from the University of Ulster for his services to reconciliation and children’s rights.
In 2012 he was awarded the ‘Lifetime Achievement award’ by The All Party Group on International Development, Stormont in recognition of his tireless campaigning and work across the globe
In October 2012 Richard was awarded ‘Person of the Year’ at the iBAM Festival held in Chicago.
In May 2013 Richard was awarded the ‘Exemplar of Love and Forgiveness in Governance’ Award from the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University, Virginia.
In August 2015 Richard became a ‘Fellow’ of The Centre for Compassion, Integrity, and Secular Ethics at Life University, Atlanta GA.
In August 2015 Richard became an Honorary Fellow of the Dalai Lama Centre for Compassion, Oxford, UK.
In October 2018 Richard received the Albert Schweitzer’s Leadership for Life Award from the Ireland Chamber of Commerce USA.
In September 2019 Richard was awarded the ‘Lifetime Achievement’ award at the Derry Journal People of the Year awards.
In 2009 Richard published his autobiography ‘Can I Give Him My Eyes’.
Richard is described by His Holiness the Dalai Lama as ‘His Hero and Friend’.