Tom Elliott (b.1963)

Tom Elliott (b.1963)


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Tom Elliott grew up on the family farm at Ballinamallard in Co. Fermanagh, where he continues to farm today. He describes his younger days in the area, growing up in a mixed and harmonious community. He joined the UDR on a part-time basis and he discusses some of his experiences as a member, through more than eighteen years of service. He recalls an evening in February 1986 while on patrol with a Catholic friend, John Early, when the latter man lost his life in an explosion. Another occasion in February 1985 is recalled as Tom describes the terrible aftermath of the killing of Jimmy Graham. He also remembers a further traumatic experience in the aftermath of a murder, when he met the widow of the victim and her children. Tom says the pervasive sense of suspicion and mistrust which had become ingrained in the community was one of the worst things he experienced at that time. The Enniskillen bombing of 8 November 1987, and the widespread anger at the atrocity in the aftermath, are described. In 2003, Tom Elliott was elected as a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly, representing Fermanagh and South Tyrone; he was re-elected in 2007 and 2011. He served as leader of the UUP Party from September 2010 to March 2012. He explains that he is and always was a supporter of any endeavour towards peace, though not at any cost, but could not support the Good Friday Agreement because of the proposed release of dissident prisoners, without the decommissioning of terrorist weapons, including guns and explosives.

This collection, carried out by Irish Life and Lore on behalf of Cavan County Library Service, is funded by the EU Special EU Programmes Body Peace IV fund under the objective to build positive relations with people from different backgrounds and communities to support peace and reconciliation.

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Additional information



Audio series:

Voices of the Troubles

Download time limit:

48 hours

Number of files:


Recorded by:

Maurice O'Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore

Location of Recording

Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh

Product ID:



38 mins

Date Recorded