Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy

Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy

Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy

Tara Centre

Located in the town of Omagh, Co Tyrone, the Tara Centre was founded in 1996, two years before the Good Friday/Belfast Agreement of April 1998. The name Tara identifies the Centre’s core purpose at the heart of the community: “A timeless, sacred place, a sanctuary for all” – “a place from which there is a broad perspective”.

Tara Centre

The decision taken by the Co-Founders, Mary Daly,(Mercy Sister), and Maura Twohig, (Presentation Sister), in 1996 to found a Centre to be “… in the service of healing, peace and holistic well-being” was born of the powerful surge towards peace and reconciliation, which was generated in Northern Ireland during the years preceding the Good Friday Agreement, a surge which went from strength to strength, despite the many challenges experienced along the way not least of which was the challenge of dealing with the single greatest atrocity of the ‘Troubles’ in Northern Ireland, the Omagh bomb in August 1998.

The Tara Centre’s founding vision was inspired by a holistic philosophy of life which cherishes a sense of the sacred in all aspects of life and seeks to build a society where diversity can be experienced as enrichment and pain can be engaged with as the raw material of deep personal transformation.

From its inception the Tara Centre has offered a multi-disciplinary range of healing and life-enhancing services to the community.  All are offered to the highest professional standards,something which is deemed essential when dealing with particularly acute vulnerability.  Included are:

  • counselling/psychotherapy and art therapy;
  • a wide range of complementary therapy services;
  • the development of a strong meditation and mindfulness community;
  • yoga;
  • a wide range of healing, educational and empowering day-long and/or weekend participative workshops, e.g., Transgenerational Healing, The Green Platform, Holistic Healthy Living, Understanding Grief – Loss and Recovery, CPD Training Programme, Anger Management, Pathways from a Troubled Past;
  • the provision of a regular meeting place for groups such as Men’s Support Group and a support group for persons bereaved by suicide.

For fully ten years (1998 – 2008) the now late poet, philosopher, spiritual guide, author, the late John O’Donohue presented a one-day seminar annually to a capacity audience at the Centre.  He put on record the following statement about Tara:

“The dream of peace is realised through the awakening, healing and integration of all the dimensions of the human heart.  The Tara Centre is at the frontier of this exciting transformation.”

Testimonials abound to the fact that at the Tara Centre, people often find a new direction for their lives*. They come in touch with deep inner resources and discover that there are others who share their values about life and its meaning, thus finding inspiration in a communal quest. They come to know that healing and transcending life’s pain and trauma brings them home to the sanctuary of their soul, that portal through which we all gain entry to an awareness of our life’s purpose and its gift of deep healing and inner peace.

Never was this inner connectedness more needed than at the present time when our planet is ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Fortunately, while many services have been suspended at Tara, through the furloughed leave scheme Tara has been able to protect all staff jobs and resume counselling/psychotherapy services by phone. Art Therapy is restored also.  With the necessary preparations made in terms of compliance with Government COVID-19 regulations to re-introduce additional therapeutic and educational services, it is hoped that this will have happened in time to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the founding of the Tara Centre next year.

”Tara saved my life”

“I have been helped through a very, very traumatic experience”

“The sessions got me through some very, very dark times…”

 “Beautiful, peaceful, warm, gentle environment – so important to help people recover.” 

 “Wonderful place where I feel safe … and lovely friendly staff who greet you with a smile  … and no matter where I am in life I will always remember this place.”

“Only for my counselling I might not have been here today.”

“You know what I have learned from this place … how to be kind.” (Art Therapy client – 9 year old boy) 


Contact Details
Tara Centre
11 Holmview Terrace
Co Tyrone
BT79 0AH

028 8225 0024




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