Education for Reconciliation
Education for Reconciliation (EfR) has been a community theological education programme of the Irish School of Ecumenics based at Antrim Road, Belfast. Over the last sixteen years it has offered courses, dealing with different dimensions of social reconciliation, at various locations in Northern Ireland and the Border Counties. Some of the courses dealt with the nature and practice of reconciliation, women and peacebuilding, violence and texts of terror in the Bible, restorative justice and overcoming sectarianism, especially unpacking its theological roots. At its peak there were 1,800 participants per year and over sixteen years thousands have shared in the variety of courses. The programme has also produced a number of books, two of which, Doing Reconciliation and Churches as Communities of Resistance are forthcoming. Overcoming Violence has just been published by Columba Press.
Funding has been becoming increasingly difficult to source and sadly the EfR programme ended on March 31, 2012. The lecturers, Drs. Johnston McMaster and Cathy Higgins will move on to work with The Junction, Derry on the Ethical and Shared Remembering Project (1912-1922) as senior research writers and educators. One of the major learnings of the EfR programme was that people do critical and community theology, which is theology in action. EfR has made a huge contribution and its creative educational and theological approach will be missed. Link
Johnston McMaster’s just-published book “Overcoming Violence”, Columba Press, 224 pages, ISBN 978 1 85607 754 5, is half Irish historical analysis and half Christian and biblical analysis including the myth of redemptive violence. “Hierarchy, patriarchy, warfare, warrior gods and the subjugation of women all appear to have developed together after 3000 BCE and all appear to be connected.” (page 96). The final chapter is “Nurturing communities of resistance in active non-violence and compassion.”
ISE's programme to support inter-church groups and fora, facilitated by Eileen Gallagher, is unaffected by the closure of the EfR programme. The Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation M.Phil., and other academic programmes, are also unaffected; for details see http://www.tcd.ie/ise/study/
Afri: 25th Annual Famine Walk
The Famine walk this year is on the theme ‘Corporations, Crops and Control: Seeds of Life or Seeds of Strife?’ and takes place on Saturday 19th May from Doolough to Louisburgh, Co. Mayo. Registration in Louisburgh from 1pm and proceedings start at 2pm. Afri are asking each participant to raise at least €20, in sponsorship for this event towards the continuation of Afri’s work. The walk leaders this year are Gary White Deer (Choctaw), Anita Hayes (Irish Seed Savers Association), José Antonio Gutiérrez (Chile) and music will be provided by Cormac Breatnach and Tommy Hayes. Afri, 134 Phibsborough Road, Phibsborough, Dublin 7. Phone 01 - 8827563 e-mail email@example.com and http://www.afri.iehttp://www.facebook.com/afriireland
Colin Murphy, who has had a long history of involvement with Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation, is now interim CEO, having taken over from John Flood who exercised the role for much of 2011. There is a Talk ‘n Walk event usually the first Sunday of each month, from 2 – 4pm (€5 charge, contact 01 2829711 or firstname.lastname@example.org ); this takes place on 6th May, 3rd June, 1st July, 5th August and 9th September. On Saturday 16th June there is a fundraising concert in St Kevin’s Church, Glencree, at 7.30pm with St John’s Gospel Choir; tickets €20 including a glass of wine in the Armoury Cafe, booking essential to Miriam Murphy or Sue Patterson at 01 2829711 or e-mail email@example.com From 15th – 21st June there is an exhibition by artist Lynn Mack (Celtos Croi Prints). Further information at http://www.glencree.ie including news in the Spring Newsletter of work in Afghanistan and Haiti.
Development Education Day on Palestine and Israel
This takes place in Belfast on Saturday 19th May, at Peace House, 224 Lisburn Road, Belfast and in Dublin on Saturday 9th June, at the Irish Aid Centre, 27-31 Upper O’Connell Street, Dublin. Sessions run from 10 am – 5pm and cover introduction and history, human rights and case studies, the work of EAPPI (Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel), and a session on realising human rights and implementing conflict resolution. This course is a provided by the Palestine Education Initiative in collaboration with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel, The Peace People and The Centre for Global Education. Cost: £30 / €40, Concession: £10 / €15. To book a place contact Richard at firstname.lastname@example.org
From crisis to resilience: Schumacher Ireland Summer School
“From crisis to resilience: rethinking Ireland’s economic future - exploring the transition to a sustainable society on the island of Ireland” takes place from 11th-15th June at Camphill Community Glencraig, Holywood, Co Down. For further information go to http://www.schumacherireland.org or contact John Woods email@example.com
Forthspring: 5 Decades Project
Forthspring is holding an event to launch its new ‘5 Decades’ project, a storytelling and dialogue project aimed at supporting people in sharing their experiences of living through conflict with the aim of building relationships and increasing our understanding of the past. Tales of the Troubles, takes place at Forthspring on 8th May from 7pm - 9pm. This is a storytelling event, hosted by Forthspring and Tony Macaulay, author of Paperboy. Tony will read from his new publication, Breadboy, and will be joined by contributors from the founding partners of Forthspring who will each talk about living and working on the Springfield Road during the Troubles and the emerging Peace Process. For further information on the event or the project contact: Johnston Price, 5 Decades Project, Forthspring Inter-Community Group, 373-375 Springfield Road, Belfast BT12 7DG, ph 02890 313945, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Stop Climate Chaos
You can see the submission made by the Stop Climate Chaos coalition to Minister Phil Hogan in the Republic at http://www.stopclimatechaos.ie at ‘Give your two cents for climate sense’ (consultation closed 30th April).
Chernobyl Children International (CCI)
To mark the 26th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster (26th April 1986), CCI sent a cardiac team to Ukraine to operate on children affected by the condition ‘Chernobyl Heart’. Adi Roche thanked the people of Ireland who have raised over €91 million in aid for the Chernobyl victims. Work has begun on the new sarcophagus (costing $1.2 billion) which will cover the existing crumbling chamber which has been over the exploded reactor; Chernobyl still remains in a hugely precarious and dangerous situation. And on returning from a recent fact-finding mission to Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Fukushima Adi Roche commented on ‘mirror images’ between the victims of Japan and Chernobyl and that ‘I never thought 26 years after Chernobyl that I would find myself back to the beginning of a nuclear disaster.’ For further information visit http://www.chernobyl-international.com (further information under ‘Latest News’), e-mail: email@example.com ph 021 431 2999. Postal address: Chernobyl Children International, Ballycurreen Industrial Estate, Kinsale Road, Cork.
Community Relations Week programme
Events organised for Community Relations Week in Northern Ireland, 14th – 19th May, on the theme ‘No more them and us?’, are available online, listed under council areas.
Faslane/Trident, Belfast action group reforms
Following a talk by Leonna O’Neill of Faslane Peace Camp in Belfast on 25th April, an action group has been (re)formed. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or INNATE for details.
Council of all beings
Taking place in Coleraine 25th-27th May (see NN 198); we inadvertently gave the wrong Northern phone number in the last issue, it should be 028 70358323. Apologies. The Republic phone number is 065 7071820 (Joe Quilty, facilitator).
Death of Ray Davey
We regret to record the death of Ray Davey, founder and former leader of the Corrymeela Community, who died on 16th April, aged 97. Ray was predeceased by his wife and partner in the work, Kathleen, who died in 2008. A Presbyterian minister, Ray Davey was a prisoner in the Second World War and on the outskirts of Dresden when the firebombing of that city happened. He devoted the rest of his life to reconciliation, and the Corrymeela Community was founded in 1965 – the only peace and reconciliation organisation to exist before and after the Troubles.
Ray’s thoughts are represented in four books, “The Pollen of Peace” (1991, out of print), “An Unfinished Journey – An anniversary anthology of the Corrymeela Community 1965-1986” (Corrymeela Press), “Take away this hate” (Corrymeela Press) and “The War Diaries – From prisoner-of-war to peacemaker” (Brehon Press, 2005); the last 3 of these are available through Corrymeela House in Belfast. A number of appreciations appear on the Corrymeela website at www.corrymeela.org and donations can be made to a Ray Davey Youth Fund. We hope to carry a longer piece on his life in the next issue. Corrymeela’s informal slogan has been that it is better to light a candle than curse the darkness; building on this metaphor, it could be said that Ray Davey built a power station or a wind farm.
Following Ray – the legacy of Ray Davey
A joint Corrymeela and INNATE meeting will take place on Monday 14th May from 7 – 9 pm in Corrymeela House, 8 Upper Crescent, Belfast, looking at the legacy of Ray Davey and his ideas on nonviolence and reconciliation. Input by Inderjit Bhogal, leader of Corrymeela Community. All welcome; if people knew Ray or his work they will be invited to share what inspired them. Contact Corrymeela 028 – 90508080 or INNATE. [This will take the place of the monthly INNATE networking meeting].
Irish CND representatives recently met with the newly-appointed Director of the Disarmament and Non-Proliferation section of the Department of Foreign Affairs, John Biggar, and the Deputy Director, Michael Hurley, heading Ireland's negotiating team at the first meeting of the Preparatory Committee for the next Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference (currently underway) in Vienna. Among the issues discussed were Ireland's aspirations for the forthcoming NPT cycle, the prospects for a nuclear weapons convention, the Middle East situation and Ireland's engagement with international humanitarian law in relation to nuclear weapons.
Irish CND reports that Ireland's position on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament has been addressed in questions by a number of TDs in the past weeks. Deputy Padraig Mac Lochlainn raised the situation in the Middle East in a priority question to Minister of State Lucinda Creighton, while Deputy Seamus Kirk sought a written response to a similar question on Iran.
Deputy Eoghan Murphy asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs for his response to the international joint parliamentary statement for a Middle East free from nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction, framed by Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament (PNND). PNND is still seeking endorsement by parliamentarians for this declaration, so please consider asking your TDs to endorse this declaration; for more information and the full text of the statement. Irish CND’s AGM takes place on 9th June. You can join Irish CND on Facebook
15 organisations call for human rights based capacity law
15 civil society organisations have issued a joint letter welcoming the 1st May publication of the Oireachtas Justice Committee’s report on Ireland’s new capacity law. The joint letter also calls for the Government to ensure the new capacity law is in line with Essential Principles: Irish Legal Capacity Law (available online ) which calls for the proposed law to have human rights at its core.
This document was drawn up by NGOs in consultation with Irish experts and represents the areas of intellectual disability, mental health, older people, neurological difficulties and brain injuries. The letter was signed by Eamon Timmins (Age Action Ireland), Maurice O’Connell (Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland), Colm O’Gorman (Amnesty International Ireland), Prof. Gerard Quinn (Centre for Disability, Law and Policy NUIG), John Dolan (Disability Federation Ireland), Deirdre Carroll (Inclusion Ireland), Colette Nolan (Irish Advocacy Network), Mark Felton and Aine Hynes (Irish Mental Health Lawyers Association), Brian Howard (Mental Health Ireland), Orla Barry (Mental Health Reform), The five Regional Managers (National Advocacy Service), Brian O’Donnell (National Federation of Voluntary Bodies), Mags Rogers (Neurological Alliance of Ireland), John Saunders (Shine), Paul Gilligan (St. Patrick’s University Hospital), and Dr. Anne-Marie O’Neill (Academic). Colm O’Gorman of Amnesty International pointed out that Ireland currently has the most outdated law in Europe and that this is an opportunity to lead and produce effective new law that protects people’s rights.
Muslim women in the Balkans, public lecture in Dublin
A public lecture, 'Muslim Women in the Balkans' by Dr. Ina Merdjanova, Marie Curie Fellow at ISE / TCD (2010-12), will take place on Tuesday 15th May 2012, from 5pm – 7pm in the Long Room Hub, Trinity College Dublin. This will include looking at the redefinitions of Muslim women’s roles during changes there. RSVP to: email@example.com. Organised by the Irish School of Ecumenics. http://www.tcd.ie/ise/
International Campaign to Stop Rape in Conflict
A staggering number of women around the world will experience rape or other violence in their lifetimes. The UN Secretary General says 1 out of every 3.
Organizations and individuals around the world have been working long and hard to stop rape and gender violence in conflict. The International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict, spearheaded by the Nobel Women’s Initiative, is bringing them together to develop and carry out coordinated plans of action to help end this wanton scourge. The Campaign will also press for specific prevention, protection, and prosecution measures and advocate for a dramatic increase in resources to support survivors and achieve justice.
The Campaign is working to create a broad grassroots movement. The more organizations and individuals working in tandem for change, the faster change will happen. See here for information about the Campaign and joining in.
Rossport Solidarity Camp
As Nonviolent News goes to print, a Day of Solidarity is taking place, followed by a working weekend and other events. On the June Bank Holiday, the seventh annual Rossport Solidarity Gathering returns for another weekend, jam-packed with workshops, music, family activities, discussions, and fun; this is from the 1st - 4th of June. Community campaigns from all over Ireland are invited to come share stories, skills and experiences. Further info at http://www.rossportsolidaritycamp.org and http://www.shelltosea.com
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