Veterans for Peace in Ireland
Following a meeting between Edward Horgan, who is a founding member of Shannonwatch [see other item this issue], and Ben Griffin of Veterans for Peace in the UK, a Veterans for Peace has been formed in Ireland. Membership of Veterans for Peace in Ireland is open to former soldiers, sailors and airmenliving in all parts of Ireland, regardless of the country they served. All members must sign up to the Statement of PurposeandStatement of Non-Violenceconstituted by Veterans for Peace which was established in the United States in 1985 but whose ideals are spreading internationally. To contact or join e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 086 3539911.
INNATE makes training offer
INNATE recently made both public and private offers of nonviolence training in the context of recent events and rioting in Northern Ireland. A letter stated: “Part of the business of INNATE, a nonviolence network in Ireland that has just marked 25 years of existence, is to help people work, engage and campaign nonviolently and effectively. We are happy to try to work with anyone on this whether we personally agree with their views or not – and in the Northern Ireland context this would include loyalists, republicans and peace activists. There is material on our website to this end ( under ‘Workshops’) but we are equally willing to work with groups and individuals to explore their options and invite anyone interested to contact us.” E-mail email@example.com
Irish Churches’ Peace Project
The Irish Churches’ Peace Project is looking for people who can take the initiative in working with local inter-church groups developing creative opportunities for cross-community dialogue on contentious issues and new initiatives that will contribute long-term to a stable, shared future, and will work in Northern Ireland and the border counties of the Republic. There are a number of positions being advertised and the deadline for applications has been extended to Tuesday 5th February. The Irish Churches’ Peace Project is an initiative of the four traditionally largest denominations in Ireland (Catholic Church, Presbyterian, Church of Ireland and Methodist) and the Irish Council of Churches (which also represents some of the smaller denominations). Recruitment information may be viewed at http://www.presbyterianireland.org More information in Nonviolent News 205 January supplement.
Afri’s Féile Bríde: Dreaming for the earth, DU film
Dreaming for the earth: Meeting the challenge of climate change is the title of Afri’s Féile Bríde taking place on Saturday 2nd February at Osborne centre, Kildare Town at 10.30 am and running to 5 pm. The programme includes a walk on the Curragh with renowned environmentalist John Feehan, and other input from Tom Roche, local schools, Rose Kelly, and Cormac Breatnach. The fee for the day is €20, including lunch and bus to and from the Curragh, or €15 unwaged. Afri, 134 Phibsborough Road, Dublin 7, ph 01 882 7563/7581, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and http://www.afri.ie Afri’s annual report ‘Peacemaker’ is available online at http://www.afri.ie
Depleted uranium weapons: A 4 minute documentary filmed and directed by Dearbhla Glynn, with the support of Afri, outlines some issues posed by use of the Depleted Uranium Weapons. It focuses on Basrah, Southern Iraq, where much of destruction was caused during Gulf War in 1991. The ammunition used during the Gulf War contained DU. Depleted uranium is a waste product of the uranium enrichment process, used in the manufacture of nuclear weapons and nuclear reactor fuel. Once exposed it stays in the environment for up to 400 million years. See Afri’s website
MNI mediation training
Mediation Northern Ireland is currently taking expressions of interest for the 8 day Mediation Theory and Practice Course, likely to start in late February, in Belfast. This is accredited by the National Open College Network. This course is accredited as a Level 3 course earning 9 credit points. This equates to an NVQ Level 3, and Advanced Diploma or an A Level. This course introduces a basic mediation process for use in a two party dispute with seven learning outcomes.It is suitable for community workers, individuals with HR responsibilities, teachers, social workers, development workers, and supervisors, those who interface with the public, line managers in the workplace, clergy and church workers. Enquire about fees and further info to Máire Patton, 028 90438614, MNI, 83 University Street, Belfast BT7 1HP, e-mail email@example.com web www.mediationnorthernireland.org
INCORE International Summer School
INCORE (International Conflict Research Institute) at the University of Ulster is running its 14th International Summer School from 17th - 21st June 2013 at the Magee Campus in Derry-Londonderry. The INCORE Summer School provides a structured learning opportunity to analyse the dynamic and constantly changing field of conflict transformation and peacebuilding. Earlybird payment rate application deadline 8th February (and payment by end of February). There are 3 courses to choose from: 1) Culture and Peacebuilding; the course will be facilitated by Professor Brandon Hamber and Dr. Stephen Ryan (INCORE). 2) Peacemaking and Peacebuilding in Northern Ireland; this module is aimed specifically at undergraduates or individuals interested in exploring the lessons from Northern Ireland in terms of peacemaking and peacebuilding. The course will be facilitated by Professor Gillian Robinson and Dr. Brendan Lynn (INCORE). 3) Evaluation in Conflict Prone Settings; this course seeks to attract early to mid-level professionals who are facing evaluation challenges in conflict prone settings; the course will be facilitated by Dr Kenneth Bush (INCORE) and Colleen Duggan (IDRC, TBC). There will be additional programme and participants will be able to benefit from City of Culture events. Applications and more information are online
EU presidency must prioritise violence against women
In mid-January Amnesty International delivered its Recommendations to the Irish EU Presidency, to Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Eamon Gilmore TD; see http://www.amnesty.ie/eupresidency It called on Ireland to work to strengthen human rights within the EU, particularly efforts to combat violence against women. Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland, said:
“We welcome the commitment in the Government’s programme for the presidency to combat violence against women in the context of strengthening the rights of EU citizens.... Ireland is one of very few countries in Western Europe that has not signed the Council of Europe Convention on Violence Against Women, despite committing to do so at a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council last March. Ireland should sign the Convention on Violence Against Women during the presidency with a clear timeframe for ratifying.”
Amnesty International’s submission also includes calls on Ireland to assist Europe-wide efforts to support Roma and Traveller communities, and help restart negotiations for a global Arms Trade Treaty.
The Organic Centre
The Organic Centre in Rossinver, Co. Leitrim promotes organic growing and sustainable living. The centre is a non profit organisation set up in 1995, with the aim of providing public education, training and information. It is located on a 19 acre site in Rossinver, Co Leitrim and offers 100 weekend courses on organic horticulture, gardening, green building, alternative energy, and artisan food production. The Centre is a recognised eco-tourism destination. Facilities include demonstration gardens & polytunnels, an orchard & soft fruit area with heritage varieties and an eco-shop selling organic seeds, garden tools, books, and seasonal vegetables.
Projects run by the centre include a full-time course in organic horticulture at FETAC level 5supported by FAS. In the past The Organic Centre has organised a cross-border schools programme and women’s cross-community projects promoting peace through gardening together, funded by the Programme for Peace and Reconciliation and the IFI. It enjoys the support of a wide network of friends. The Members Scheme offers a range of benefits including free entry to gardens and open days, gardening advice, and 10% discount on shop & seed sales, and training courses. The online shop for quick and easy shopping is on the website . The Centre is open daily from 10am to 5pm from March to November. Events in 2013 include: Spring into the garden incorporating the annual Potato Day on Sunday March 10th from 11am – 5 pm and The Organic Centre Garden Party on Sunday July 14th. Tours of the centre and workshops for groups can be booked.
Irish CND urges strong Irish participation in Oslo
The Norwegian government will host a major international conference on the humanitarian impact of nuclear weapons in Oslo 4-5 March. This follows the submission of a declaration on this subject at the UN General Assembly last October, signed by 35 countries, including Ireland. Irish CND has written to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore, to urge Irish representation at the most senior possible level, and full Irish engagement with the conference process, including the compilation of data on the humanitarian consequences, and the Irish capacity to respond. For the full text of the letter click here . To join ICND click here .
Hanna’s House UNSCR 1325 conference materials
The talks and other materials from Hanna’s House November 2012 conference on Women delivering peace and security are online. Written conference reports are available here. A 12 minute video looking at the issues of the day is available here and individual talks – including from President Michael D Higgins, Prof Christine Chinkin, Claire Hackett, Fiona Buckley, Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett, DCC Judith Gillespie and Prof Monica McWilliams – are available here
Shannon military summary 2012 Shannonwatch’s website now has military flight statistics for all of 2012. Here is their summary: “The number of US troop carriers using Shannon Airport was down in 2012 compared to previous years. In 2011 there was an average of over 80 troop flights a month but in 2012 the numbers recorded by Shannonwatch ranged from a low of 13 in July to a high of 72 in April. But while all the summer months saw relatively low numbers of troop carriers at Shannon, their frequency began to increase again towards the end of the year. Even though the number of civilian aircraft carrying US troop was down, the number of US military aircraft landing at Shannon did not change in 2012. On average 24 of these used Shannon every month, including Hercules c-130's and mid-air refuelling tankers.” Contacts: E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and phone 087 8225087.
WRI pay taxes under protest
On Thursday 17th January, War Resisters' International (WRI), a global network of pacifist organisations based in London, paid taxes that had been withheld for five years, under protest to the Revenue and Customs. Since 2007, War Resisters' International has been withholding a proportion of PAYE as a form of protest against Britain's military policies - the high level of military spending, the cooperation with criminal programmes such as the "rendition" of suspects, spurious rationales for military intervention, and the development and manufacture weapons of mass destruction and drones for long-distance assassination. With bailiffs about to seize equipment which would make functioning impossible, WRI paid under protest. In 2011, the UK's military spending was £39 billion; this has risen almost 20% since 2002 and puts the UK fourth in a country list of military expenditure – above Saudi Arabia, France, Germany and Brazil. See http://www.wri-irg.org [INNATE is an associate member of WRI].
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