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Billy King


Nonviolence News


Deadline for the next issue is 28 February 2021

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(Issues 58-107)
(Issues 1 to 57)
Dawn Train

Issue 122: September 2004

Up Down for Thales
On Monday 16th August Down District Council passed the following motion on Thales Air Defence by 14 - 7 votes (the motion was tabled by Cllr Raymond Blaney, Green Party): “That Down District Council recognises that Thales Air Defence is an integral part of the international arms trade and wants no part of that trade in our council area. In particular we declare our total opposition to the assembly and test firing of missiles at the Lough Mann site and the use of public money by the MOD to subsidise an industry which promotes the continuation of war and instability.”

The Council also agreed to lobby the Ministry of Defence on behalf of local constituents who are being denied planning permission on the grounds that their property lies within a 'safeguarding area' which is secretive to the extent that the planning office is reluctant to disclose its boundary. Down DC also agreed to request a site visit of the Thales Air Defence testing facility at Lough Mann which is 4 miles south of Ballynahinch on the Downpatrick road. So Down District Council has joined Derry City Council (see NN116) in opposing the arms trade.

‘Only in Norn Irony’: Meanwhile almost £900,000 of EU Peace and Reconciliation money has been allocated to Thales. Thales UK Air Defence System (TADL) was recently awarded a £180 million contract from the MoD (British Ministry of Defence) for a tranche of Starstreak High Velocity Missiles (HVM). The multi-billion pound French owned company at present employs 580 people in Castlereagh and was awarded the funding through Invest NI. To qualify for funding under the Peace II programme, all applicants were required to demonstrate the extent to which their proposal either addressed the legacy of the conflict in Northern Ireland or would take advantage of opportunities arising from peace!

For action/information concerning the arms trade you can contact any of the following, as well as Amnesty International (in both Northern Ireland and the Republic, see contacts NN120) which focuses on human rights implications:

  • -FEIC, Foyle Ethical Investment Campaign, phone 078 – 0326890, e-mail
    -BLEIC, Belfast and Lisburn Ethical Investment Campaign, phone 0771 – 5110517 or c/o INNATE
    -Afri, 134 Phinbsborough Road, Dublin 7, phone 01 – 8827563, e-mail, web

Community Dialogue on the IMC report
You can trust Community Dialogue to come up with a handy guide to discussion points on any big issue of contention in Northern Ireland. Their latest is “IMC Report: Truth or political manipulation”, and, as before, they manage to squeeze background, different responses, and questions into just 4 sides of A5, which is quite an achievement. The Independent Monitoring Commission report is a big issue in the Northern Ireland community sector at the moment with worries about political vetting versus concerns to move on and away from the violent past. Community Dialogue, 373 Springfield Road, Belfast BT12 7DG, phone 028 – 9032 9995, fax 9033 0482, e-mail and website

Peace Studies at Saor Ollscoil
The Peace Studies course is taught as part of the BA degree programme at SO; the course is an introduction to the Study of Peace, looking at the various ideas/philosophies of peace that have been put forward from the ancient to the modern world. Other areas include the study of the causes of war and violence looking at some case histories. As part of our commitment to international peace organisations we look at the problem of Genocide and the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Term Starts Monday 4th of October and Peace Studies is on Wednesday evenings from 6th of October. Saor-Ollscoil na hÉireann - The Free University of Ireland, 55 Prussia Street, Dublin 7. Phone 012-8683368,

Poppy the question
It’s not long now to the ‘remembrance’ season in this part of the world, and for those who wish to display a symbol of opposition to war itself, the white poppy is a key symbol. They are available from the Peace Pledge Union office in London in a variety of sizes of packs, along with other resources including an interactive CD, ‘Voices for Peace’ which includes looking at beliefs about war through changing attitudes to remembrance day and other material (UK£12.50, available October). Poppies cost UK£0.60 each for less than five, £3 for 5, £6 for 10, £12.50 for 25 and £40 for 100, minimum order £3 and P & p £2. PPU, 1 Peace Passage, London N7 0BT, ph 0870 770 7944, fax 0870 770 7945, e-mail and web [Leaflet enclosed for most paper copies of NN]

Mediation Northern Ireland of courses
This autumn Mediation Northern Ireland will be conducting open-access courses in Handling Life's Conflicts, Foundation Training in Mediation, and Group Mediation Skills. We are just completing a Principled Negotiation Skills course but if you are interested in future courses please let us know. Contact Sheila Hoyer at Mediation Northern Ireland 028 - 9043 8614 for more information. MNI, e-mail and web

New face at Quaker House Belfast
The new representative at Quaker House, Belfast, is Anne Bennett who is looking forward to meeting people (she succeeds Mark Chapman). Quaker House, 7 University Avenue, Belfast BT7 1GX, phone 028 – 90 24 92 93, e-mail

Just the job to put a WRI smile on your face?
The War Resisters International office in London is looking for a full time Nonviolence Programme Worker; a commitment to pacifism, experience with nonviolent campaigning, training and fundraising essential; a second language, preferably Spanish, is desirable as well as English. Salary £18,862, deadline 7th October, starting date January but negotiable. Application pack from: WRI, 5 Caledonian road, London N1 9DX, +44 (0)20 – 7278 4040, website

PBI seek international observers
Peace Brigades International is in the process of recruiting volunteers to act as international observers in Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico and Indonesia; prospective volunteers need to be over 25 and fluent in the language of the country concerned. PBI aims is to help create a breathing space in conflict zones so that the civilian population may organise to defend its rights without fear of reprisals and violence. The next orientation weekend is in England from 18th to 21st November; for further information contact PBI UK, 1b Waterlow Road, London N19 5NJ, phone/fax 020 – 7281 5370, e-mail, web

Sustainable Ireland Network Bulletin
This monthly e-mail newsletter is a ‘must have’ in the green/ecological scene in Ireland “produced by the Sustainable Ireland Co-operative providing communication and networking for individuals and groups working for a healthy, just and ecologically sustainable world.” To be put on the mailing list, contact Sustainable Ireland Co-operative, Cultivate, 15-19 Essex Street West, Dublin 8. Ph: +353 (0)1 6746415 Web: Email:

Here are brief mentions of a couple of current news items from the September edition: lThe next Convergence festival which is entitled 'Building The Eco-Economy' will take place from the 14th of October to the 17th. For an outline of the events see

The inaugural Irish Renewable Energy Summit takes place as a day long event that will bring together the key players from within the renewables sector and important stakeholders from the wider energy sector. The venue and date: Tuesday 28th September 2004, Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, Dublin.

Kerry Earth Day
Kerry Earth Day takes place on Saturday 25th September from 10.00 am to 4.30 pm at Béal, near Asdee, Listowel at the farm of Kate Carmody; the theme is ‘Earth, Sky and Sea’. Workshops on offer include birdwatching, cheesemaking, organic farming, local heritage, sustainability, the local sand dunes, a meditative walk and circle dancing. Cost €20, organized by Kerry Diocesan Justice, Peace and Creation Committee; further info from Sylvia Thompson, phone 066 – 7137484 or e-mail

At Ease, soldier
At Ease is a free and independent information service for soldiers in the British forces who may have scruples about being involved with a particular war, or war in general; At Ease may also be able to help with other problems they might have. It is completely confidential. Phone 0207 247 5164 Sundays 5 – 7 pm, e-mail and web

T-winning formula
Not all twinning is an excuse for junketing. Sligo’s link with Kitwe in Zambia is one excellent example of a different way of doing it. Among other work the Sligo-Kitwe Link has run a successful art and literary competition, sold Zambian art works and used the commission to support projects in Kitwe, and worked locally on debt cancellation issues. See or contact Maura Foran at 071 – 9163614.

On the wings of a dove
25th November to 10th December sees a worldwide campaign on Overcoming Violence against women and children as part of the World Council of Churches Decade to Overcome Violence 2001 -2010, inviting churches to develop pastoral and practical responses and actions to overcome violence against women and children. Suggestions include providing safe spaces for telling the stories of suffering, survival and resistance, making linkages and alliances, exposing church practices that lead to violence and developing practical and pastoral responses towards justice and healing. On the Wings of a Dove, WCC, PO Box 2100, CH-1211 Geneva 2, e-mail, and web

Death of Shirley Morrow
We very much regret to record the death of Shirley Morrow, in July following heart surgery. She was a former chair of the Corrymeela Council and chaired the committee which saw through the rebuilding of the main house at Corrymeela, Ballycastle, among many other involvements. Our heartfelt condolences to John her husband (former leader of the Corrymeela Community) and all her family.


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