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Dawn Train

Issue 136: February 2006

Presbyterian Peacemaking Programme
Laura Coulter has recently been appointed peacemaking programme officer with the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. She has a background in community development, conflict resolution and mediation work. The peacemaking programme, funded for 3 years, will focus on developing an introductory course on peacemaking as an integral part of Christian discipleship. Laura will also provide support to those within the Church, including existing local peace agents both at presbytery and congregational level, to respond to challenges and opportunities in contributing to good relations. It is hoped to appoint a full-time peacemaking officer soon who will develop the youth-focused programme. Based at Presbyterian Church House, Belfast, Laura can be contacted on 028 - 90322284 ext 403 or e-mail:

Kerry: Pax Christi link, World Religion Day
Kerry Diocesan Justice, Peace & Creation Committee was delighted that it has been recognised as a Partner organisation by Pax Christi International (PCI) at the November meeting of its Executive (in Antwerp, Belgium). This followed a visit from Fr Paul Lansu from PCI Brussels in August. Since then, JPC has been actively involved in 2 PCI campaigns 1) Day of Prayer for the great lakes region of Africa (Nov) which it promoted across all the parishes & secondary schools in the diocese & 2) Messages of hope for Bethlehem at Christmas time an event promoted again through the schools .It looks forward to ongoing linking with PCI. Ph. 066-7137484.

World Religion Day: 8pm Sun 5 February, St Brendan’s Pastoral Centre, Tralee. This is an opportunity to celebrate with an hour of readings, music, pictures, & prayer from the major world faiths. Organised by the Kerry Diocesan Justice Peace & Creation Committee, Tralee Inter-Faith Group & the Tralee Bahá’í Community. Note: Useful website for info on World Religions is

MAW power to your elbow
23rd – 25th February sees the visit of Tony Kempster and Christine Titmus of the Movement for the Abolition of War (MAW) in Britain to Northern Ireland where they will be undertaking a variety of engagements in Derry and Belfast, at the invitation of INNATE; both visitors are accomplished in other fields as well as peace. The MAW website has a wealth of information at with various background materials including a list of songs about war and injustice suitable for education and campaigning.

One open event in Belfast during the visit is a session co-sponsored by the Irish School of Ecumenics (ISE) on “The ‘war on terror’ and the Christian Just War tradition” which takes place on Friday 24th February from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at ISE; all welcome but places must be booked to Caroline Clarke, ISE, phone 028 – 90 77 00 87 or e-mail from whom further details are also available. Details in general from INNATE.

So long, Partners
The Partners in Transformation Project co-sponsored by the Irish School of Ecumenics and Mediation Northern Ireland drew to a close in November 2005 with a celebration of the relationships strengthened, resources developed and insights gained through the project. The project had worked primarily with those in leadership roles within the main denominations in an effort to nurture, support and encourage the Irish churches in developing their own capacity for peacebuilding and to be agents of transformation in society. The project was initially co-led by Rev Doug Baker and Dr Cecelia Clegg. Dr Geraldine Smyth OP, succeeded Cecelia in September 2004 and continues as a Senior Lecturer in Ecumenical Studies with the ISE. Doug has taken up a new post with the Presbyterian Church USA, as Regional Liaison for Ireland and the UK. Some aspects of the project's work are being picked up by remaining staff of the ISE and MNI, while other aspects now rightly pass to the churches themselves and to some of the agencies working in the churches sector with whom Partners collaborated on particular ventures. Both Doug and Geraldine's new roles also allow some limited time for continuing involvement in particular areas of work initiated during the project. As part of its final phase, a 69 page report was produced on the work of the project, what has been learned along the way, and opportunities, hard questions and challenges that remain for the churches. This report will be available soon on the ISE website at

Questions remaining for the churches and those who work with the churches include:

  • Who will address the persistent ambivalence this project has encountered about the centrality of peacebuilding in the Gospel and, therefore, in the churches' life and ministry?
  • Can real progress be made without addressing the inadequate understanding of reconciliation that seems to prevail amongst general church membership on this island?
  • What difference does our being 'in Christ' make in terms of how we relate to others?
  • Who can actually effect leverage for change in the churches toward becoming communities that are intentionally contributing to peacebuilding in wider society?
  • Do clergy always have to be in charge of initiatives or projects?
  • Are the churches open to change?

Peace and Neutrality Alliance (PANA)
PANA is holding a public meeting to mark the 3rd anniversary of the global demonstrations against the invasion of Iraq; it’s on Wednesday 15th February at 7.00 pm at ATGWU Hall, Mid Abbey Street, Dublin, chaired by Des Bonass and with Tariq Ali as keynote speaker. PANA is holding a Conference on the Future of Europe in Liberty Hall, Dublin from 10.00 am – 4.00 pm on Saturday 18th February; speakers include Susan George, Brian Denny, Frank Slijper, Jack O’Connor; David Norris and Catherine Murphy will chair. Other activities are planned including involvement in the global march against the war in Iraq which assembles in Parnell square at 2pm on Saturday 18th March.. PANA, Dalkey Business Centre, 17 Castle Street, Dalkey, Co Dublin, ph 01 – 2351512 / 2808247 / 2894315, e-mail and web

Mediation NI – Job, courses, staff
Mediation Northern Ireland (MNI) are currently hiring a Development Officer (Local Governance) who will assist in the development of mediation, and associated disciplines, with district councils and other local authorities in Northern Ireland; experience required includes 3 years community relations work, experience of facilitating meditative processes with diverse groups, and training skills. Closing date is 10th February and it’s a fixed term contract to mid-2008; details from Personnel Officer at MNI or e-mail

Additional open access training dates from MNI include Handling Life’s Conflicts on 6th and 13th April, and Foundation Training in Mediation on 11th, 12th, 18th, 15th May and 1st and 8th June; details on request. Meanwhile, regarding staffing, Sean O Baoill has left the full-time staff but will continue involvement, and Jude Cumiskey from TADA has replaced Elaine McKeown as Development Officer for the Mediation Service. MNI, 83 University Street, Belfast BT7 1HP, phone 9043 8614 and e-mail

Organic Centre, Rossinver, Co Leitrim
Located at Rossinver, 8 miles from Manorhamilton, and established in 1995, the Organic Centre aims to provide training, information and demonstrations of organic gardening, growing, farming and sustainable living. It has a wide variety of different kinds of garden, a wetland sewage disposal system, and a shop with seasonal plants, vegetables, tools and seeds.
The Centre is open from 19th March - 30th September daily from 11 a.m. - 4.00 p.m. Admission is €7 adults, children and Friends free, €3 concessions (the Centre is only open during October to March by appointment). As well as courses on growing and soil fertility and rotation, there are courses on ecological housing, sustainable energy, relearning lost skills, and a conscientious lifestyle. Some courses are run in Co Clare especially for people in the south of the country. Course fees in Leitrim are typically €80 for a day. Educational tours for groups can be booked on request. An informative 50 page booklet is produced on 'Courses and Activities 2006' which is available free on request; or you can visit their well-designed website at which includes an order form which can be downloaded. You can support the work in The Organic Centre by becoming a friend, annual individual membership €30.
The Organic Centre organizes Community Food Projects in conjunction with the HSE in the Northwest and Peace and Environment Projects funded by Peace II Programme Cross-Border Consortium. More information available from the project Coordinator Hans Wieland at the centre.
Contact: The Organic Centre, Rossinver, Co Leitrim. Tel: 071 - 98 54338, fax 071 - 98 54343, and e-mail

SCI/VSI/IVS Afica, Asia, Latin America Programme 2006
The programme enables people to gain an insight and understanding of different development issues facing people and countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America by participating in voluntary work projects, of practical benefit to local communities. The projects are organised by local voluntary work organisations and involve teams of local and international volunteers helping: Some of the 2006 Projects can be viewed at There is a series of Information Workshops around the country during February 2006 where further details and application forms will be available.
Dublin: Thursday, 2nd Feb at 7.30pm in the Irish Film Institute, 6 Eustace St., Temple Bar, Dublin 2.
Dublin: Sat. 11th Feb at 11.00am in the Irish Film Institute (see above)
Limerick: Tuesday, 14th February @ 7.00pm in the Limerick Youth Centre, Lr. Glentworth St., Limerick
Tullamore: Wed 15th February at 8.00pm in the Bridge House Hotel, Tullamore, Co. Offaly
Cork: Sat 18th February at 11.00 am (venue to be agreed)
Galway: Wed. 22nd February at 7.30pm in the GAF Youth Cafe, Eglington St./Francis St., Galway
Belfast: Thurs. 16th Feb. at 5.45 pm in the IVS offices There is a comprehensive and obligatory preparation and orientation programme for participants in March and April. If you are over 21 and have voluntary work experiences under your belt then get in contact with VSI or IVS during January for more details. l
- Voluntary Service International, 30 Mountjoy Square, Dublin 1, ph 01-8551011 Email: web:
- International Voluntary Service, 34 Shaftesbury Square, Belfast BT2 7DB, ph 028 – 90238147, e-mail and web

Also, both VSI and IVS are looking for projects in Ireland which can be included in their 2006 programme which would benefit from a team of international volunteers (they come recommended – Ed).

Troubled Youth?
“Troubled Youth Young people, violence and disorder in Northern Ireland” is a new report by Ulf Hansson for the Institute for Conflict Research, Belfast, looking at a whole variety of issues on the topic. 110 pages, A5, ISBN 0-9541898-8-4 and priced at £5, also available in pdf format at ICR, Unit 14 North City Business centre, 2 Duncairn Gardens, Belfast BT15 2GG, phone 028 – 90742682.

Death of Una O’Higgins O’Malley
We much regret to record the death of Una O’Higgins O’Malley, prominent reconciliation and peace activist in Dublin who was a founder member of, and leading figure in, Glencree Centre for Reconciliation. She died on 18th December, aged 78. He autobiography “From Pardon and Protest: Memoirs from the Margins” (published by Arlen House) records just some of her background and involvements. May she rest in peace.

International Women’s Day for Peace and Disarmament
This is on 24th May in 2006 and as usual there is an excellent resource booklet produced by the Women Peacemakers Program of IFOR (International Fellowship of Reconciliation) and International Peace Bureau (IPB); it has the theme ‘Women resisting violence’ and looks primarily at Eastern Europe, but also with an international directory of women’s peace groups. Individual copies are €5 from IFOR, Women Peacemakers Program, Spoorstraat 38, 1815 BK Alkmaar, Netherlands, e-mail It will be downloadable from the website at

FEASTA course in Belfast
Starting on Tuesday 21 February, Nicola Creighton from the FEASTA Education Group will facilitate the 10 evenings (from 7.00 – 9.00 pm) of presentation and discussion, which will explore the issues of Money, Growth, Climate Change, Energy, Food, Land-use and Democracy and the root causes of unsustainability.. Hosted at the Gibson Institute for Land, Food and Environment, School of Biological Sciences, Queen’s University Belfast, the 10 sessions will use Feasta’s 'Community Learning Toolkit’, a CD ROM containing readings, videos and audio recordings that enable a community of learners to explore the issues further. Cost (includes a CD ROM and FEASTA Book): £50. Concession price of £35 available to: - Staff and volunteers from, Community groups, NGOs, Voluntary and Civil Society organisations. Concession price of £20 available to: - FEASTA members, Students, OAPs and Unwaged.

To register contact the Course Facilitator, Nicola Creighton, ph 028 90971401.
Cheques should be made out to “Feasta” and mailed to Dr Nicola Creighton, Feasta “Toolkit for Sustainability”,
c/o the Gibson Institute, 3 Lennoxvale, Malone Road, Belfast BT9 5BY. For more information on the work of FEASTA see

Pax Christi International Route for Peace
The Pax Christi European Route for Peace is from 31st July to 8th August this year, organised by the Franciscans in Vézelay, France; there’ll be 5 days of walking together and 3 days celebration at Vézelay. Young people (18-c.35) from all over Europe are invited to participate (cost €200/students €150, not including transport). Contact: Pax Christi France, Fleur Borgeat, 5 rue Morère, 75014 Paris, or e-mail and web

Corrymeela seeks….
A Volunteer Support Worker to be based in Ballycastle, to support the Volunteer Coordinator including promoting volunteering in the wider community. assist in increasing the number and range of volunteers working within the Corrymeela Community and support the planning and management of the summer programme. Closing date 20th February, more info from Anne McDonagh at 028 - 9050 8071. e-mail

Jim Wallis calls in to Belfast
Zero28, CCCI, and the Corrymeela Community are co-hosting two events in Belfast with Jim Wallis, leader of the Sojourners Community in Washington, DC. He is a speaker, author, activist, and international commentator on ethics and public life. Jim is visiting the UK and Ireland to launch a new edition of his book 'God's Politics', a searing critique of the Religious Right, and call for Christian social engagement that champions the poor, builds peace, and develops reconciliation across cultures, rather than being known for intolerance and narrow interpretations of morality. Thursday 16th February sees two events at Roast café, Elmwood Avenue, Belfast; 1-2pm: God's Politics: A Dialogue with Students and others led by Jim Wallis and 6.30-8.30pm: Belfast launch of 'God's Politics: Why the Religious Right Gets It Wrong, and Why the Left Doesn't Get It'. Please RSVP to by Friday 10th February to help us plan. We will also be hosting an event with Jim in Dublin on Friday 17th February - please email us if you would like more information.

Pace e Bene materials
A successful workshop was held by INNATE in early January with Brendan McKeague on ‘A spirituality of active nonviolence’. INNATE has three related manuals which can be borrowed: 1) “From Violence to Wholeness – a ten part process in the spirituality and practice of active nonviolence” by Ken Butigan, 2) “Engage – Exploring Nonviolent Living”, by Laura Slattery, Ken Butigan, Veronica Pelicaric and Ken Preston-Pile, a study program fo learning, practising and experimenting with the power of creative nonviolence to transform our lives and our world, and 3) “Franciscan nonviolence – stories, reflections, principles, practices and resources” by ken Butigam Mary Litell OSF, and Louie Vitale OFM. See also and INNATE has an e-mailable list of resources it holds on nonviolence; please enquire if interested.

Belfast networking group of INNATE meets next on Monday, 13th February at 7.00 pm in 7 University Avenue, Belfast; other dates in early 2006 are 13th March and 10th April (same time, same place). Anyone interested welcome.


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