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

Issue 139: May 2006

North Belfast Conflict Transformation Forum (NBCTF)

North Belfast is known for its multiple interfaces and around 30% of deaths related to the ‘Troubles’ in Northern Ireland. This Practitioners’ Forum was launched in April, though work has been going on for the last 3 years.

It includes a wide range of groups including An Eochair, Ardoyne Focus Group, Ashton Community Trust, Ballysillan Forum, Cliftonville Regeneration Trust, Concerned Residents of Upper Ardoyne (CRUA), Corrymeela, Ex-Prisoners Interpretive Centre, Good Morning Ballysillan, Intercomm, LINC Resource Centre, Ligoniel Improvement Centre, Lower North Belfast Community Council, Monkstown Community Resource Centre, North Belfast Alternatives, North Belfast Developing Leadership Initiative CEP, North Belfast Interface Network, Protestant Interface Network (PIN), Teach na Failte, Mediation Resource Centre, and Tar Isteach. The aim is to strategically address issues of sectarianism and the negative aspects of parochialism and competitiveness that exist within the different areas and organisations. It will promote learning opportunities for practitioners and seek to develop best practice in transforming conflict through cooperation and dialogue. NBCTF can be contacted by e-mail or ph 028 - 9074 5983.

The Black Shamrock campaign
The Black Shamrock Campaign emerged out of a need for an image that would visually communicate the extent of opposition in Ireland to Irish involvement in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. It symbolises our mourning for the loss of Irish Neutrality and for the tens of thousands of lives lost in Iraq and Afghanistan as a result of the US-led wars in which our leaders, north and south, have been complicit, and for which the airports at Shannon, Aldergrove and Baldonnel have become pit-stops.

Equally the economies both north and south are daily becoming more integrally linked to the fortunes of the US led ‘military industrial complex’. We who support the campaign would ask what price is being paid for ‘peace’ in the north and ‘prosperity’ in the south with the arrival of Raytheon (the world’s largest Missile manufacturer) in Derry and companies like Timoney, Data Devices Corporation, Zillings and Moog Ltd (all of whom make components for the international arms industry) in the south.

The Black Shamrock is also, of course, a symbol of resistance. In wearing it you become part of the campaign, visually voicing your opposition to any Irish involvement, be it economic, strategic or logistical, in these unjust and illegal wars and so disassociating yourself from the collusion. The beauty of the campaign, like any campaign that employs the power of non-violence, is that it allows the whole of civil society, children, young people, adults, the elderly, coming from all walks of life to take part. Choosing to wear it not only voices your opposition but invites comment, thus encouraging the debate necessary if we are to break civil society out of its passivity, and mobilise it to stop the collusion. So while there is much work to be done beyond wearing a badge for those who are up for it, wearing a badge is an important act of support and encouragement to those who can do more. So a key piece of work at this stage in the campaign is to spread the word and get badges out. Badges can be ordered in batches no smaller than 100 through the website or via e-mail address at a cost of UK£10 + post & packaging. People are encouraged to ask for donations and donate profits to the campaign or other peace building project. So the badge is not just a campaigning tool but a fund raising tool as well!

The Black Shamrock campaign is a grassroots non-party affiliated (and so open to the support of all parties) campaign to highlight the views of the majority of people in Ireland and in the rest of the world; that we want no part in these dirty occupations and instruct our leaders to follow Irish and International law and immediately withdraw support for the occupations.

The website is at
- Jim Keys, Foyle Ethical Investment Campaign

Afri Famine Walk, Easter demo
You don’t need to remember your shovel, just your walking boots, for this year’s Afri Famine Walk, co-sponsored with Louisburgh Community Project on the theme ‘Land for people not for profit’, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the birth of Michael Davitt. Walk leaders are Christy Moore, Dr Owens Wiwa, Vincent McGrath, and Maureen McGrath. It ‘runs’ the ten miles from Doolough to Louisburgh, Co Mayo on Saturday 20th May beginning at 2pm (there is a bus from Dublin bookable in advance) with programme on the Friday evening and a céilí on the Saturday night. Afri, 134 Phibsborough Road, Dublin 7, ph 01 – 8827563, e-mail and Louisburgh Community project, Long Street, Louisburgh, Co Mayo, ph 098 – 66218, e-mail

Meanwhile Afri organised an alternative 1916 parade outside the GPO on O’Connell St. in Dublin on Easter Monday, April 17th at 12 noon. This event reflected on the health of the nation, 90 years after the Easter Rising; Afri’s Easter Monday event was entitled a ‘show of strength’ and focussed on those abandoned by the government on trolleys in hospital corridors. Afri queried whether the official 1916 parade, a display of militarism, was the best way for a self declared neutral country to celebrate its independence. Afri’s argument is that Ireland should demonstrate its strength, not by the size and weaponry-range of the army, but by the health and welfare of all the citizens and by the strength of commitment to working for an end to poverty and war throughout the world.

Rossport Solidarity Camp
The Shell to Sea campaign, and the case of the Rossport Five, is now quite well known both in Ireland and internationally; Shell’s attempt to put a potentially lethal pipeline with gas at high pressure close to homes and roads has received much attention, partly through the 94 day imprisonment of the ‘Rossport Five’. But that certainly does not mean that the issues are won (see ). Shell wants to restart work this year. Rossport Solidarity Camp was set up in June 2005 with the aim of stopping Shell; it is organised non-hierarchically and committed to non-violent direct action, among other guidelines. People are needed throughout 2006 to help prevent Shell putting people’s lives at risk and destroying the area. The camp welcomes people of all ages, abilities and skills. Directions for getting there are included on the website but please contact before arriving (and see their wish list!): and e-mail or you can phone landline 097 – 20944, or mobiles 086 – 3201612, 086 – 3588890 or 087 – 6543425.

CAJ/Committee on the Administration of Justice
CAJ has been having a busy time, launching an international Anthology of international contributions to the debate on a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland (available at £10); issuing its report into the devolution of criminal justice (£9); and acting as local secretariat for the Eminent Jurists Panel which visited Northern Ireland to hear what lessons the jurisdiction has to offer to a discussion of "terrorism, counter-terrorism and human rights". If you want more information on any of these activities, or general activities related to the celebration of its 25th year promoting justice for all, contact CAJ, 45-47 Donegall Street, Belfast BT1 2BR, ph 028 – 9096 1122.

Justice Not Terror visits Thales
Thales Air Defence is Ireland’s largest arms manufacturer, making missiles in suburban Belfast (Castlereagh) with a turnover of £15.3 million in 2005. On 27th April the Justice Not Terror Coalition held a demonstration there including speeches, banners, a die in and ‘blood’ on the ground, blocking the front gate for the best part of half an hour, and the call to Thales included to start making socially useful products rather than weapons on destruction. The action was part of a response to the Global Call to Action ( for an end to US military occupation of Iraq. See also the report at Indymedia 7 Meetings continue at Peace House, 224 Lisburn Road, Belfast on Tuesdays at 7.30 pm for further actions in July/August. JNTC, e-mail or phone 0771 – 511 0517.

Fundamentalism in Religions: Faith, Scope and Clarity
The Inter-Faith Roundtable and the Department of Peace Studies at Saor-Ollscoil na hÉireann, are organising their 2nd Annual Religious Peace Conference in St. Brigid’s Community Centre, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15 on Saturday 10th June 2006 from 8.30am to 4.30pm. The topic is as above. Our inaugural conference last year was very successful in bringing together religious scholars, academics, politicians, members of different faith communities and the media, both national and international, to address issues of peace between creeds and adherents of creeds. Saor-Ollscoil na hÉireann, 55 Prussia Street, Dublin 7, phone 01 – 863 3368.

Kilcranny House - Community liaison worker
Kilcranny House in Coleraine have a vacancy for a Community Liaison Worker including work with local and residential groups and schools. Experience of group work and training is essential. An understanding of community relations or community development work is essential, also of the principles of non violence, and consensus decision making is desirable. Salary – £21,439.60. Closing date for applications: Monday, 22 May at 12.00 noon. Interviews will be held on Tuesday, 30 May. For further details; send a stamped addressed envelope to: Siobhan Atkins, Kilcranny House, 21 Cranagh Road, Coleraine, BT51 3NN or e-mail: And web

International Experiences of Days of Remembrance and Reflection
This report from Healing Through Remembering (HTR) was launched at the end of March (60 pages A4) available in paper or downloadable from the HTR website at HTR welcomes comments and invitations for discussion and will be producing a discussion paper on proposals for a day of reflection (in Northern Ireland). HTR, 17a Ormeau Avenue, Belfast BT2 8HD, ph 028 – 9023 8844 and e-mail

Irish School of Ecumenics Courses
The Irish School of Ecumenics has three taught masters courses; an M.Phil in Reconciliation Studies (taught in Belfast) and International Peace Studies and Ecumenical Studies (both Dublin). In addition, ISE offer postgrad programmes leading to M.Litt. and Ph.D. degrees in these three areas. It has a Postgraduate Diploma in Conflict and Dispute Resolution Studies which is a one-year part-time evening postgraduate diploma, based in Dublin, plus adult education work etc. Further details at including information on fees. Dublin phone 01 - 260 1144, Belfast 028 - 9077 5010

ISE has recently launched 'Explorations in Reconciliation: New Directions in Theology', edited by David Tombs and Joseph Liechty. The book comprises 9 essays on reconciliation by the following: Marc Gopin, Miroslav Volf, David Herbert, Joseph Liechty, Ad María Isasi-Díaz, David Tombs, Wilhelm Verwoerd, Cecelia Clegg and Geraldine Smyth OP. It is published by Ashgate and is 161 pages long. Copies can be ordered through the publishers The cover price is £45.00.

The Belfast campus will be showing ‘State of Fear’, a film based on the testimony of more than 16,000 people to the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission, on Tuesday 16 May 2006, 6.30pm - 9.00pm at Irish School of Ecumenics, 683 Antrim Road, Belfast. The screening will begin at 7.00pm, with drinks from 6.30pm and a short time for discussion afterward until 9.00pm. For more details on the film see The evening is being organised in association with Chatham House London. There is no charge but it is expected that this event will be very popular, and since places are limited please RSVP to Caroline Clarke tel. 028 9077 0087 or email

Amnesty International – put your face on (a Million Faces)
NI: Amnesty International (AI) will stage a Stormont briefing on the campaign for an international arms trade treaty on 9th May at Parliament Buildings. Speakers at the event, held with Oxfam, will be BBC NI political editor Mark Devenport, Amnesty’s Patrick Corrigan, Oxfam's Colin Roche and Rathmore Grammar School pupil Chris O'Hara whose Amnesty youth group collected 850 faces for the Control Arms campaign 'million faces petition', which will be presented to the UN small arms conference in New York in June. The Stormont event is being hosted by the Assembly's all-party group on international development. More info from AI-NI at 028 - 9064 3000, 397 Ormeau Road, Belfast BT7 3GP, web

Meanwhile Amnesty has its first Northern Ireland billboard campaign currently on display, with a focus on challenging complacency domestic violence - part of its global Stop Violence Aginst Women campaign. The innovative campaign uses images of bruised and battered women in a series of posters displayed around Northern Ireland, supposedly advertising a new range of make-up for “bruising relationships”. The Amnesty campaign is being sponsored by trade unions UNISON and NIPSA, which are also distributing thousands of notice-board size versions of the posters for display in workplaces around Northern Ireland. Copies of the A3-size poster are available free on request from Amnesty:

Amnesty International in Northern Ireland currently has 12 campaign groups: Belfast, Armagh, Foyle, Mid Down, Mid Ulster, North Down, East Antrim, Lagan Valley, Fermanagh, Coleraine, Newry & Mourne and Queen's University. Contact details available online, at the soon to be re-launched website

Republic: Amnesty International is in a crucial period of the Control Arms campaign. In June 2006, we plan to bring a worldwide petition will go to the UN Conference on Small Arms, to show world leaders that people will not tolerate the uncontrolled availability of arms that kill, maim and torture on a daily basis around the globe. This petition comes in the form of a Million Faces, collected from around the world in solidarity for the Control Arms campaign. In Ireland, we need 20,000 faces to send a clear message both to the UN and to our own government that Irish people demand stronger arms trade controls - another 10,000 faces are needed before 25th May, when the Japanese Peace Boat will come to bring the petition to New York. Please take photos of yourself, friends, family & anyone else you know - holding a sign saying Control Arms. Alternatively, you can get creative & draw a self-portrait! Send pictures to us at Amnesty International Irish Section, 48 Fleet Street, Dublin 2 or upload to

Local groups in the Republic include: Cashel, Castlebar, Clonakilty, Cork City, Dublin Central, Dublin Northeast, Dublin West, Dublin Rathgar, Tallaght Co Dublin, Dundalk, Dun Laoghaire/Blackrock, Enniscorthy, Galway City, Kells, Kilkenny, Letterkenny, Limerick, North Wicklow/Bray, Portaloise, Schull, Sligo, Tralee, Tullamore, Waterford, Wexford. Want to know more? Please feel free to ring Activism and Outreach Officer, Kieran Clifford in the office on 01- 677 6361, ext. 226 or email The website is at

Pax Christi Ireland
Pax Christi Ireland’s AGM takes place on Sunday 7th May from 10 am through to 4.30 pm at a Dublin venue. the speaker will be Rev John Marsden on ‘Connolly, Pearse and the Legacy of the 1916 Generation’ and other business will include a prayer service, reports and elections. Subscriptions to Pax Christi Ireland are a minimum of €25 waged, €10 unwaged and €5 students (UK cheques acceptable). Pax Christi Ireland, 52 Lower Rathmines Road, Dublin 6, phone 01 – 496 52 93, fax 496 54 92, and e-mail

West Papua Action – Dublin gig
West Papua Action have a gig/get together on Saturday 13th May from 7.00 – 9.00 pm at Goggin’s Pub, Monkstown village, Co Dublin (3 minutes from Salthill DART station, opposite 7 bus stop) with Willie Comerford and the Barrow Boys. Free in – voluntary contributions. E-mail Web and postal address 134 Phibsborough Road, Dublin 7.


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