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

Issue 147: March 2007

PSNI investigate legality of UK’s nuclear weapons
Following on from a visit to Musgrave Street, Belfast, PSNI station on 23rd November last by members of Make Trident History who were reporting the UK illegal possession of nuclear weapons, the PSNI (Police Service of Northern Ireland) have written to say they are investigating: “As you are undoubtedly aware the issues you raise are complex and wide-ranging and it will take some time to ensure they are considered in a meaningful manner. With this in mind…[the matter will be dealt with by].ACC [Assistant Chief Constable] Crime Operations who, as the PSNI’s senior Detective, is the most appropriate person to deal with the concerns you have highlighted…” Contact: Make Trident History, phone 0773 781 9569, e-mail

The Hollies: Practical sustainability in Co Cork
Since 1999, ‘The Hollies Centre for Practical Sustainability’ has become an inspiring place where people go to learn relevant skills for today and the future. It started with two families dreaming up an Eco-Village. A small version of it is currently developing with planning permission for a Study Centre and 4 Eco-Houses. One of them is completed, lived in and also serves as a venue for training courses which cover a range of skills and techniques for sustainable living including cob building – an ancient technique using a mix of earth, sand, clay and straw to sculpt solid walls that last for centuries and make beautiful, warm and comfortable homes. The materials are very accessible and everybody can learn the necessary skills. Cob houses can be relatively cheap although they are labour intensive. The secret lies in getting more people involved as volunteers or trainees – and then everybody wins. This also highlights the underlying values of the project: cooperation, shared responsibility for action, inclusivity, mutual respect and trust.

The educational program also includes building efficient wood burning stoves, organic gardening, woodland management, participatory group facilitation (particularly consensus decision making), conflict resolution (including Non-Violent Communication and Community Mediation), renewable energy and other skills for a sustainable future. The centre is currently run as a family business by Thomas and Ulrike Riedmuller.

A more recent addition is teaching sustainability in local schools. This new module is called ‘Learning to Live with One Planet’…with the diversity of people and with the limited resources of one planet Earth, rather than the 4 we would need with our current of use of resources. This module combines Development Education and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and comes as a package offered to schools in West Cork including two half days classroom visits and a hands-on full day visit to The Hollies. An important element of this work is reaching out to the local community of each school by including lots of opportunities for parents and the wider public for getting involved through public events, as well as gardening and building projects at the schools and in local towns and villages. The message is that we can do a lot of very practical things to save resources, live healthy lives, build community and have fun – important now and in a future where fossil fuels get scarcer.

Another important aspect we are working towards is to spread effective communication and peace-making skills. Activities during workshops include cooperative games, team tasks, and regular feedback sessions. We also specifically promote and organize courses for effective feedback skills, non-violent communication and conflict mediation. Visit for more information and a full programme of courses. The Hollies Centre for Practical Sustainability, Castletown, Enniskeane, Co. Cork, phone: 023 - 47001, office hours: Tuesdays and Fridays 9-12 a.m.

Chernobyl Children’s Project International (CCPI)
CCPI is dedicated to providing humanitarian and medical aid to the 3-4 million children the United Nations recognises as suffering from the Chernobyl disaster of 1986. CCPI achieved much in 2006 including having over 1,000 children visit Ireland for rest and recuperation and the purchase of 4 new foster homes, Homes of Hope, to enable the placement of almost 40 children in a loving family environment; the aim is to expand home purchase to move these children from orphanages and institutions into homes of up to 10 children each. The cost of building each of these homes is €50,000 – this is excluding all the other costs of physiotherapists, special educationalists etc. Regarding building, 3 new units were completed in Vesnova, a new Day Care Centre (DCC) in Petrikov and refurbishment of Kalinkovichi Day Care Centre. Cardiac, community care and medical programmes also continued, and the maintenance of 140 ambulances.

There was the successful delivery of CCPI’s 27th convoy of humanitarian aid from Ireland though such convoys will not be continuing as it has been decided direct aid in Belarus is more cost effective; part of the plan for this year is to spend €300,000+ on direct humanitarian aid by providing monthly in-country deliveries to recipients. CCPI are always looking for volunteers – to organise events themselves or by contributing expertise on the ground as fieldworkers or medical and building staff in Belarus in particular.

Further details are available at the CCPI website at (donations can be made via the website or by bank transfer or cheque). Chernobyl Children’s Project International, Ballycurreen Industrial Estate, Kinsale Road, Cork. phone 021 - 431 2999, e-mail:

Learning to transform relationships; courses with ISE
The Irish School of Ecumenics (ISE), Trinity College, is currently accepting applications for M.Phil., M.Litt. and Ph.D. programmes, for entry in October 2007. A centre for reconciliation studies since 1970, and with campuses in Dublin and Belfast, ISE offers a unique opportunity for graduates to belong to an international student body, where they are encouraged to learn from one another as well as from a panel of expert lecturers. Students share a wide range of interests: e.g., conflict analysis and conflict transformation, peacebuilding, social justice, human rights, politics, development, education, theology and religion, ecology.

Courses offered are: M.Litt. and Ph.D Research Degrees (Belfast and Dublin); M. Phil in Ecumenical Studies (Dublin); M.Phil in International Peace Studies (Dublin); M. Phil. In Reconciliation Studies (Belfast); Postgraduate Diploma in Conflict and Dispute Resolution Studies (Dublin). The taught M.Phil. programmes can be taken over one year full time or two years part time. The closing date for applications to the degree programmes is 30th June 2007, and 30th July for the Diploma programme. One term sabbaticals are also available. If you would like further details, please visit the website at or phone Dublin 01 - 260 1144 or Belfast 028 - 90770087.

The Education for Reconciliation adult education programme of ISE operating from the Belfast campus is involved in a wide range of courses (including restorative justice, hate and transformation etc) in different locations; current ones include Raphoe (Donegal), Ballybay (Monaghan), Dundalk, Newry, Castlewellan, Enniskillen, Coleraine and different venues in Belfast. Other recent locations of courses include Ballycastle, Carrickfergus, Cavan, Dungannon, Limavady, Lurgan, Portadown, Portstewart, Saintfield and Belfast.

The Women in Peacemaking programme, also in Belfast, has run 6-week courses on “The Journey from Violence to Active Non-Violence in Northern Ireland: Learning from women’s voices and experiences” in Monaghan, Dungannon, Omagh, Armagh and a couple in Belfast.

The Belfast campus of ISE is at 683 Antrim Road, Belfast BT15 4EG, ph 028 – 90775010. The Dublin campus is at Bea House, Milltown Park, Dublin 6, ph. 01 – 260 1144.

PANA: Getting the Tone right on Iraq
PANA, the Peace And Neutrality Alliance, marked its 10th anniversary by republishing "The Spanish War" pamphlet written by Wolfe Tone in 1790 in which he first advocated Irish Neutrality. It can be bought for €3 plus postage (it’s also downloadable from the website), all profits go the Stop Bush Campaign. PANA, the NGOPA (NGO Peace Alliance) and the IAWM (Irish Anti-war Movement), together with Labour Youth have re-established the Stop Bush Campaign (SBC) in order to make the war in Iraq, and the use of Shannon Airport in that war, an issue in the forthcoming election. They are asking all candidates to sign a pledge and people to print and distribute the WAR IS AN ELECTION ISSUE poster which can be downloaded from the website. Thousands of posters have been printed and there is a street collection in Dublin on March 15th to raise money in order to print more posters. Volunteers are welcome to take part and can contact PANA will also strongly encourages all people to take part in a SBC demonstration outside the Fianna Fail’s Ard Fheis on Saturday 24th of March at 2.00pm. See PANA, 17 Castle Street, Dalkey, Co.Dublin, ph. 01 235 1512.

ICJSA on Palestine and Israel
The Irish Commission for Justice and Social Affairs (ICJSA) has issued a detailed statement on “Palestine/Israel, Principles for a Just Peace” which was launched at the end of February. At the launch, Bishop Raymond Field said that “Where there is evidence of systematic abuse of human rights on a large scale as in the Occupied Territories there are questions that must be asked concerning the appropriateness of maintaining close business, cultural and commercial links with Israel.” and he mentioned some other issues he would be taking up with the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dermot Ahern. The full report is available at the ICJSA website - go to ‘News and Press Releases’, click on the appropriate press release and the report is available at the end.

Irish Centre for Human Rights (ICHR), Galway
A comprehensive report on ICHR activities 2004-6 is available on the website at which also contains detailed information on recent and forthcoming events. Summer Schools this year will be: International Criminal Court Summer School, June 11th - 16th, and Minority Rights, Indigenous Peoples & Human Rights Law Summer School, June 17th - 22nd. A seminar at the end of February was on The Trafficking of Human Beings, and at the start of March Professor Joshua Castellino, who has been with ICHR since its inception in 2000, gave a farewell lecture on "The Challenges for the Protection of Minority Rights”; he has become Professor of Law at the University of Ulster.

The website has full information on academic courses available including LL.M. programmes in International Human Rights Law and International Peace Support Operations and has a Cross-Border Programme in Human Rights Law (LL.M.) and Human Rights and Criminal Justice (MSSc/LL.M.), in conjunction with Queen’s University of Belfast; there is a PhD programme in International Human Rights Law. ICHR is at National University of Ireland, University Road, Galway, phone: 091 - 493948, e-mail:

Church and Peace: June conference at Corrymeela
“Not by might nor by power….” is the title of a Church and Peace conference on vulnerability and security at the Corrymeela Centre, Ballycastle, Co Antrim from 14th (late afternoon) – 17th June (breakfast). See for venue. The fee for booking by 5th April is £146/€220 or £166/€250 afterwards (by end of April) and this covers all accommodation and organisational costs. Church and Peace wishes to empower communities of Christ’s followers to be places where his peace is lived out in a visible way and there are group and individual members in 11 different European countries. Information and booking: Church and Peace, Ringstrasse 14, D – 35641 Schoeffengrund, Germany, ph +49 6445 5588, e-mail and web

Friends of the Earth or FOEs
Friends of the Earth picketed a meeting of Social Partners in Dublin in mid-February to protest at the exclusion of environmental groups. The Department of the Taoiseach has twice turned down written requests from environmental organisations to discuss their participation in Social Partnership. FOE Ireland director, Oisin Coghlan said “10 years ago, when this government was first elected they promised to put the environment at the heart of public policy. Now, with Ireland's climate pollution spiralling out of control, Bertie Ahern is refusing to allow environmental groups take part in Towards 2016 discussions. Meanwhile, scientists are telling us 10 years is all the time we have left to stop climate change running out of control".. Friends of the Earth, 9 Upper Mount Street, Dublin 2, ph. 01-6394652,

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland's planning system must be 'climate proofed' if the country is to play its part in combating global warming, Friends of the Earth and the Town and Country Planning Association have said. The call came as the organisations met with planners and other key stakeholders to discuss a Planning Policy Statement (PPS) on climate change. In December 2006 following a similar campaign, Ruth Kelly, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, announced a new Planning Policy Statement on climate change for England. Key to this success was the drafting by the Town and Country Planning Association and Friends of the Earth of a mock PPS on climate change. The two organisations are confident that this success can be repeated in Northern Ireland. Friends of the Earth, 7 Donegall Street Place, Belfast, BT1 2FN, ph 028 - 9089 7591, web

Airportwatch website: Shannon in a nutshell
The main page of the Airportwatch website concerning US military use of Shannon Airport is at and there is coverage of the following areas: Protests, direct action etc. December 2001-present; Arrests, charges, convictions; Official reports on rendition flights (Council of Europe, EU Parliamentary Committee, Venice Commission, Submission to Oireachtas committee); Debates in the Dáil and Seanad relating to Shannon; Legal challenges to the government (Dubsky and Horgan):

INNATE networking group meets next on 14th March and 18th April at 7 pm in Corrymeela House, 8 Upper Crescent, Belfast.


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