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

Number 157: 5th March 2008

Without Walls - Living Memorial Museum
Healing Through Remembering has produced a 44 page booklet (A4) based on its previous open call for ideas on remembering the conflict in and about Northern Ireland. A wide variety of ideas are represented (including reference to two submissions from INNATE). The report, written by Louise Purbrick, is available in printed format and also as a PDF under 'Publications' on their website. Beautifully produced copy books of the original submissions can also be booked and borrowed for those who want to focus more on the topic. Healing Through Remembering, 17a Ormeau Avenue, Belfast BT2 8HD, ph 028 - 9023 8844, e-mail and web

European Mediation Conference 2008 - still places available.....
If you haven't booked, then do so as only a very limited number places are still available for 10th - 12th April (see NN155). There are now over 300 people registered for the conference, from 25 countries. Join us in Belfast for the conference not to miss in 2008! Go to the conference website to book a place now. Since we last reported, several keynote speakers have been added to the conference programme.

Martti Ahtisaari is the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for the future status process for Kosovo and was President of the Republic of Finland from 1994 until 2000. In 2007 Mr. Ahtisaari became a member of an Independent Consultative Group on the Past seeking a consensus in Northern Ireland on how to best deal with the legacy of the past. Machteld Pel is the Director of the Netherlands Court-Annexed Mediation Agency. Among other things, Judge Pel is an arbitrator and a qualified mediator and mediator-trainer. Antonia Potter has expertise across a range of humanitarian, development, peace-making and peace-building issues, most recently specialising in women and gender in tracks one and two diplomacy for peace-making For complete information on keynote speakers, conference programme, hotels, travel information, and more, go to the conference website.

The secretariat office for the European Mediation Conference 2008 will be pleased to answer any questions you may have about any aspect of the conference. The office is open Monday to Friday from 9.00 to 17.00. The best way to contact them is by email: or phone 028 9023 5001.

The Organic Centre, Rossinver, Co Leitrim
Located at Rossinver, 8 miles from Manorhamilton, and established in 1995, the Organic Centre promotes organic growing and sustainable living. It has a wide variety of different kinds of gardens, a wetland sewage disposal system, a shop with seasonal plants, vegetables, tools and a mail order seeds sale, and also houses The Grass Roof CafÈ , which is open at weekends and organises food events throughout the year.

The Centre is open all year round from 10am to 5pm, except Christmas and New Year. Admission charge for the gardens and events (from 16th March to 31st October) is Ä5 adults, children and Friends free, Ä3 concessions. As well as more than 150 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 and also in Co. Wicklow. Course fees in Leitrim are typically Ä90 for a day. Educational tours for groups and workshops can be booked on request. A full programme 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 euro. The Organic Centre organizes Community Food Projects in conjunction with the HSE in the Northwest and a new Women's Horticultural Training Project funded by the Dep. of Agriculture and Food. For information on both projects call Andy at the centre.

Contact: The Organic Centre, Rossinver, Co Leitrim. Tel: 071 - 98 54338, fax 071 - 98 54343, and e-mail

Clustering together against cluster bombs
The latest meeting of the Oslo Process was held in Wellington, New Zealand from 18th to 22nd of February with a couple of people attending from Pax Christi Ireland. The Oslo Process was launched last year in February to work with like minded countries to ban the production, stockpiling, transfer and use of cluster bombs. 82 countries including Ireland endorsed the Wellington Declaration. Ireland as a member of the core group of countries will host one of the most crucial meetings of the Oslo Process in Dublin from 19th to 30th May in Croke Park, Dublin. Ireland will also chair the meeting negotiating an international agreement on cluster bombs. This stage of negotiations is the most critical phase of the Oslo Process; a few governments like France, Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, and others under pressure from civil society have moved to ban some types of cluster bombs but would like to retain and develop other types. These countries would prefer a partial ban and not a complete one. There will be pressure on Ireland to accommodate the positions of these countries. Ireland as chair of the conference will have to stand strong and should not allow the draft text of the treaty to be weakened. The majority of the world's nations stand for a total ban. Ireland will have to demonstrate its diplomatic skill to secure a complete prohibition on cluster bombs.

As members of civil society and representatives of NGOs, please write to Dermot Ahern TD, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Iveagh House, Dublin 2.

Further information; Pax Christi Ireland, 52 Lower Rathmines Road, Dublin 6, ph 01 - 496 52 93, fax 496 54 92, e-mail

[See also NN 156 - we hope to have a report each month in NN until after the May conference in Dublin]

Afri campaigns on arms trade pensions
Afri is campaigning to have Irish pension funds disinvested from arms manufacturing companies, and have postcards available addressed to the Taoiseach and Minister for Finance. The Irish Daily Star of 27th November 2007 published the information, reproduced on the cards by Afri, detailing Irish pension holdings - including euro 18 million in Boeing, USA, euro 14 million in BAE Systems, UK, euro 12 million in Raytheon, USA, and Ä6 million in Thales, France. The cards read "We are appalled to learn that Irish pension funds are being invested in the world's top ten arms manufacturing companies. We have always believed that the purpose of pension funds is to provide peace and security for people in their old age. How ironic that such funds should be invested in an industry which is built on death and destruction.....We call on you to urgently look into this matter and to immediately withdraw any pension funds from investment in the 'business of blood' ".

You can get the cards from Afri or write directly to An Taoiseach, The Department of the Taoiseach, Government Buildings, Upper Merrion Street, Dublin 2, and Minister Brian Cowen, Department of Finance, Government Buildings, Upper Merrion Street, Dublin 2.

Afri, 134 Phibsborough Road, Dublin 7, phone 01 - 882 7563/7581, e-mail and web

Amnesty welcomes cluster bombs disinvestment & builds for future

Amnesty International Irish Section has welcomed reports (4th March) that the Irish Government intends to amend the legislation governing the operation of the National Pension Reserve Fund (NPRF) to allow for ethical considerations to be taken into account. AI Executive Director Colm O'Gorman said "While we are pleased to see the Government is planning to amend the legislation to end investment in firms that manufacture cluster munitions we believe this is an opportunity to look at the wider ethical considerations of how the Irish people's money is invested. We are calling on the Government to work with human rights and development organizations to ensure that a robust set of ethical guidelines for investment is put into the Act."

- Amnesty International's shop at 48 Fleet Street, Temple Bar, Dublin is going to be closed for a couple of years as they develop the site as a Human Rights Action Centre, open to all Irish NGOs working on human rights issues - there will be a retail outlet again when work is completed, fundraising is currently taking place.

- Amnesty International, Irish Section, ph 01 - 863 8300, e-mail and web

ICJSA appointment, conference
Ms. Nicola Rooney has recently been appointed Research Coordinator to the Irish Commission for Justice and Social Affairs (ICJSA). The Commission, launched by Cardinal Se·n Brady on 13 June 2005, forms part of the Department of Social Issues and International Affairs of the Irish Bishops Conference. Its role is to support the Irish Bishops' Conference in promoting the social teaching of the Catholic Church and to advise on justice and social issues both national and international.

On Monday 18th February the ICJSA hosted a major conference at Croke Park, Dublin, on the theme "Who is my neighbour?" based on Pope Benedict XVI's first encyclical letter Deus Caritas Est (God is Love). The conference was opened by Cardinal Se·n Brady and the excellent turnout was a positive indication of the wide-ranging interest in the practical application of Catholic Social Teaching. Speaking at the conference, ICJSA chairman Bishop Raymond Field said: "Our society is becoming more complex and, some would argue, more remote. I believe - now more than ever - that the question 'Who is my neighbour?' poses a real challenge to all of us in the Ireland of 2008. Clearly greater debate and responsibility around this issue is now required by faith groups, public policy makers, media commentators... in truth each and every person in our society needs to ask, and answer, this question." Keynote addresses were given by Professor Conor Gearty, Professor of Human Rights Law at the London School of Economics, Ms. Lucy Fallon-Byrne, Director of the National Centre for Partnership and Performance, and Bishop Donal Murray of Limerick. As part of the afternoon session a panel discussion was chaired by Councillor Rotimi Adebari, Mayor of Portlaoise, with contributions from Professor John Monaghan of the St. Vincent de Paul society, Dr. Fergus O'Ferrall, Director of The Adelaide Hospital Society, Dr. Duncan Morrow of the Northern Ireland Community Relations Council and Sr. Joan Roddy of the Irish Bishop's Refugee and Migrant Project. The text of the speeches is available on the ICJSA website:

Contact: Nicola Rooney, Research Coordinator, The Irish Commission for Justice and Social Affairs, The Columba Centre, Maynooth, Co. Kildare. Tel: (003531) 5053016. Fax: (003531) 6016401. E-mail:

Demo for 5th anniversary of Iraq War/Occupation
The Irish Anti-War Movement, supported by the Peace and Neutrality Alliance PANA) and the NGO Peace Alliance are organising a major demonstration on Saturday March 15th at 1pm, assembling at Parnell Square in Dublin. See and

Big Ask from FOE
A Europe-wide climate campaign in 17 countries was launched on 27th February by Friends of the Earth to get governments and the European Union to commit to legally-binding annual cuts in carbon emissions to fight climate change. Friends of the Earth Ireland Director, Oisin Coghlan, said "Our Government has committed to year-on-year emissions cuts of 3%, that's a start. The Big Ask campaign demands that we put that commitment into law, to make sure it happens. If we had put our Kyoto commitment into law 10 years ago you can be damn sure we would have done a lot more to meet our target." Go to and click on your country. Friends of the Earth, 9 Upper Mount Street, Dublin 2, ph 01-6394652 and web

New-clear directions
Ulster Quaker Peace Committee are hosting a session on Tuesday 25th March at 7.30pm, Quaker Meeting House, 22 Marlborough Park North, Belfast, when the film Nuclear Connections will be shown documenting the Footprints for Peace 'Towards a Nuclear Free Future' Dublin - London walk, May - August '07. All welcome, contact Mark at 07983 549472. See also NN 156 and NN 149 as well as

De Borda opens an MBC
The de Borda Institute, the New Economics Foundation and Open Democracy are conducting an exercise in consensus voting on the question: "How should the (UK) political process be funded?" There are two electorates: a) those undergrad and post-grad students who sign up on a specific list; and b) anybody else who does so on a more open list. If you would care to participate as one of the second electorate, please sign up on:

The majority vote should never be used in conflict resolution work; the professional mediator, however, can use the MBC/Modified Borda Count. The MBC is a system of democratic voting designed to facilitate the identification of a consensus, if and when one exists. By posing problems as open rather than closed questions, it allows all participants to bring their preferred solutions to the table; next, after an open multi-optional debate, it asks everyone to cast their preferences on (one, some or hopefully) all the options listed; and then it identifies that option which gains the highest average preference. The de Borda Institute, 36 Ballysillan Road. Belfast BT14 7QQ, ph 028 90 711795, mob 078 377 17979, e-mail and web

ARAN campaign to ban fur farming in Ireland
On January 30th Animal Rights Action Network organised a huge protest outside of the Department of Agriculture to kick off our campaign to 'Ban Fur Farming in Ireland'. Joined by up to 60 ARAN members and supporters along with backing from our colleagues at Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) and Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) This year there is an opportunity to get legislation into the new upcoming animal welfare bill which it is hoped will be released late 2008 or early 2009. Please write a snail mail letter to Minister for Agriculture Mary Coughlan and express your concern at animal suffering on Irish fur farms, urge her to ban fur farming in Ireland without delay. Address: Minister Mary Coughlan, Office of the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries & Food, Agriculture House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2. E-mail your letter also, send it to both these addresses and It is critically important to contact the Fianna Fail TD's in your area and ask them to support a ban on fur farming in Ireland. Further info: Animal Rights Action Network

INNATE networking group meets next on Wednesday 12th March at 7 pm at 16 Ravensdene Park, Belfast (note venue).


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