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

Number 234: November 2015

Paris: The climate is right for positive change - now
COP21, the Paris UN climate change convention (‘Conference Of Parties’) takes place from 30th November to 11th December and it is expected Enda Kenny will be there. Stop Climate Chaos report that over fifty activists will travel from Ireland to Paris to join thousands from Europe and beyond for the final days of COP21. On board a Stop Climate Chaos coach, the group from Ireland will leave Dublin on 9th December, travelling by land and sea, arriving in Paris on 10th December to be there for the final weekend of action. Representatives from Irish NGOs such as Friends of the Earth, Trócaire, Oxfam and An Taisce will be in attendance throughout the two weeks of negotiations.

Stop Climate Chaos demand that the Paris COP must:

  • Catalyze immediate, urgent and drastic emission reductions, in line with what science and equity require.
  • Provide adequate support for transformation, especially in vulnerable and poor countries.
  • Deliver justice for impacted people, and make a firm commitment to secure workers’ livelihoods and jobs through a Just Transition.
  • Focus on transformational action, such as renewable energy and energy savings, rather than false solutions.

But more locally, Stop Climate Chaos is looking for Ireland to - Reduce climate pollution from all sectors - Realise the huge jobs potential of climate action - Support and protect vulnerable countries in the developing world - Start phasing out fossil fuels now - Enable community ownership of renewable energy - Secure decent work for all in the transition to a carbon free future - Stop TTIP undermining climate action and - Plan for sustainable, liveable, smart cities. Stop Climate Chaos is a coalition of civil society organisations in the Republic: ph 01 6394653, email: and web:

There are opportunities to express your support for radical change through events in Belfast, Cork, Dublin and Galway on Sunday 29th November – and look out elsewhere or create your own event:

Belfast: There will be a mass rally and public action on Sunday 29 November, at 2pm in Writers’ Square, Donegall Street, Belfast, to mark the beginning of the UN Climate Talks in Paris as part of a global day of action aimed at bearing witness to the gathering of world leaders to agree a new deal on averting catastrophic climate change. See here

Dublin: In Dublin the People’s Climate March, taking place at 2pm on 29th November, is calling for Climate Justice, Community Energy and a Carbon Free Future. It starts at Custom House Quay, Dublin 1. See Facebook page

Cork: The march will start from the Grand Parade, congregating at 2.00 pm and at 2.30 pm will march up the South Mall and down Patrick Street with banners, costumes, music, props and drums. See Facebook page

Galway: Transition Galway are helping organise the 'Galway Carnival for the Climate' which will gather at Eyre Square at 1pm and go down Shop Street and Quay Street to the Spanish Arch. See Facebook page [See also Editorial in e-mail and web editions]

Afri Hedge School 2015: Climate change and human rights
“One Earth, One Chance – Climate Change & Human Rights” is the title of Afri’s Hedge School taking place at I.T. Blanchardstown on Tuesday 10th November 2015, 9.30am – 4pm This year’s Hedge School is organised in partnership with the students from the Social and Community Development Course at I.T. Blanchardstown. The 10th November 2015 is the 20th anniversary of the execution of the great nonviolent environmentalist Ken Saro Wiwa and the Ogoni 9 – they were executed by the Nigerian Military Dictatorship with the collusion of Shell in 1995. This event and anniversary will be marked at the Hedge School. To book tickets and for further info go to

- Afri recently celebrated 40 years’ work with a celebration in Dublin – see here and accompanying photos

Rathlin rattled and retreat
Rathlin Energy Ltd has decided to terminate their Petroleum Licence (PL3/10) for the Rathlin Basin on the North coast, and withdraw their planning application to drill an exploratory well into the shale layer at Ballinlea. The company cited a number of reasons for their decision—depressed world oil prices, unforeseeable delays in the planning approval process, and a lack of suitable conditions in Northern Ireland. Their licence was due to expire early in 2016 and they would have had to extend it in order to complete the planning process, and their drilling plans.
The petroleum licensing system in Northern Ireland, unlike that in the rest of the UK, has not been subject to a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)—and therefore offers less protection for the people of Northern Ireland. SEA is something that campaigners here will continue to lobby for. The campaigning group Protect Our North Coast say ”We can only speculate about the timing of Rathlin Energy’s announcement, coming so soon, as it does, after Minister Durkan’s announcement that there would be a presumption against unconventional hydrocarbon extraction in Northern Ireland Planning Policy.” But there is still a threat to the North Coast from at least one off-shore petroleum licence near Rathlin Island. Website Facebook ProtectOurNorthCoast (PONC)

Fracking research by biased firm
Uplift are drawing attention to the fact that a company called CDM Smith, with strong links to the fracking industry, is leading Irish government sponsored research that may result in fracking being allowed in the Republic. CDM Smith have not declared any conflict of interest and plans have been scrapped to present the initial findings of the research at a public meeting. Queen’s University have confirmed that they’re not involved in the study despite being named as a partner and centrally involved in reviewing the research. You can find out more and sign a petition to Minister Alex White at (this page includes a reference to Fracking Free Ireland’s map of potential fracking zones.)

AVP part-time coordinator sought
AVP/Alternatives to Violence Project Ireland is inviting applications for the position of part time coordinator (self employed), involving coordinating, communicating, administering and development work. The pay will be around €10k for about 30 hours work a month and would be Dublin based to some extent. Closing date is 15th November. Further details from or AVP Ireland website

The 2015 PANA AGM will be held from 2.00pm sharp to 3.00pm on Saturday 21st of November in the Labour History Society, Beggars Bush Barracks, Haddington Road, Dublin 4. All affiliated groups and individual members can attend. Immediately following the AGM at 3.30pm there will be a public meeting with Richard Boyd Barrett TD, Brendan Butler and Roger Cole who organised on behalf of the IAWM, the NGOPA, and PANA, the over 100,000 strong march against Irish War on February 15, 2003. See:

Compassionate and collaborative communication, Belfast
A four week course starts the evening of 18th November (7.00 – 9.30pm) in central south Belfast focusing on communication and creating greater understanding of our personal situations and conflicts and influencing them. There will be an exploration of various practical techniques including nonviolent communication. Facilitator: Ann Kristin Sivertsen. Fee £80, £55 concession. Further info or to book or phone 074 66190077, or e-mail

Shannon Vigil, Kunduz massacre
The usual Shannon Airport monthly Vigil concerning US military use of Shannon Airport takes place on Sunday 8th November at 2.00pm, at the Shannon Airport Roundabout.

- Meanwhile Shannonwatch have questioned whether the US plane that bombed the hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, on 3rd October, killing 22 people, may have passed through Irish air space or landed and refuelled at Shannon. Click here for more information

Glebe House: Integration – Challenge to us all
Glebe House, Kilclief/Strangford, Co Down sees this seminar with speakers Alex Kane and Malachi O’Doherty on Tuesday 10th November, running from 10.30 am – 4 pm, looking at the challenges in Northern Ireland today in creating a non sectarian society - and the themes will extend beyond the simple two communities to ask how Northern Ireland is being changed by migration. All interested welcome, participation fee £5. Please contact Glebe House 028 4488 1374 email and website

DDCI: New director, and focus on a rotten Apple
Maeve Bateman has been appointed as the new Director of DDCI/Debt and Development Coalition Ireland. She has worked with the United Nations in Ethiopia, with Trócaire and, most recently, with Christian Aid’s Middle East programme, supporting civil society organisations in that region pursuing economic and social rights. From 16th November, Maeve will be contactable at See also which includes news on DDCI’s focus on Apple’s secret tax deal with Ireland.

JCFJ appoint Environmental Justice Officer
The Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice (JCFJ), based in Dublin, has appointed Catherine Devitt to a new post of Environmental Justice Officer; she has worked in a range of social and environmental areas for over a decade. In addition the latest issue, No. 77, of JCFJ’s excellent “Working Notes” (“facts and analysis of social and economic issues”) is on “Caring for our common home”. JCFJ, 26 Upper Sherrard Street, Dublin 1, ph 01 855 6814, e-mail and website

INNATE’s photo site on peace and nonviolence
INNATE has a photo site or go to the INNATE main site at and click on one of the three photos on the centre right. There are now upwards of a thousand entries including albums on Northern Ireland, nuclear disarmament, mediation, specific organisations (Afri, AVP, Corrymeela) and so on. It includes peace movement documentation going as far back as forty or more years ago. Photos and documentation – contemporary or historical - for addition are welcome to

BNM should give up its peat habit earlier says FOE
Friends of the Earth (FOE) has criticised Bord na Móna's plan to cease harvesting peat for power generation by 2030 as "a decade too late". Commenting, Friends of the Earth Director, Oisin Coghlan said "Peat is the most climate polluting way to generate electricity, worse than coal. It's also the most inefficient way to produce electricity. We can't keep burning peat for power til 2030, that's a decade too late.
"We subsidize peat-burning for electricity to the tune of €120 million a year. Those subsidies are set to expire in the next few years and are under increasing scrutiny from the EU. The Government should not renew them and should phase out peat burning for power by 2020.
"Public money would be much better invested in kick-starting a rooftop solar revolution. The cost of solar energy has fallen 60% in 3 years. Solar panels in Ireland do as well as in Germany, Denmark and Britain, all of which have multiples of our installed capacity. Moreover, solar power opens up the prospect of real community ownership of renewable energy. Think of all the schools, parish halls and clubhouses with south facing roofs which could drive Ireland's transition to a low-carbon energy system". Friends of the Earth ph 01 6394652, website

CGE: Policy and Practice on development and warming
The latest issue (No. 21) of the Centre for Global Education's bi-annual, open access, peer reviewed journal Policy and Practice: A Development Education Review has been published online. It is on the theme of 'Development Education and Climate Change' and features contributions from leading commentators in the climate change and development education fields including: John Sweeney, David Selby, Audrey Bryan, Douglas Bourn and Vanessa de Oliveira Andreotti. To subscribe, free, go to the CGE website CGE also publish a monthly E-Bulletin.

Michael O’Flaherty moves to EU human rights post
Michael O'Flaherty has been chosen as the new Director of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), an appointment announced in late September. Michael O'Flaherty is currently a Professor of Human Rights Law at National University of Ireland Galway in Ireland, as well as Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights. He has also been a member of the United Nations’ Human Rights Committee, and has been active in the field of human rights for over 20 years, nationally and internationally. He has been a senior expert for Ireland as part of FRA’s multidisciplinary research network, FRANET, since 2014. The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) is mandated to provide evidence-based advice to EU and national decision makers, thereby contributing to more informed and better targeted debates and policies on fundamental rights. Click here for more information

Church and Peace on Paris
A short statement from the ecumenical Church and Peace network on the need for a comprehensive global climate justice and climate protection treaty to be agreed in Paris is available on their website

PCI calls for end to escalating Israeli-Palestinian violence
Pax Christi International has called (19th October) for an end to the escalating violence in Palestine and Israel. “We believe the painstaking work to build confidence and peace between people is totally compromised by this current rise in violence. Palestinian youngsters who attack Israeli civilians play an important role in this, and so do the Israeli security forces that exacerbate the violence and do not protect Palestinian civilians.... In these days we have seen the Israeli Defence Forces and police officers using excessive force in a ‘shoot to kill’ policy against Palestinian civilians, resulting in injury and death and provoking counter-violence from the Palestinian community. If crimes are committed they must be dealt with as crimes and not as acts of war according to the rules of law enforcement. Perpetrators should be arrested.....

“Through our years of partnership in the region we have witnessed time and again the deep frustration and oppression of Palestinians who have lived with forty-nine years of illegal occupation. This is an unresolved injustice for more than four million people and we plead with the international community, including the EU and the United Nations to renew its resolve to address the root causes of the conflict. The cost of failing to do so is too great to contemplate and undermines the security of both Israelis and Palestinians. International protection for Palestinian civilians has emerged as a key need in this present phase of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The occupation should be ended in order for peace to be achieved....” - See more Here


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