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

Number 236: February 2016

US military use of Shannon as election issue
Five organisations have come together to call on general election candidates in the Republic to commit to ending the US military use of Shannon Airport. In a joint initiative, Shannonwatch, the Peace and Neutrality Alliance (PANA), the Irish Anti-War Movement (IAWM), Galway Alliance Against War (GAAW) and Veterans for Peace (VfP) Ireland are all calling for candidates and parties to bar military traffic from any country involved in war from landing on Irish soil or from using Irish airspace. A neutral state is subject to certain rules and obligations under international law, in particular the Hague Convention which states that "Belligerents are forbidden to move troops or convoys of either munitions of war or supplies across the territory of a neutral Power". The Peace Pledge is available online at Election candidates are asked to go to the site and commit to not joining or supporting a Government that allows the use of Shannon Airport for military purposes. For more information visit e-mail or phone 087 8225087.

Afri Féile Bríde 2016: A Time of Opportunity
This takes place on Saturday 6th February at Solas Bhríde, Kildare Town. Post-Paris it is clear that this people power needs to continue and grow, that it is up to citizens of the world, we the people, to take responsibility and 'be the change we want to see in the world'. This is a time of opportunity and Féile Bríde will explore what can be done - and what is already being done - by ordinary people to save our planet. Full price €15, concessions €12; see for booking link. Féile Bríde is part of a week-long series of events taking place in Kildare organized by the Brigidine Sisters and Cairde Bríde. Further information can be found here: Organized by Afri in partnership with St. Patrick’s Missionary Society Kiltegan and Cairde Bríde. This piece appeared in the January e-mail/web supplement to NN 235

From Majority Rule to Inclusive Politics
This is a seminar organised by the School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy in Queen’s University Belfast, taking place from 4 – 6pm on Wednesday 10th February in the Meredith Room, 23 University Square, Belfast with involvement from John Barry, Katy Morison, John Morison, and Tommy Sands. It marks the publication of Peter Emerson’s new book, “From Majority Rule to Inclusive Politics: electing a power-sharing coalition” (Springer). Indicate attendance to or enquiries also to A similar piece appeared in the January e-mail/web supplement to NN 235

Wallace arrested and then released
On 9th December TD Mick Wallace was arrested, taken to Limerick Prison and then given temporary release on condition of good behaviour after being processed by the Prison Service. This was for not paying a fine for an attempt to inspect US war planes at Shannon in July 2014. TD Clare Daly had been fined the same amount for the same action. and

The watch at Shannon, 2015
Shannonwatch keep records of all US military traffic that passes through Shannon Airport. In 2015 it recorded 367 troop carriers landing and departing from the airport, as well as 291 military (US Air Force or Navy) planes. That's a total of 658 planes linked to US military operations - in other words more than 12 US military flights a week through Shannon. Details at

Mediation Theory and Practice, Belfast
Mediation Northern Ireland (MNI) is delivering an 8-day course (OCN Level 3, 9 credits) on Mediation Theory and Practice starting on 24th February and running weekly (except for the week after Easter) until 20th April from 9.30 am – 4.30 pm. The course introduces a basic mediation process for use in a two party dispute or in constructive relationship building and is designed for a wide variety of professions. Fees are £1,200 or £600 for community/voluntary/individuals. Contact Rob Colwell at 028 90438614 or e-mail See also

Conflict Management and Mediation Skills Course, Derry
Delivered by Michael Doherty of Mediate NI this will take place on Monday 21st and Tuesday 22nd March 2016 from 9.30am – 4.30pm both days. The cost is £200.00 and includes NIOCN registration fee (Level 1, 3 Credits) and it is restricted to 12 participants. The course is designed for a variety of professions and will include an experiential learning process. Michael Doherty, Mediate NI, Clarendon Street Chambers, 67 Clarendon Street, Derry/Londonderry BT48 7ER, ph 02871 365636 ex 229 or mob 077 14494258, e-mail and

Forthspring 5 Decades project
If you or your group are interested in sharing your memories/stories of the Troubles/the conflict in and about Northern Ireland you can contact Johnston Price at Forthspring as the project can facilitate sessions day time and evenings and also at weekends. Over a number of sessions the project works in a safe and supportive way with groups to gather their stories.

There will be opportunities to have your story collected and made publicly available but only if you wish. There are also a number of one off workshops available for groups who want to find out more about the project and to explore the process of storytelling and the Troubles.

Examples of stories gathered can be found under the ‘stories’ tag at www.forthspring.orgContact: Johnston Price, Forthspring Inter Community Group, 373-375 Springfield Road, Belfast BT12 7DG, ph 028 90313945

MSc in Applied Peace and Conflict Studies
In 2016 INCORE will offer two programmes in Applied Peace and Conflict Studies, starting September. These offer students an opportunity to undertake a graduate programme based within Ulster University's International Conflict Research Institute (INCORE) in Derry-Londonderry, the main programme has now been running for over 25 years attracting over 400 graduates from more than 30 countries.

The MSc Applied Peace and Conflict Studies has a strong focus on post-violence peacebuilding; for more information see The MSc Applied Peace and Conflict Studies with Early Years is offered in association with Early Years and stresses the development of skills relevant to graduates who want to go on to be practitioners, researchers and policymakers in the peace and conflict field with particular reference to Early Years, see For queries or regarding applications contact by e-mail or call Dr. Stephen Ryan (Course Director) at or phone 028 7167 5246.

Floods of tears
The Environmental Pillar published in mid-January a series of twenty measures which if implemented could help prevent the worst effects of flooding. As communities around Ireland continue to deal with the aftermath of this winter's devastating floods, the Environmental Pillar is calling for immediate measures to be taken to protect communities now and into the future. Key to the proposals are the use of soft measures such as developing wetlands, native forestry and rewetting bogs to slow down water in river catchments. The Environmental Pillar also proposes ending poor planning by making public representatives and officials take responsibility for their decisions, developing river catchment agencies and adopting long-term plans which account for the impact of climate change. Details at

1916: Halfway House, A Hundred Years On
Contemporary Christianity, based in Belfast, has published Philip Orr’s excellent play Halfway House (36 pages A4), set in 1966 and exploring 1916 through the prism of two women whose fathers fought respectively at the Somme and the Easter Rising. The script will be available online and also available online will be Philip Orr’s short play Stormont House Rules which explores the 1916 Proclamation through fictional political debate; there will be a dramatised reading of the latter at the Duncairn Centre for Culture and the Arts, Belfast, on 4th February at 7.30 pm. Also available is a short guide to 1916 and the materials. See Contemporary Christianity, 21 Ormeau Avenue, Belfast BT2 8HD, ph 028 90325358, e-mail

Ethics and the Easter Rising
“Ethics and the Easter Rising: Remembering 1916” is another very useful book from Johnston McMaster and Cathy Higgins and published by the Junction, Derry, see for this and others on ethical remembering etc. “Remembering ethically is not just about remembering inclusively, honouring all the dead in the mystery of their humanness, it is about taking responsibility ourselves for the present and the future.”

Austerity and Inequality; A threat to peace?
The conference report and papers from this Northern Ireland Equality Coalition event in October 2015 is available online.

Corrymeela open events
The Corrymeela website at has news of open events coming up including Lenten walks in Ballycastle, Castlewellan and Cavehill/Belfast in February and March, and reflective or silent retreats. Plus of course other Corrymeela news at the same location.

AVP workshops full...
The Alternatives to Violence Project is planning to run two basic workshops in February: 5th-7th in Wheatfield prison and 19th-21st in Wheatfield or in Cloverhill prison (both Dublin) - these are full. If you want to take part in the next workshops, contact the coordinator or go to the next meeting, and apply for prison clearance. Workshops are also run in the community. Contact and see also

"Wikipedia for Peace" Project: Anne Payne's Story
For the story of Anne Payne volunteering with VSI for this project in collaboration with SCI Austria see You can look at Voluntary Service International’s news and projects at the same site.

Give a WWOOF, be a LLOOF
A network of ten European WWOOF (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms) organisations has developed a unique free online learning guide for the 30,000 or so young adults who volunteer each year to live and learn on organic farms and smallholdings across Europe. This new and exciting online project named Living and Learning on Organic Farms (LLOOF) will be launched in Bantry, Co. Cork on 23rd May 2016. The Learning Guide focuses on the use of an interactive website that includes short educational video presentations showing working people with real experiences. For examples of videos and more project information please go to or for more info e-mail: or contact Annie King, Director WWOOF Ireland, ph 027 51254.

INNATE film series on solidarity and nonviolence
INNATE has a series of four films showing at MNI, 83 University Street, Belfast on themes of solidarity and nonviolence... there will be a short discussion after films but people can come and go as they wish. (Small) donations towards costs welcome. From 6pm, bread and soup served and 6.30pm film and discussion.

  • Tuesday 23rd February: Pride—a comedy drama about unexpected solidarity across boundaries—so who should we be in solidarity with?
  • Tuesday 1st March: Salt of the Earth—a Wenders/Salgado documentary about Sebastiao Salgado’s amazing photography of the people of the world.
  • Tuesday 8th March (International Women’s Day): Scraps of Life, a short film on Chilean women’s witness through arpilleras to the horrors of the Pinochet years and their quest for justice.
  • Tuesday 15th March: Witness—a rather less violent Harrison Ford film, some clashes of culture...and a nonviolent denouement....

You’re welcome to just turn up but an e-mail to would help catering plans.....queries to same e-mail or 028 90647106.

‘Quiet Peacemakers’ in Belfast again
Susan Hughes oil portraits of ‘quiet peacemakers’ will be showing in Belfast again, at Cregagh Library from 2nd - 27th February with an opening on Monday 8th February from 6.30pm - 7.30pm. Cregagh Library, 409-413 Cregagh Road, Belfast. Contact

Proclamation for Community energy
100 community groups and co-operatives launched a Proclamation for Community Energy at the start of December. For the first time in Ireland this 'Proclamation for Community Energy' recognises communities as active participants in the clean energy transition, and as the best way to unlock the renewable energy potential in Ireland.

  • Imagine a community putting its hands up and deciding to build a wind farm.
  • Imagine all the schools in a town running on clean free solar electricity.
  • Imagine your heating is powered by biomass and waste from the local farms
  • Imagine the profits from the local renewable energy project are shared by the local energy co-operative and the individuals and communities who are part of it.

Imagine we owned all or part of the renewable energy that powers our lives. This is the vision for almost 100 community groups, co-operatives, energy agencies and NGO’s who have launched the Community Energy Proclamation.

Kate Ruddock, Policy and Campaigns Manager at Friends of the Earth said, ‘In contrast to many European counties, Community owned renewable energy in Ireland is practically non-existent. A fundamental shift in policy is required that views citizens and communities as essential partners in securing our sustainable energy future, not obstacles to be negotiated.”

See the proclamation and for further info contact Kate Ruddock or phone 086 151 3886.

Irish Food Sovereignty Proclamation
Afri and Food Sovereignty Ireland launched the Food Sovereignty Proclamation at the Department of Agriculture in Dublin after the Climate Change march there on 29th November. Food Sovereignty is an effective response to the challenges posed to food systems by climate change. To read the proclamation and to sign it you can visit the Food Sovereignty Ireland website.

NI Water lease land to oil company for 50 years
On 8th December 2015 InfraStrata, the oil and gas company who plan to drill in Woodburn Forest, near Carrickfergus, issued their final results for the year end July 2015 stating that they have “secured Consent to Drill for Woodburn Forest-1 well on PL1/10 in County Antrim”. They also state that “design and procurement of the well is substantially complete in anticipation of drilling in H1 2016 following completion of funding arrangements”.

The Stop the Drill Campaign continue to fight the company’s plans to drill less then 380m from a major water catchment area supplying drinking water to 131,000 people. They note that the land in question is owned by NI Water, the government owned body solely responsible for providing and regulating water. Particularly concerning is that InfraStrata have been granted the option to lease the Woodburn Forest site from NI Water for up to 50 years regardless of whether they drill a well or not and that among other things, NI Water allows the company to reinject petroleum into the site. The Stop the Drill Campaign questions the role of NI’s only only water provider and regulator leasing land to an oil company in a water catchment area which supplies such a large population. A report commissioned by Stop the Drill Campaign is available and their website is at

Energy White Paper in Republic
Launched in mid-December the Friends of the Earth comments on it are available here and the Environmental Pillar’s here.

Bacha Khan
‘Bacha’ (Khan Abdul Ghaffar) Khan was a Muslim nonviolent resistance leader against British rule in India, sometimes called ‘the Frontier Gandhi’. He was Pashtun, an ethnicity cutting across the current Afghan-Pakistan border. A very useful 11-minute presentation on his life is available online produced by Just Peace International in collaboration with the Peace Museum in Bradford.


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