News, May 2024

Lex Innocentium/Law of the Innocents, 21st Century

A new project is being launched called Lex Innocentium, 21st Century. It is inspired, in the first instance, by the original Lex Innocentium, The Law of the Innocents, decreed by an Irish Monk, Adomnán, ninth Abbot of Iona, in the year 697 AD at the Synod of Birr, Co. Offaly. Lex Innocentium declared it a crime to kill or harm in war women and non-combatants (those too young to engage in war). Given the very unsettled times in which we live, and given the extremely harmful and destructive nature of the weapons existing today, the project believes it is time to write a new Lex Innocentium – one for the 21st Century. This new law will include The Earth and the Future as Innocents in war; it will be a bottom-up, soft-power, people’s law – a law for and of people all over the world who are opposed to war and who care for the future of humanity and the Earth. It will also be a legacy document for future generations.

It is proposed asking those who attend the launch of the new law to sign as official signatories of the law and others will be invited to commit and subscribe to the law on the website. The organisers say “In this way, we hope to develop a roll of subscribers who can act as a collective voice for the protection of the innocent, including the Earth and the Future, from the scourge of war.” It is planned to launch on Saturday 21st of September at Birr in the morning and then Redwood Castle, Lorrha, Co Tipperary later (this has a 17th century Annals of the Four Masters link to Adomnán’s Law). It is hoped to launch the website shortly. Contact Watch this space for more info.

Afri Doolough Famine Walk: Remembrance and Solidarity – for Gaza

Afri’s annual Doolough valley famine walk, commemorating a real Gorta Mór famine walk in 1849 in which many people died on the way to and from Delphi Lodge, takes place on Saturday 18th May. This year the Famine Walk is dedicated to highlighting and standing against genocide in Palestine. Walk leaders are; Faten Sourani, from Gaza, who is a lawyer and advocate for human rights and social justice; Donal O’Kelly who is a writer, performer and activist; and music will be by Irish-Palestinian artist Roisín El Cherif. Registration takes place from 11 am – 12 noon on 18th May at the parish hall in the centre of Louisburgh, Co Mayo, followed by an opening ceremony; buses will then take participants to the starting point at Delphi Lodge (no parking there). A brief ceremony will be held in Delphi Lodge before the 17 km walk back to Louisburgh (pick up by shuttle car if it gets too much). Registration fee is €25, unwaged €15, children free, including the bus; sponsorship is welcome with money going to cover costs and support Afri’s work. Details at and film at

UN Chernobyl Disaster: Warning of further disaster

26th April is ‘United Nations Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day’. Adi Roche, voluntary CEO of Chernobyl Children International (CCI), has warned that the full-extent of the Chernobyl disaster has not yet been realised, and that worse is on the horizon if the war in Ukraine escalates further. Since the beginning of the war and the invasion of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in February 2022, CCI have been advocating for all nuclear facilities be deemed a ‘No War Zone’ and for World Leaders to invoke the Hague Convention which defines any attack on a nuclear facility to be a ‘war crime’.

However, with the weaponising of nuclear power at Chernobyl and Zaporizhzhia, the country falls further and further away from the confines of safety; “The accident at Chernobyl happened as a result of faults in the technology and human error. However, if a nuclear accident happens at Zaporizhzhia, it could very well be intentional. We cannot overstate the current critical situation and nuclear threat in Ukraine. We must do everything in our power to prevent Zaporizhzhia from becoming the next ‘Chernobyl’. We neglect Ukraine at our peril”, Roche cautioned. See and

Rethinking Growth conference, 25th-26th June, at TCD, Dublin

This event, organised by the Wellbeing Economy Alliance Ireland Hub (which includes Feasta) builds on the Beyond Growth Conference, a cross-party initiative of 20 Members of the European Parliament which took place in Brussels in May 2023. It aims to bring together politicians from across the political spectrum from North and South, policymakers, practitioners, thought leaders and civil society from all around the island to reimagine the concept and role of economic growth, to explore current challenges being faced in both jurisdictions, and to build better foundations for a wellbeing economy for the island of Ireland. See

Bitter Legacy: State impunity in the Northern Ireland conflict

A new 200-page report with this title has been issued by the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights. Following the introduction of the British Government’s Legacy Bill, at the request of the CAJ/Committee on the Administration of Justice and the Pat Finucane Centre an International Expert Panel was convened by the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights and this is its report. The report focuses on three thematic areas: state killings and impunity, collusion and impunity, and torture and impunity.

Key findings of the report include the revelation that the British government not only engaged in collusion but also blocked proper police investigations into conflict-related killings to protect implicated security force members and agents. The report also highlights the impact of the Legacy Act, and the panel calls for its repeal, warning it will damage Britain’s worldwide reputation. The report documents much wider evidence of security force torture and ill-treatment than previously reported and dismisses state claims that only rogue security force personnel were involved in collusion. It also found that the Irish Government failed to carry out effective investigations, damaging victims’ right to justice. It includes the steps needed for justice and accountability to be achieved (with recommendations for the British and Irish governments); the full report is very comprehensive. It can be downloaded via or via the CAJ website,

FOE 50:

Friends of the Earth in Ireland celebrated working for 50 years with a special Education Day in Dublin. You can find out about its varied projects and work, including the option of signing up for international solidarity actions, and a training weekend for youth and community workers on 17th May, at

Glencree 50, new board members

The members of the new Glencree board are profiled briefly on their website at along with news and information on projects. Meanwhile Glencree marks 50 years of existence this year, having been founded in 1974.

Rates: relief for arms producers but not for end recipients….

In a Northern Ireland desperate for funding to avoid further drastic cuts, it is incredible that rates relief is given to arms manufacturers and also those on the BDS list for involvement with Israel. A question from Gerry Carroll MLA revealed that while Thales was not on the list because of how the question was answered, Spirit Aerosystems, Caterpillar and Teva NI were included.

500 at April monthly Shannon Warport demo

There was a large attendance at the 2nd Sunday of the month demo (2 pm) at Shannon Airport on 14th April. A statement made there by Shannonwatch included that “The continuing misuse of Shannon airport by aircraft associated with the US military since 7th October 2023, makes the Irish State and the Irish government complicit in the war crimes and the probable genocide by Israel against the Palestinian people, because the US has been very actively supporting Israel with weapons, munitions, and political support.” Fuller info at and see also

Aldergrove, Belfast Int’l Airport, joins Shannon in monthly vigil

There is now a monthly vigil at Aldergrove/Belfast International Airport at the same time as that at Shannon; 2pm on the second Sunday of the month with the next one being 12th May. Meet at the first roundabout coming from Belfast. It is opposing the role of military flights (US, UK, NATO – and these do come through the civilian part of Aldergrove) in their role in supporting genocide in Gaza. Belfast International and Aldergrove military airport share an adjoining runway which is being used as a landing site and de-facto military base for the U.S. military and NATO allies. See and contact

Good Relations awards, Good Relations Week in the North

The Good Relations awards, coordinated by the Community Relations Council, for 2024 were announced in March; the Exceptional Achievement Award (peace building) went to Elizabeth (Betty) Carlisle and Recognition Awards for Harry Maher and Joe McKeown; Good Relations Volunteer of the Year Award went to Yvonne Heaney with Recognition Awards to Helen Dunn and James Reynolds; Good Relations Community Champion Award went to David Patterson; Good Relations Youth Award (Under 25) winner was Crosslink Volunteer Team Youth Initiative; Good Relations Connecting Communities Project of the Year winner was Waterside Shared Village.

lMeanwhile Good Relations Week 2024, with the title ‘OpportUNITY’, coordinated by the Community Relations Council, will run from Monday 16th September to Sunday 22nd September with an anticipated programme of over 200 cross community and multi-cultural events across the region.

Corrymeela podcast

There is a new series of Corrymeela podcasts with Pádraig Ó Tuama in conversation recently with, among others, John Paul Lederach, Jan Carson, Dong Jin Kim, and Rev Dr Rachel Mann (and lots more previously). See and for more general news and information about Corrymeela’s work.

Police reform in a changing Ireland: ICCL and CAJ conference

Police Reform in a Changing Ireland: Next Steps After the Commission on the Future of Policing’ is a conference run by ICCL/Irish Council for Civil Liberties in partnership with CAJ/Committee on the Administration of Justice; it takes place on Thursday 16th May at Renehan Hall, Maynooth University. It will take a past, present and future view of human rights-based policing on the island of Ireland, more than five years on from the publication of the final report of the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland (CoFPI). There is a range of relevant speakers.

Videos: Afri, de Borda

lA short film about the Feile na Beatha/Festival of Living in Carlow, organised by Afri and SETU, is available on the Afri YouTube channel at See also

lAn 11 minute film with Peter Emerson speaking about voting mechanisms, put together for a Chinese Academy of Social Sciences hybrid conference is available at See also