Tag Archives: Green news


StoP webinar looks at real security

Swords to Ploughshares Ireland (StoP) is organising a webinar on “Human and Ecological Security: An Alternative to War and Militarism” on Wednesday, 9th November from 8 to 9pm This will consist of a conversation with Diana Francis, British peace activist and writer, and John Maguire, Irish peace activist and writer, moderated by John Lannon of Shannonwatch. StoP states “We are calling for a new vision of human and ecological security that challenges this current preoccupation with military security. Human and ecological security that meets real human needs and protects the planet can form the basis of an active and constructive use of Irish neutrality as a central part of Irish foreign policy.The link to register for this free webinar on Eventbrite is https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/human-and-ecological-security-an-alternative-to-war-militarism-tickets-450528381517 The event is co-sponsored by Afri and INNATE.

Successful protest at Dublin war-fair

It didn’t stop it happening but it did raise questions inside and on a wider front – a lively lunchtime picket by upwards of 50 people, from a variety of groups and affiliations, were in attendance at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin where the grossly misnamed Irish government sponsored arms fair, “”Building the Ecosystem: Identifying connections for collaboration in security, defence and dual-use technologies” was in session on 6th October. The main organiser of the protest was Afri. Afri is at www.afri.ie For more information, photos and links see https://www.flickr.com/photos/innateireland/52409713183/in/dateposted/ and entries beside it.

Glebe House, Strangford

The Harmony Community Trust (HCT) has appointed a new Director, Andrew McCracken. HCT is the charity which owns Glebe House, the 16 acre wildlife area and residential centre in Kilclief in the Strangford Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Andrew’s background includes a career spent in managing charities and social enterprises with 12 years at Mediation NI as Assistant Director. Glebe House’s programmes include adult, youth and environmental programmes. The residential centre is now open for bookings post Covid and the team can offer groups a competitive package of accommodation food and activities. Contact Glebe House on 028 44 881374 and at www.glebehouseni.com

MII and Red Cross project for Ukrainians in Ireland

Since the outset of the war in Ukraine, the Mediators’ Institute of Ireland (MII) has been working to support those directly affected by the war and to advance the practice of mediation in high conflict situations. Speaking at the MII annual conference in October, President of the MII, Ber Barry Murray.said “Our engagement with mediators in Ukraine has led to MII engaging with the Irish Red Cross to assist them in their work with Ukrainians coming to live in Ireland.”

The mediation programme that has been developed will help address issues that may arise in reception centres or possibly where host families and their Ukrainian guests are faced with challenges that may require mediation or problems that might arise for Ukrainian people in Ireland,” said Andrea O’Neill, who led the MII team that developed the programme with the Irish Red Cross. “We expect the programme to be fully up and running early in the New Year” added Ms O’Neill. This is the second major collaboration undertaken by MII in 2022; in March, MII agreed a partnership with Elder Mediation International. In addition, MII is playing a key role in an EU Erasmus project that aims to standardise the training required to become an accredited mediator in the EU. https://www.themii.ie/

Housmans Peace Diary 2023 with World Peace Directory

Yes, it’s that time of year again, as the current year starts to get old – and it felt pretty old from early on – and a new one beckons. Paper diaries may not be as de rigueur as they once were for the peace/social justice/environmental activist but with a Housmans Peace Diary you really do have the seeds of a peaceful world at your fingertips. The theme for this year in the Diary is 70 years of the Diary itself, plus a listing of nearly 1500 national and international peace, environmental and human rights organisations. The format is two pages to a week with anniversaries noted, quotes, a forward planner etc. Order online from www.housmans.com/peace-diary/ It is priced at UK£9.95, with a £2 discount per copy for 10 or more; postage is £2 flat rate in UK postal area or £6 outside it, irrespective of the number of copies ordered. Housmans, 5 Caledonian Road, London N1 9DX, ph +44 20 7837 4473.

A more extensive version of the World Peace Directory in the Diary is available online at http://www.housmans.info/wpd/ It is worth reading the background information on the website home page to get the best use out of it. Never feel a lonely activist again…..

CAJ: Legacy Bill, rights, housing intimidation

CAJ/Committee on the Administration of Justice has welcomed the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers calling on the UK to rethink its Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill https://caj.org.uk/2022/09/23/caj-welcomes-com-call-for-rethink-of-ni-legacy-bill/ Meanwhile CAJ deputy director Daniel Holder will lead a hybrid seminar at lunchtime on 6th December about state practice and paramilitary housing intimidation 25 years on from the Good Friday Agreement (GFA). The event is being held as part of the QUB Human Rights Centre Seminar Series. See https://tinyurl.com/mpt7p53s CAJ’s AGM will be held prior to this but there will be an open in person seminar in Belfast on human rights 25 years after the Good Friday Agreement, from 11am to 12pm on 6th December, with input from Alyson Kilpatrick, Chief Commissioner for the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC), and from CAJ; see https://caj.org.uk/2022/11/01/human-rights-25-years-after-gfa/

Challenges to the rule of law in Ireland

In mid-October ICCL/Irish Council for Civil Liberties together with Minister for European Affairs Thomas Byrne TD hosted an event on the European Commission’s Rule of Law Report in Ireland. The report highlights challenges and threats to the rule of law in Ireland and makes several recommendations for reforms to the judicial, legal and political systems to better protect people’s fundamental rights. The Commission’s 2022 report highlighted the need to reform Ireland’s defamation laws, lower the cost of litigation to ensure access to justice, strengthen ethics legislation, ensure that judicial appointments are transparent and to amend legislation which sees restrictions on the work of CSOs. ICCL was the coordinating body for a joint submission to the Commission’s reporting mechanism in 2022. The Commission’s report closely reflects the issues highlighted in that submission. ICCL will again be coordinating a submission in early 2023 and any organisations involved in this area are encouraged to get in touch. https://www.iccl.ie/

Eco-Congregation Ireland

Eco-Congregation Ireland (ECI) encourages churches of all denominations to take an eco approach to worship, lifestyle, property and finance management, community outreach and contact with the developing world. As their Autumn Newsletter reveals, there is much and varied work going on around the country in different churches with action on biodiversity as well as work in the area of education and awareness; the Newsletter can be subscribed to but is available on the website at https://www.ecocongregationireland.com/ Resources are available on the website and also information on the Climate Justice Candle which is used to both link and raise awareness. Roman Catholic, Church of Ireland, Presbyterian and Methodist churches are involved and the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

34 Irish environmental groups submit on energy security

In a submission on government energy security policy, the organisations asserted that Ireland must prioritise its climate commitments and that Ireland should not allow commercial or state-owned LNG. They demand that the policy against the import of fracked gas must become law. Jerry Mac Evilly, Head of Policy, Friends of the Earth/FOE commented:“The energy security review must reject LNG, including state-backed, and new oil and gas exploration. It is also essential that Government decision-making fully reflects and respects climate commitments. This means that the Government must not accept industry attempts to misinterpret energy security as simply equating to ever-more fossil fuel infrastructure. Rather the real solutions are to both prevent further expansion of data centre demand and to double-down on renewables and energy efficiency. These measures will reduce our fossil fuel dependence, permanently enhance our security, reduce emissions and protect households from rising energy costs.” See https://www.foe.ie/news/over-30-environmental-groups-join-forces-to-reject-lng-decla/

Meanwhile on 12th November FOE will be gathering at the Famine Memorial in Dublin’s North Dock for a photo opp in solidarity with climate vulnerable countries and using the photo to call on the Irish Government to show climate leadership and global solidarity at the COP27 UN Climate Talks. This will be organised with the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition. And the same day, 12th November, Colm O’Regan’s new comedy show ‘Climate Worrier’ will be on at Smock Alley Theatre at 7pm. See https://www.foe.ie/news/

The Irish Civil War 1922-3 and the evolving laws of war

The Irish Centre for Human Rights in Galway is hosting a one day conference on Friday 21st April 2023 on this topic, noting that the laws of war were frequently referred to at the time. There is currently a call out for the submission of papers, see https://www.universityofgalway.ie/irish-centre-human-rights/newsevents/call-for-papers-the-irish-civil-war-1922-23-and-the-evolving-laws-of-war.html

Síolta Chroí

The main mission of Síolta Chroí is to restore the ecosystems of Ireland. Two inextricably and inherent parts to this are;

One. Humans are part of the ecosystem and wider nature so we need to work on healing at different levels. This includes our individual trauma as well as our ancestral as well as our collective trauma.

Two. The local is global and global local. We work to restore Ireland’s ecosystems while being part of a global movement on ecosystems restoration www.ecosystemrestorationcamps.org.

At Síolta Chroí the work is under three pillars:

1. Regenerate cultures. Which states that we need to create new ways of being in the world. With each other and wider nature.

2. Resilient and regenerative food systems. We need to create food systems that are sovereign, that sequester carbon. Build biodiversity and feed our communities locally sourced nutritionally dense non toxic food.

3. Wide scale ecosystem restoration. Our greatest chance of mitigating climate change is restoring our ecosystem. It is also a case if healing ourself while healing wider nature. Taking our place back as part of nature not her master. Living in an ecosystem as opposed to an ego system. If possible check out the Loess Plateau China on YouTube with the film Hope in a changing climate by John Di Liu.

Síolta Chroí are currently building an education retreat centre in Monaghan made of strawbale. It will be opened early next year. For more information or to get involved in its training go to www.sioltachroi.ie