Tag Archives: Irish peace news

News, April 2024

Easter peace actions at Shannon warport

Edward Horgan reports: Two significant non-violent peace actions were carried out at Shannon at Easter time. On Good Friday (29th March) a group of peace activists, mainly from Co Clare, spent over an hour in the arrivals area of Shannon airport terminal building. Report and videos available at this Shannonwatch link: https://www.shannonwatch.org/content/irish-protesters-issue-good-friday-gaza-peace-plea-%C2%A0shannon%C2%A0airport

On 30 March, three peace activists from the Galway Palestinian Solidarity Campaign carried out a peace action within Shannon airport airside areas. Reports at https://www.facebook.com/GalwayPSC/ Their names were Eimear Walshe, Aindriú de Buitléir and Aine Ní Threinir. The climbed over the fence to enter the airport, where an executive diplomatic type US air force Boeing 737 had just arrived from Lebanon. It had been in Israel, Turkey and Egypt over the previous few days. They got to within 100 metres of the aircraft before they were arrested. Also at the airport was US Navy Boeing 737 C40A that had arrived from Bahrain on the previous day. The three defendants were brought to a special sitting of the court at Nenagh, Co Tipperary, where they were released on bail and summoned to appear in court on 24 April. This brings to at least 43 peace activists who have been prosecuted for similar peace actions at Shannon airport over the years. No such US military aircraft has ever been searched at Shannon airport and no one has been prosecuted for complicity with war crimes, torture or genocide due to US military being illegally allowed to transit through Shannon airport. The ongoing genocide in Gaza was the main focus on both of these peace actions.

l The next regular monthly peace vigil at Shannon is on Sunday 14th April 2pm to 3pm. Shannonwatch website is at http://www.shannonwatch.org/ A list of US war-related planes passing through Shannon or Irish air space in recent months appears there and in the e-mail and web editions of this issue of Nonviolent News.

l Meanwhile in Belfast there have been demonstrations at Thales and Spirit AeroSystems over arms links with Israel. https://www.flickr.com/photos/innateireland/53546068897/in/dateposted/ and https://www.flickr.com/photos/innateireland/53602899095/in/dateposted/

Black Shamrocks rock

The black shamrock as a multifacted symbol of Irish resistance to war in general, and the war on Gaza in particular at the moment, and it has been taking off with increased public recognition as it appears more frequently at demonstrations for Gaza and Palestine. First launched in 2006, its use is to visualise support for: Irish Neutrality and the Triple Lock, the people of Gaza and all who find themselves at the blunt end of the weapons industry, and for the rights of nature. It is also to visualise opposition to: Ireland’s involvement in war and the weapons industry, scapegoating and ‘othering’ vulnerable citizens, extractivism and the commodification of human beings. There is now a website at www.blackshamrock.ie and you can order bulk numbers of black shamrock badges to sell (non-commercial), make ones yourself, or both – as Galway Alliance Against War (GAAW) did with their presence at the St Patrick’s Day parade in Galway https://www.flickr.com/photos/innateireland/53625559130/in/dateposted/ The Black Shamrock website is still being developed so email them to order.

Corrymeela: Transforming trauma

Corrymeela is organising a 3–day series on Transforming trauma: A Community Approach to Healing, in Belfast in partnership with Dr James S. Gordon and the Centre for Mind Body Medicine. This runs in different venues from Wednesday 10th to Friday 12th April. Details on this and other Corrymeela news at https://www.corrymeela.org/

Columbia Congress: Neutrality – Strategy for Global Stabilization

This Congress on 4th and 5th April aims to focus on neutrality as a state commitment, discuss actions for a true peace with social justice, and debate on the obsolescence of war. There will be a full agenda of activities, with more than 50 speakers who will talk on various topics related to neutrality and peace building. Activities will start at 8:00 a.m. Colombian time and will conclude at 4:30 p.m. It will be a hybrid event, broadcast live, in Spanish with English translation available. Source and contacts: https://tinyurl.com/w8hf5xbn

Irish Centre for Human Rights: ICC Summer School, new post

The annual International Criminal Court Summer School at the Irish Centre for Human Rights allows participants the opportunity to attend a series of intensive lectures which are given by leading academics on the subject as well as by legal professionals working at the International Criminal Court. The course is particularly suited to postgraduate students, legal professionals, scholars, and NGO workers. This year it runs online from 10th – 13th June with a registration fee of €75. See https://www.universityofgalway.ie/irish-centre-human-rights/summerschools/

lMeanwhile Professor Siobhán Mullally, Director of University of Galway Irish Centre for Human Rights, was elected as the first Chairperson of the newly established Platform of Independent Experts on Refugee Rights, see https://www.universityofgalway.ie/irish-centre-human-rights/newsevents/professor-siobhan-mullally-elected-first-chairperson-of-platform-of-independent-experts-on-refugee-rights.html

Social Change Initiative: Northern Ireland values and attitudes

Using data from the World Values Survey (WVS) SCI have produced a report on Values and Attitudes in Northern Ireland 25 Years After the Belfast Good Friday Agreement which shows considerable liberalisation happening (among other things). See https://www.socialchangeinitiative.com/values-and-attitudes-in-northern-ireland

Síolta Chroí: Ecosystem restoration for community groups

Upcoming courses at Síolta Chroí in Co Monaghan include one on Ecosystem regeneration for community groups on 20th and 21st April at a low, subsidised fee. It will explore how individuals and community groups can play their part to mitigate climate change and biodiversity loss by creating systems that sequester carbon, build biodiversity and restores the ecosystem, mixing theory with practical hands on work. Details on this and more at https://sioltachroi.ie/

Chernobyl Children International: Peace prize for Adi Roche

Chernobyl Children International’s voluntary CEO, Adi Roche was presented with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Peace Prize at the National Peace Symposium in London on 9th March, in recognition of her life-long “contribution for the advancement of the cause of peace”. The ceremony took place at the Baitul Futuh Mosque, in London. Irish Ambassador to the United Kingdown, Martin Fraser, welcomed Adi receiving the honour in a letter of citation; “Through her inspirational work Adi has accomplished many firsts and it is particularly fitting that she is the first ever Irish honouree of this Prize”. While not within the mainstream of Islam, the Ahmadiyya Muslim community has a particular emphasis on peace. For Chernobyl Children International/CCI see https://www.chernobyl-international.com/

Afri Doolough Famine Walk, 18th May

The annual Doolough Famine Walk, organised by Afri, which walks the 18 km from Delphi Lodge to Louisburgh in Mayo in commemoration of a real life famine walk in 1849, takes place on Saturday 18th May; registration begins late morning. Further details in next issue or keep an eye on www.afri.ie

Rochtain: Training on lobbying and legislative process

The next training by Rochtain, a project of ICCL/Irish Council for Civil Liberties, will focus on effective Oireachtas communications for community and voluntary organisations, specifically on “getting your foot in the door” and making a good pitch for why your organisation should be listened to on a particular issues. The (alternative) dates are 8th or 9th April, both 11am, held remotely. Contact ronan.kennedy@iccl.ie and see also https://www.iccl.ie/activism-protest/rochtain/

IPB: Focus on military spending, Sean MacBride Awards

More relevant than ever, GDAMS (Global Days of Action on Military Spending) begins this year on 12th April. A project of IPB/International Peace Bureau, see more at https://ipb.org/events/gdams-2024-april-12-to-may-15/

lThe Sean MacBride Peace Award for 2023, presented on 22nd March 2024, went to champions of the right to conscientious objection, represented by a joint prize for three movements – Our House in Belarus, the Movement of Conscientious Objectors in Russia, and the Ukrainian Pacifist Movement – and an individual peace advocate, Tore Nærland, through his initiative “Bike for Peace”. See https://ipb.org/sean-macbride-peace-prize/

CGE: Delivering educational programme for Palestinian refugees

The Centre for Global Education (CGE) in Belfast has announced that NIPSA trade union has awarded a two-year grant to support the project titled “Chance to Learn: Educating Palestinian and Syrian Refugees in Lebanon”. The project will provide education activities in 2024 and 2025 that will enhance the formal education and employment opportunities of 100 Palestinian and Syrian children aged 12-16 years. The project will be delivered in three Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. https://www.centreforglobaleducation.com/news/

FOE Earth Day Conference: Faster & fairer climate action

April 22nd sees a Friends of the Earth conference for Earth Day in central Dublin on Ireland 2030: Faster and Fairer Climate Action from 9am – 4pm. Sessions will be on How Politics Can Rise To The Climate Challenge; Speaking Up For Faster And Fairer Climate Action; and Our Energy Future; speakers include Hannah Daly, Professor in Sustainable Energy and Energy Systems Modelling at University College Cork; Kevin Cunningham, lecturer in Politics at TU Dublin, and MD and Founder at Ireland Thinks; as well as Eamon Ryan, Minister for Environment, Climate and Communication. More info and register at https://www.friendsoftheearth.ie/events/earth-day-conference-ireland-2030-faster-and-fairer-climate/

Church and Peace new Gen Sec

After seven years in her post as general secretary of Church and Peace, the European ecumenical peace church network, Lydia Funck has moved on. She has been rep advisor on nonviolent conflict transformation in social movements. “Juliane Prüfert brings practical experience in community-building and networking both in international contexts and with the non-governmental organisation Community Peacemaker Teams (CPT) in Colombia, Lesbos and Kurdistan/Iraq. Until recently she worked as secretary for peace and reconciliation at the Ecumenical Information Centre in Dresden and then with the Frauenkirche Dresden Foundation.” Church and Peace website is at https://www.church-and-peace.org/en/

Mairead Maguire on the state of the world

Peace People co-founder, and Nobel Peace laureate, Mairead Maguire has been busy in the recent past speaking about Gaza and Palestine https://www.flickr.com/photos/innateireland/53602771264/in/dateposted/ but in an interview with Maung Zarni, recorded last December, she also speaks about how she became involved in peace work, Myanmar, Julian Assange, Iraq and war and the state of the world in general. https://forsea.co/israel-cannot-build-peace-on-genocide-says-1976-nobel-peace-laureate-mairead-maguire/

News, April 2023

Neutrality in the Constitution?

The issue of getting neutrality enshrined in the Irish constitution has been around for some time and been debated without firm conclusions, however Galway Quakers and Friends have an initiative on the issue proposing that:

A referendum for the Irish people be held as an imperative in order to amend the Constitution to reaffirm that we are a militarily neutral country and will not support the supply of arms or armaments or military personnel to any conflict or country for combat purposes. A) Ireland’s Defence Forces will only be used to protect and defend its people from harm and its sovereignty – air, land, and sea – from challenges, within the remit of international law. B) Ireland will not join any military alliances and will remain militarily non-aligned and will not cooperate in any belligerent conflicts. C) Ireland will continue to cooperate in United Nations approved Peace Keeping Missions. Ireland as a country will actively encourage the greater use of international mediation processes for the resolution of disputes and conflicts. D) Ireland will continue to cooperate in United Nations approved Peace Keeping Missions. Ireland as a country will actively encourage the greater use of international mediation processes for the resolution of disputes and conflicts. E) Ireland will provide food, shelter and medical assistance to refugee and displaced persons from and within war-torn countries. F) Ireland will decline to join NATO or a European army or become involved militarily in other countries conflicts. G) Ireland will cease the present arrangements which permit other nations to transit military troops, prisoners and equipment through Irish airports, with the exception of United Nations approved missions.”


CAJ: New director, Immigration Project

Daniel Holder, former deputy director of CAJ/Committee on the Administration of Justice has been appointed as the new director following the retirement of Brian Gormally. Daniel has been deputy director since 2011 and previous work includes being in the policy team of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) for five years, and leading a migrant worker equality project. Meanwhile five year funding from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation will allow CAJ move its Immigration Project into its core work programme. https://caj.org.uk/

Russian roulette at Zaporizhzhia

Adi Roche of Chernobyl Children International (CCI) issued a statement on 10th March: The World’s most vulnerable nuclear power plant is in an urgently deteriorating state, as countless bombs
and explosions wreak havoc on the facility in Ukraine. On Thursday, Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant
withstood over 20 explosions and sustaining severe damage to its vital safety system, further heightening
the possibility of the vulnerable plant becoming a weapon of mass-destruction in the war……
The plant, which was the second to be occupied after Chernobyl, has machine-guns placed on the roof of one of the reactors and hundreds of Russian soldiers stationed there. This is the first time in the history of the atomic age that a nuclear power facility has been weaponised.” In response to this increasingly precarious situation and heightened nuclear threat, Adi Roche has called for the Irish Government to act as a leader in lobbying the United Nations to take more direct action. Since the beginning of the war, CCI have been advocating for all nuclear facilities to 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 an‘war crime’. See https://tinyurl.com/4adj2rwn    Meanwhile CCI work in the region continues unabated.

Belfast Anti War Group; Conference, Biden time in Belfast

A mini-conference with three topics – the war in Ukraine (speaker Grace Cowan), Julian Assange and the freedom of the press, and ‘Are we headed for a nuclear future?’ (speaker Prof John Barry) takes place from 12.30 – 4.30 pm on Saturday 22nd April. The venue is Room 02/026 in the Peter Froggatt Centre, Queen’s University. Contact Belfastantiwargroup@mail.com or visit https://www.facebook.com/BelfastAntiWar

l Meanwhile Belfast Anti War Group has organised a Zoom meeting to discuss coordination between different people opposed to USA warmongering regarding President Biden’s visit to Belfast on 11th April; this meeting takes place at 7pm on 3rd April (as Nonviolent News is coming out); contact them for details/plans.

Corrymeela: GFA recommitment to reconciliation

Corrymeela are organising a service/event at Clonard Monastery, Belfast on Sunday, 16th April from 3pm – 4pm marking the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement; they say “This is a chance to acknowledge the courage of those who helped create a moment of hope 25 years ago, and an opportunity to rededicate ourselves today to a just and lasting peace.” There are other related conference/discussion events being organised in Ballycastle and Belfast: see the website at https://www.corrymeela.org/events/227/peace-matters-25-years-since

De Borda on Good Friday Agreement referendums

The either/or, binary nature of decision making on the constitutional future of Northern Ireland gets a good going over, with alternatives, in a new document (one among a number) on the de Borda Institute website at http://www.deborda.org/home/2023/3/13/2023-7-peace-preferendums-and-the-gfa.html It starts off with a quote from the Dalai Lama that ” I have noticed an inclination for [western] people to think in terms of ‘black’ and ‘white’ and ‘either, or’. They [tend] to lose sight of the grey areas which inevitably exist between two points of view.”

Front Line Defenders: new strategic plan

The Front Line Defenders annual lectures (Belfast, Dublin and Galway) have just taken place with Iranian feminist activist Parvin Ardalan. However you can read about their work and who they support, along with their strategic plan for the period to 2027, on their website at https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en FLD is based in Blackrock, Co Dublin.

PANA support for UN peacekeeping

Roger Cole, chair of PANA/Peace And Neutrality Alliance, has criticised the decision of Minister for Defence, Micheál Martin to withdraw Irish troops from the UN peacekeeping mission on the Golan Heights in order as he suggests to have the capacity to fulfil his commitment to EU Battlegroups 2024/2025: ‘Will the Minister now explain if he has now abandoned the UN peacekeeping strategy to support EU militarisation, with their ever-expanding weapons industries, and their increasing warmongering strategy.’ The United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) was established following the agreed disengagement of the Israeli and Syrian forces on the Golan Heights in May 1974, helping to maintain a separation and peace here. 88 members of the Irish Defence Forces have been killed while serving on overseas missions since 1960. www.pana.ie and don’t miss the March 2023 issue of ‘Irish Foreign Affairs’ online there which looks at non-alignment and Ireland.

Soil, soul, and society at Síolta Chroí

Síolta Chroí in Co Monaghan have an 8 day European training course exploring soil and the interconnectedness with society and inner work from 21st – 28th April; it will include participants from Poland and Romania as well as Ireland. The cost is just €50 – 100 but participants must commit to the whole programme. Expressions of interest to https://tinyurl.com/2hwx5mnc and you can contact Síolta Chroí at sioltachroi@gmail.com

Call for urgent action on hate crime

The Coalition Against Hate Crime, which has 23 civil society organisational members, has called on the Government to be ready to implement Hate Crime Legislation – and comprehensive actions to tackle the root causes of hate, in light of a spike in Garda recorded hate crime and incidents with a 29% increase in An Garda Síochána figures of recorded hate crimes and hate-related (non-crime) incidents in 2022. “The Coalition knows that the true number of hate crimes and hate-related incidents in Ireland is far higher as under-reporting is a significant issue.” The Incitement to Violence or Hatred and Hate Offences Bill is currently progressing through the Oireachtas. https://www.iccl.ie/news/hate-crime-coalition-calls-on-government-to-be-ready-to-implement-hate-crime-legislation/

Tools for Solidarity: 4093 hand tools, 283 sewing machines…

.This was part of a shipment of tools which has arrived with TfS’s partners in the Njombe Region of Tanzania. There is more information and news in the March edition of their newsletter. Meanwhile, with Brexit, TfS involvement with the European Solidarity Corps has had to end but a new partnership has opened up with the French Service Civique, and ongoing partnership with Eirene, and Fachstelle Internationale Freiwilligendienste. Full details about the work of Tools for Solidarity, whose main base is in Belfast, at https://www.toolsforsolidarity.com/

Amnesty welcomes review of PSNI strip searching children

Amnesty International has welcomed a Policing Board review of the practice of strip searching children by PSNI; between 2021 and 2022, 53 strip searches were carried out on children. Patrick Corrigan of Amnesty International (AI) said “The use of strip searches on children is a serious violation of their human rights and dignity”. AI has previously called for the practice to be banned. https://www.amnesty.org.uk/issues/Northern-Ireland

Afri on Russia-Ukraine war

Afri issued a statement in mid-March, “This cannot go on” about the war in Ukraine: “The lesson of the Good Friday agreement is that talking succeeds where war fails…..” See https://www.afri.ie/category/this-cannot-go-on/

Troubles in London at Imperial War Museum

The Imperial War Museum in London is organising its first exhibition on the Northern Ireland Troubles which will run from 26th May until January 2024; entitled Northern Ireland: Living with the Troubles, it will be theme-based rather than chronological. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-65094116                                                                                                                                                                                               NI Good Relations Awards

The Awards presentations to the following people and one group were part of the T:BUC Engagement Forum: Angila Chada – Community Relations Council Exceptional Achievement Award (peace building); Adekanmi Abayomi – Good Relations Volunteer of the Year Award; Aaron Smith – Good Relations Youth Award (Under 25); Nicole Sloan – Good Relations Community Champion Award; Dennett Valley Healthy Network – Good Relations Connecting Communities Project of the Year Award. https://www.community-relations.org.uk/news-centre/good-relations-awards-2023-winners-announced

Israel and Palestine: AI petition, PCI report

On 20th March, Amnesty International offices around the world, including Ireland,  deliveredpetitions to Israeli authorities, calling on them to put an end to the demolition of Palestinian homes as a first step towards dismantling apartheid.Amnesty International’s petition, ”Demolish Apartheid, Not Palestinian Homes”, is addressed to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and has been signed by people in at least174countries.   https://www.amnesty.ie/ also has their 2022/3 annual report with its round up on the global state of human rights.

lMeanwhile a report has been published by Pax Christi International, A Testimony of Witness from members of a Pax Christi delegation from six different countries who recently returned from a 10-day peace pilgrimage to the Holy Land. It is available at https://paxchristi.net/2023/03/15/pax-christi-international-publishes-a-testimony-of-witness/

StoP: ‘War is a racket’ leaflet

StoP/Swords to Plougshares Ireland has produced a short leaflet on the war in Ukraine and the contrast with talking which led to the Good Friday Agreement. The ‘War is a racket’ leaflet is available for download at https://innatenonviolence.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/Ukraine-leaflet-War-is-a-Racket.pdf with the two sides of the A5 leaflet side by side on A4 to enable back-to-back printing. https://www.swordstoploughshares-ireland.com/


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

Nonviolent News 303

Irish Neutrality League launch

The launch has taken place in Dublin of the Irish Neutrality League (INL), a body with the same name as that set up in 1914. The INL is a civil society campaign to bring pressure on the Irish Government to assert Ireland’s neutrality positively on the world stage, to be a voice for peace and human rights and to oppose wars and militarisation. It has a background with the Irish Anti-War Movement/IAWM but is backed by a wide variety of people and groups including PANA/Peace And Neutrality Alliance and a number of TDs and senators. The INL’s founding statement – which can be seen at https://irishantiwar.org/node/2953 defines Irish neutrality as non-participation in wars and military alliances, as set out in the 1907 Hague Convention V, and as the positive engagement in the peaceful, non-military resolution of political conflicts (the last in particular being in accord with Article 29 of the Irish Constitution).

The first gathering organised by INL is on ‘How to defend Ireland’s Neutrality?’ and takes place on Saturday 15th October, 2-5pm, at the Teachers’ Club, 36 Parnell Square, Dublin 1, including workshops and a rally, with a broad range of speakers. Contact via IAWM info@irishantiwar.org or see forthcoming website www.neutrality.ie

Neutrality debate, Dun Laoghaire

The Eblana Club in 3 Eblana Avenue, Dun Laoghaire is holding a debate on; It’s time we grew up and abandoned Irish neutrality” a quote from the Political Correspondent of the Irish Examiner. Thursday 6th of October at 7.30pm where Senator Gerald Craughwell and Roger Cole of PANA will debate Irish Neutrality. Info and booking via https://eblanaforum.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Eblana-Winter-Programme-2022-1.pdf For PANA see www.pana.ie

Cork Neutrality League

The war in Ukraine and the consequent erosion of Irish neutrality prompted the founding of the Cork Neutrality League (CNL) in March of this year. The group’s orientation is defined by the maxim “Oppose War, Resist Militarism, Defend Neutrality”. The CNL considers the war in Ukraine to be a proxy war between Russia and NATO and, on that basis, calls for an immediate end to the war and is opposed to the provision of weapons and ammunition to Ukraine by NATO and the EU. The CNL has affiliated to the Peace and Neutrality Alliance and is actively involved in the new Irish Neutrality League. It is anticipated that the government will move to ditch neutrality, possibly by way of a referendum. The CNL, with other groups, is committed to the defence of neutrality and is opposed to the increased militarisation of the Irish government. The CNL can be contacted by email at corkneutralityleague@gmail.com

Military ‘Ecosystem’ arms fair event at Aviva, Dublin

For the second year running, this time as a face-to-face event, there is an arms event taking place at the Aviva Stadium (Lansdowne Road), Dublin on Thursday 6th October, entitled (incredibly) “Building the Ecosystem: Identifying connections for collaboration in security, defence and dual-use technologies”; Minister for Defence, and Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney is a keynote speaker. Various peace groups including Afri, StoP and INNATE are organising a picket of the event from 12.30 – 2pm on Thursday 6th October. Contact Afri for further details, admin@afri.ie or phone 01 8384204.

Herstory: Peace heroines

Herstory, along with the National Museums NI and the Republic’s Department of Foreign Affairs Reconciliation Fund, have created the Peace Heroines education programme, featuring a touring exhibition with portraits of women who have worked for peace in the Northern Ireland context, and youth workshops exploring power. Launched at Stormont, the exhibition is at Glencree Centre, Co Wicklow, to the end of October https://glencree.ie/events/herstory-exhibition/ and a number of locations next year including Derry, Enniskillen and Belfast. See https://www.herstory.ie/peaceheroines and https://sluggerotoole.com/2022/09/29/peace-heroines-spotlight-on-stormont/

Nonviolent struggle in the global South

Taking place on Monday 10th October in Belfast from 7-9pm as part of the One World Festival, this INNATE workshop will explore nonviolence and nonviolent struggle in the Global South. It will have some input before sharing on nonviolent campaigns in ‘the South’ and possibly looking to see whether characteristics are the same as in ‘the North’. Further information, including about booking, at https://oneworldfestivalni.com/events/nonviolent-struggle-in-the-global-south/ and the full festival programme is at https://oneworldfestivalni.com/ including online events.

The Punter’s Guide to Democracy

The Punter’s Guide to Democracy – What it is, sadly, and what it could be, gladly” is the latest book to emanate from Peter Emerson of the de Borda Institute http://www.deborda.org/ UnIike so many books on politics, many of which taIk about eIectoraI systems, this one looks at the whole panoply of decision-making voting systems and focuses on inclusive and effective preferentiaI decision-making. The book is aimed at the general public, of all descriptions. 120 pages, Springer, paper back, €28/ £25, also available as an ebook. It will be launched in various places including Dublin on 12th October and Belfast on 26th October, see website.

Remembrance: New design white poppies

The Peace Pledge Union in Britain, who produce white poppies as a symbol of remembrance of all those killed in war, opposition to militarism, and a commitment to peace, have a new eco-design. They are fully recyclable though you may want to reuse the safety pin, and produced by a workers’ coop. Usually worn in the period coming up to British Remembrance Day on 11th November, the white poppy is a peaceful alternative to the red one. Go to https://www.ppu.org.uk/remembrance-white-poppies for more information and orders, including other materials on remembrance. These white poppies are on sale in Derry (Little Acorns Bookshop) and Dublin (Winding Stair Bookshop) and can be ordered by post from PPU via the website; 5 for £5 (plus £3 delivery in UK postal area) or £20 for £25 (plus £3 delivery UK), see website for full details.

VSI/SCI volunteering opportunities, at home and abroad

Voluntary Service International/VSI, the Irish section of SCI/Service Civil International, has a wide variety of volunteering opportunities throughout the year. They have a mainly online Youth for Climate Justice project starting in November for 18 – 25 year olds, apply by 23rd October. https://www.vsi.ie/ Most short term volunteer projects in Europe take place in the summer but there are others on occasion including year round online projects, and VSI acts as a host/sending agency for the European Solidarity Corps for 18-30 year olds to volunteer at home or abroad for up to a year. See website, address above, for more information.

Poetry for peace and against war

Smashing Times http://www.smashingtimes.ie/ have followed up their call for poetry on peace and anti-war themes with an online hosting of a collection of anti-war poetry in written and video form – and you can still add to the collection. See https://smashingtimes.ie/anti-war-poetry-collection/

FOE Ireland; Energy poverty, ban fossil fuel ads

Friends of the Earth in Ireland has a revamped website at https://www.foe.ie/ where there is much information on their work and campaigns, including work on energy poverty. FOE has welcomed the news that long-awaited planning regulations for solar panels have now been approved by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing which previously greatly restricted installation in/on schools and homes.They have also been backing an EU-wide campaign to ban fossil fuel related ads https://banfossilfuelads.org/

Challenging the dominant economic paradigm?

This is a new research report, written by Harm-Jan Fricke, from the Centre for Global Education and Financial Justice Ireland looking to determine the extent to which the international development and development education sectors in the island of Ireland are engaging with the dominant economic system, i.e. neoliberalism, and its influence on poverty, inequality and injustice. https://www.centreforglobaleducation.com/ and https://www.financialjustice.ie/ and report available directly at https://tinyurl.com/4rdxm94s

ICCL: Budget disappointment, State of the rule of law

ICCL/Irish Council for Civil Liberties has expressed disappointment that the government has chosen not to invest in areas they identified that would help protect and guarantee human rights in its Budget 2023. While welcoming some developments, Doireann Ansbro of ICCL said they had sought “a modest investment package of €8.6 million covering a range of human rights issues for 2023 and beyond” with e.g. no additional funding for the proposed expansion of the Inspectorate of Places of Detention. Meanwhile, ICCL has a panel discussion on the European Commission’s 2022 Rule of Law Report for Ireland including access to justice, democratic oversight, press freedom and minority rights; it takes place in Dublin on 13th October from 10am. https://www.iccl.ie/

Feasta events: Emotional support, Phasing out fossil fuels

Upcoming Feasta events include an online event on 6th October, 7-8.30pm, which will present a proposal by Feasta’s Climate Group for phasing out the extraction of fossil fuels globally while providing significant climate finance to the Global South. On 7th October from 7-8pm there is an online event on managing the emotional challenge of climate change. And Feasta is involved with a raft of other organisations in an event at Cloughjordan on 11th October on ‘Democratic, inclusive and creative neighbourhoods’, in person 11am – 5pm with a live podcast 4-5pm. See https://www.feasta.org/ and http://www.cultivate.ie/community-resilience/1337-creat-neighbouthood-22

Mediators’ Institute Ireland: 30th anniversary conference

The annual conference of MII/Mediators Institute of Ireland takes place at the Clayton Hotel, Cardiff Lane, Dublin 2 on Friday 14th October. It runs from 9am registration through to an 8pm close after a ‘Happy Birthday MII’ wine reception. The theme is ‘Celebrating professionalism in mediation’ and speakers include Pay Hynes, Mary Connaughton, Judy Beranger, and Judge Rosemary Horgan. The fee is €135 including lunch and evening reception. More details at https://www.themii.ie/ and go to ‘Events’.

Chernobyl Children International work in Ukraine

CCI’s Cardiac Missions have traditionally been based in Kharkiv, however the teams have been chased by war from East to West and have needed to relocate to Lviv, which is the only safe place left where CCI can operate on the children. CCI will be sending another cardiac mission in December this year, in time for Christmas, as well as provide humanitarian aid to families and communities in the Ivankiv region north of Kyiv, and within the Chernobyl zone. https://www.chernobyl-international.com/

Preventing abuse and violence against children and youth
While the Women’s World Summit Foundation – WWSF – resource on this topic is written in a world rather than a local context, these is a large amount of information and ideas in their resource kit for their 19 Days of Activism (1-19 November) on this huge area of concern. https://woman.us18.list-manage.com/track/click?u=2771949988f4f7f4fd1e99847&id=229bdf74c1&e=8bfbb29425 and https://www.woman.ch/

Conflict Textiles exhibitions

Current or close events and exhibitions Conflict Textiles are involved in include State of the Art: Transformative Memories in Political Violence: Interrogating the role of the Arts in Conflict hosted by Smashing Times International Centre for The Arts and Equality in Dublin in October, and Threads for Corporate Justice, the launch of a new banner facilitated by Conflict Textiles as part of programme which was initiated by Trócaire to raise awareness of their corporate accountability campaign with a launch in Belfast on 11th October. See https://cain.ulster.ac.uk/conflicttextiles/ for full details.