Tag Archives: Nonviolence

Readings in Nonviolence: Aesop’s Fable – The Wolf and the Lamb

l See https://www.flickr.com/photos/innateireland/53493251185/in/dateposted/ for Jean-Baptiste Oudry’s pictorial take on ‘The wolf and the lamb’

Story and analysis by Gearóid Ó Dubhthaigh

There are many versions of this disturbing fable; here is my presentation of it.

One morning a hungry wolf, who was out hunting stopped to drinking at a brook. A short distance downstream he caught sight of a young unsuspecting, vulnerable lamb – a farm animal – that had become separated from his flock.

The wolf set his eyes upon the lamb and thought to himself: “There’s my dinner, delivered to me on a plate!”

Because the lamb looked particularly helpless and innocent, the wolf felt he ought to pick some quarrel to excuse his intention to seize the lamb.

So, drawing near he accused the lamb, saying: “How dare you muddy the water I’m drinking?”

The lamb, frightened at this threatening charge, said, in a tone as mild as possible, and trying to not exacerbate the wolf’s feelings: “Don’t get angry with me! It couldn’t possibly be me who is muddying the water you are drinking as the stream flows from you towards me.”

Very well,” said the wolf; “but I know you spoke ill of me a year ago.” “I couldn’t have done so; I wasn’t born until this year.” bleated the trembling lamb.

Well, then it must have been your brother,” growled the wolf.

It cannot have been so, for I never had any,” answered the Lamb.

The wolf, finding it impossible to come up with a plausible pretext, rejoined “’Tis all the same to me, if it wasn’t you, it was one of your lot. Fortune has conveniently brought us together so I can avenge the wrong done to me.”

At this he leaped upon the distraught lamb, and ate him on the spot.


Let us begin by looking at the story itself.

Who is involved?

Do animals speak to each other like they do in this story? No.

And we all know that in real life wolves must eat other animals to survive.

So, this story is not about animals, it is about people. Aesop used animals and birds as characters through whom he could gently and memorably present moral lessons, about people: human nature, us, what we see around us – we may see ourselves in the characters.

In this fable we have one who is very powerful and is intent upon depriving a weaker one of something that is his by right (his life). There is a clash between what a powerful one wants (having his way, his will, his desire), and (doing) what is just.

Let’s examine the story of the Wolf and the Lamb, and see what lessons we can gain from it. You may draw many other thoughts from it

1. “The wolf set his eyes upon the lamb and thought to himself”, and we might say that he thought only of himself.

(i) Somebody who is hungry or full of fear will find it difficult or impossible to hear the concerns of another. People who are dying of hunger are known to become like mad men, doing things that they could never otherwise conceive of doing.

(ii) The same can be true of those deprived of sleep or are under the influence of mind-altering substances such as alcohol and drugs; their judgement and self-control is impaired.

(iii) Similarly, emotions can blot out reason. Someone who over a period of time – in a similar manner to how we Adore and Worship God – can become fixated (obsessed, full of lust, infatuated, terrified, paranoid, full of vengeance, envy, etc.). In this state they can become overpowered by their emotions concerning wanting this very thing that they don’t have, and merge the importance of having it with their ego. They become blind to reality and will not be open to listening to reason, nor will they be capable of giving consideration of what is Just; they will pursue their objective regardless.

2. Why might the wolf want to vindicate, to justify, to excuse his intention to seize the lamb?

(i) Perhaps other wolves might think less of him for seizing such an easy prey – they might hold a wolf who hunted for his food in much higher regard.

(ii) More importantly there could be repercussions for this wolf if it became known to the farmer that a wolf was lurking in the vicinity of his flock liable to attack any one of them.

(iii) Furthermore, as the wolf was too lazy to go out and hunt for his food, rather than poaching lambs, there could be repercussions for other wolves; as the farmer would not know which wolf had done this, and so he might kill any or all of them. The other wolves in his pack might feel their lives were unnecessarily endangered and force this deviant, careless wolf out of the district.

3. … he accused the lamb …

– What do you think of the wolf’s excuses; were they based upon reality or were they exactly that, excuses; the skin of a lie?

– Did he use them to distract from reality?

– Can we learn anything about the wolf by looking at the accusations he makes?

(i) The wolf had seen that the lamb looked particularly helpless and innocent. By making an allegation, he placed an emotional barrier between him and the lamb; in effect he was labelling the lamb a deviant, an enemy. He was refocusing the encounter with the lamb, making it less likely that his intentions would become stymied by empathy.

(ii) Often, we will present ourselves as victims of injustice – some hurt inflicted by another – in order to justify an attack upon somebody.

Much of Scripture can be summarised by saying:

Do not use the sins of another to justify your own wrong-doing.

(iii) Often the accusations we make concerning others are more applicable to ourselves; they tell our own story.

The wolf’s allegation that the lamb was muddying the water maybe a subconscious recognition of his ploy to muddying the situation, so that the thinking become “muddied”, in other words we are distracted from the truth of the situation, reality.

The allegation that someone spoke ill of him, may reveal his true fears; he may be looking for an excuse so as to prevent others from speaking ill of him, for doing such a cruel and imprudent thing.

4. Those who are intent upon doing something wrong will come up with any excuse, no matter how improbable. Even so those with overwhelming power seems to have a need to justify their disregard for right order, with a fake appeal to reason and conscience. Yet their cover for their arbitrary cruelty and tyrannical use of power, can be an extraordinary flimsy excuse, having little connection with reality. It may merely serve as a distraction from reality. Perhaps we perceive ourselves as in some way dependent upon the compliance and even complicity of those around us (our reference group) so that we must justify our actions, less they become alarmed and think we might do the same to them, and so if they have the means and the audacity, they may turn upon us.

The first accusations were easily disproven as the details were evidently not true. The final justification presented by the wolf was guilt by association, where it was not almost impossible to prove or disprove the validity of the injury the wolf claimed he suffered. In any case the alleged offences were clearly irrelevant; the wolf was determined to make a meal of the lamb.

They say that the first casualty of war is the truth.

Violence cannot (continue to) exist without lies, and lies can’t exist without (being backed up by) violence (or the threat of violence).

Jesus Christ said to His Disciples:

I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. (Mt.10:16)

Nonviolent News note: We are happy to publish relevant material with a religious ethos or background whether it is Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Jain or whatever (material from these faith backgrounds, for example, can be found on our website). We are equally happy to publish material with a secular, atheist or agnostic ethos.

Readings in Nonviolence: The life and death of Francis Sheehy Skeffington (1878 – 1916)

By Gearóid Ó Dubhthaigh

The circumstances surrounding the murder of the life-long pacifist Francis Sheehy-Skeffington during the 1916 Rebellion probably did more than any single incident to bring British rule in Ireland into disrepute. Although his memory has been largely neglected in Ireland it is honoured by pacifists throughout the world

He was born Francis Skeffington, an only child, in Bailieboro, Co. Cavan, in 1878, and was educated by his father, a medical practitioner, whose idealism was infectious.

As a student at University College Dublin, Francis Skeffington – or “Skeff” as he was now known among his friends – earned a reputation as a nonconformist; he didn’t shave, was a tee-totaller, a vegetarian, a suffragist, and a pacifist. He was a contemporary of James Joyce. When their writings were turned down by the college magazine, they collaborated to publish their rejected articles in a pamphlet. Despite this success, their partnership did not persist; Skeffington regarded Joyce’s elopement with Nora Barnacle as contemptuous of women, while Joyce considered Skeffington to be ridiculously idealistic and much too radical in his feminism.

Another student, Hanna Sheehy (1877-1946) became his wife in 1903. She was born in Kanturk, Co. Cork, where her father was an Irish Party MP and her uncle, a priest, was a member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB). At an early age she became an outspoken suffragette. When they married he prefixed Hanna’s surname to his own, and hence forth called himself Francis Sheehy-Skeffington. Together they pursued social and political ideals through their involvement in many radical societies.

After graduating he served as editor to various publications and wrote for a variety of periodicals, urging political leadership. Among his more important works are a biography of Michael Davitt (1846-1906), founder of the Irish Land League, whose idealism and life he so admired; a one-act feminist comedy “The Prodigal Daughter”; and a novel “In Dark and Evil Days” which offered a quasi-historical account of the rebellion of 1798.

During the Lock-out of 1913, his efforts to encourage negotiations between employers and the workers came to an abrupt end as riots erupted. When the Irish Citizen Army was formed, he was named vice-chairman, after it was decide that the organisation would remain purely as a defence front against police brutality. He left when it took on a militaristic character.

When the first world war broke out in 1914, he began a campaign against recruitment. In May 1915 he delivered a lecture pledging to resist the introduction of conscription and was sentenced to six months hard labour for “seditious acts”. However, after a six-day hunger-strike, he was released and his sentence suspended, under the “Cat and Mouse” Act. His wife had gone on hunger-strike in 1913 when she was imprisoned for throwing stones at Dublin Castle.

As a friend of a number of key figures in the IRB, he attempted to convince them to forego violence and to arm themselves with “weapons of the intellect and will”. On bank holiday Monday, April 24th, 1916, the Easter Week Rebellion broke out in Dublin. The unarmed metropolitan police abandoned the city centre resulting in shops being looted. On Tuesday, April 25th he went into the city to put up notices to discourage this looting. Returning home in the early evening, he was arrested at Portobello Bridge as an enemy sympathizer and taken to Portobello Barracks, which garrisoned about 300 soldiers mainly from the Royal Irish Rifles and the Ulster Militia Battalion.

Later that evening, Captain Bowen-Colthurst, who hailed from Dripsey, near Cork city, gathered a picket of about 40 soldiers and marched them towards Kelly’s tobacconist shop, at the corner of Upper Camden Street and Harcourt Road. Francis Sheehy-Skeffington was brought as a human shield. Bowen-Colthurst seemed to be under the impression that Kelly was a supporter of the insurrection, and that the declaration of marshal law allowed him to take the law into his own hands. In fact, Alderman James Kelly was a prominent conservative nationalist.

The picket had only reached Rathmines Road when Bowen-Colthurst struck and then shot dead in cold blood a 19-year-old youth J.J. Coade, who was returning home from a sodality meeting at Rathmines church. Bowen-Colthurst then led his men towards Kelly’s, firing shots at random. There he arrested two newspaper editors who happened to be in the shop at that time; Thomas Dickson and Patrick McIntyre. Together with Francis Sheehy-Skeffington they were marched back to the barracks and placed in the guard room for the night. No charge was made against them.

On the following morning Wednesday 26th, all three prisoners were told to stand against a wall and before they realised what was happening, they were shot dead on Bowen-Colthurst’s orders. A cover-up began immediately, led by the commanding officer in the barracks. Royal Engineers removed and replaced the bullet-marked masonry. Bowen-Colthurst himself led a raid on Sheehy-Skeffington’s home in an effort to find incriminating evidence. However, the case became a cause célèbre, thanks to the efforts of Sir Francis Fletcher Vane (1861-1934), an officer of exceptional moral courage in the Royal Munster Fusiliers.

Vane was a hereditary peer born in Dublin of an Irish mother and English father. Although an army officer he wrote against the atrocities committed during the Boer War in South Africa. Retired from the army he subsequently stood unsuccessfully for parliament as a Liberal candidate, and was active in the anti-war and suffragette campaigns. At the outbreak of the First World War he returned to the army, and with the rank of Major he was sent as a recruiting officer to Dublin. He was stationed at Portobello Barracks but was not present when these acts of violence were taking place.

When he returned on Wednesday 26th, Vane was outraged that Bowen-Colthurst was allowed to carry out his duties as if nothing had happened. On reporting the matter he found no support for decisive action. Vane obtained leave, travelled to London and managed to secure a meeting with the private secretary to Prime Minister Asquith and Field Marshal Kitchener, Secretary of State for War. As a result Bowen-Colthurst was tried and found guilty but insane by a military court martial held in private so as to spare the Government adverse publicity. Initially imprisoned in Broadmoor Criminal Mental Asylum, he was released in 1922 to settle in Canada where he died in the mid-1960s.

Vane was dismissed from the army, or as official papers released decades later put it: “this officer was relegated to unemployment owing to his action in the Skeffington murder case in the Sinn Féin rebellion”. For a number of years he waged an unsuccessful campaign for reinstatement, even appealing to the King. In addition manuscripts of various books he wrote were seized and suppressed by the military censor.

When the details of the murder of Francis Sheehy-Skeffington were first made known in the British House of Commons by the nationalist MP John Dillon they aroused widespread indignation. Hanna was devastated by her husband’s senseless execution and was disgusted by the way in which British authorities handled the affair. Soon afterwards she travelled to the United States and even succeeded in enlisting the interest of President Theodore Roosevelt in her campaign to uncover the truth. Eventually the British Government offered her £10,000 compensation which she promptly refused, since she fiercely opposed the partition of Ireland.

She supported the anti-Treaty side during the Civil War, was a founding member of the Fianna Fáil Party, but later left it to act as assistant editor of the Republican paper An Phoblacht during the 1930s.

Although Francis Sheehy-Skeffington was raised as a Catholic it seems that by the end of his life, he had become what would today be known as a secular humanist. His only child, Owen Sheehy-Skeffington was an outspoken Senator.

This article by Gearóid Ó Dubhthaigh cultureofpeace@gmail.com has been issued as a leaflet for Pax Christi.

Readings in Nonviolence: Resources on nonviolence in Ireland, past and present

This piece is based on a handout which was part of a presentation by INNATE coordinator Rob Fairmichael on Nonviolence in Ireland, past and present to a Pax Christi/Loyola Institute seminar on Advancing nonviolence held in TCD in October.

See the February 2023 issue of Nonviolent News for a different take, listing all of INNATE’s online resources, covering both the main INNATE site and the Flickr photo/documentation one. See https://innatenonviolence.org/wp/2023/02/01/archival-documentary-and-campaigning-materials-available-from-innate/

Please get in touch at innate@ntlworld.com if you are think INNATE can assist you in exploring any of the INNATE material concerned, you have suggestions for additions, or would like to explore being involved in any projects such as peace trails.


There are many issues regarding definitions of what is ‘nonviolence’ which cannot be fully explored here. This includes differentiating between ‘non-violence’ (action which is not violent) and ‘nonviolence’ (committed either ideologically/philosophically/religiously, or pragmatically as with Gene Sharp – ‘it works’). All of this determines what actions and groups we consider to be non-violent or nonviolent.

The term itself is difficult as it contains a negative (April Carter compared it with the original term for a car as a ‘horseless carriage); there have been suggestions in other languages for different terminology, e.g. ‘relentless persistence’.

We need an analytical but not imperialist (grabbing and labelling) viewpoint as to what is nonviolence/non-violence, and appreciation of different campaigns working non-violently for social change, saving the climate, etc, While we can understand other people’s actions for social or political change as part of non-violence or nonviolence we have to understand that they may not understand it that way and therefore we have to be careful and sensitive in our labelling; however there is nothing to say we cannot understand particular actions in a different way to those involved.

And is nonviolence a) an ideology, b) a spiritual or life imperative, c) a methodology, d) a pragmatic choice, e) all or some of these? f) other?

And where is the greatest imperative to be involved?

What follows are primarily resources from INNATE –

lNonviolence in Irish History pamphlet (Dawn, 1978) – covering O’Connell, Davitt, Quakers, Boycott, US ‘westward’ moving Irish, peace groups; link at https://innatenonviolence.org/wp/pamphlets/

lNonviolence – The Irish Experience Quiz link at https://innatenonviolence.org/wp/resources/ This is a short attempt at a ‘prejudice reduction exercise’ to show Irish history, distant and contemporary, consists of a lot more than violence…. It starts off with a mention of the Céide Fields where people lived peaceful, settled lives 5,000 years ago, with no evidence of enemies or violence, and in 15 different examples includes the classic non-violent action of switched allegiance and setting up alternative institutions when republican MPs in 1919 set up the first Dáil rather than attend the Westminster parliament.

lPeace groups in Ireland through the years

With the notable exception of Corrymeela https://www.corrymeela.org/ (which predates the Troubles in the North) and possibly Cooperation Ireland, all the Troubles-era peace and reconciliation groups in Northern Ireland are defunct or inactive. However this pamphlet covers all groups from the early 19th century onwards in the whole island. Download from https://innatenonviolence.org/wp/pamphlets/

This draws for some early history on Richard Harrison’s “Irish Anti-War Movements 1824 – 1974”; his Stair na Síochána in Éirinn [le Risteárd Mac Annraoi, as gaeilge] is to be published by Coiscéim and is currently at the printers – 300 pages and illustrated.

lThe Peace People Experience (Dawn Train, 1986), this is a detailed study of the most prominent Northern peace group which began in 1976, link at https://innatenonviolence.org/wp/pamphlets/

lPeace People and other peace groups

INNATE’s photo site is also a documentation site with information and links. Peace groups covered, North and South, include (in alphabetical order) Afri, CND, Corrymeela, Dawn, Drumcree Faith and Justice Group, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Glencree, INNATE, Irish Pacifist Movement, Northern Ireland Peace Forum, Pax Christi, Peace and Reconciliation Group, Witness for Peace, Women Together. Go to https://www.flickr.com/photos/innateireland/ and select ‘Albums’.

lNonviolence in Ireland: A study guide

A short study guide for individual learning and reflection or group use. Download at https://innatenonviolence.org/wp/resources/ It consists of 16 or 17 short parts with online resources and questions for individual or group reflection.

lMy kind of nonviolence

Fifteen people from different parts of Ireland, and with different takes on the topic, write about what nonviolence means to them, available online at https://innatenonviolence.org/wp/pamphlets/

lINNATE’s photo site has over 2,600 photos or entries, historical and contemporary, and the easiest way to use it is through the albums (groupings of photos on a particular topic or group) of which there are 54.

Go to https://www.flickr.com/photos/innateireland/ and select ‘Albums’ from the toolbar, scroll down to see the ones that interest you. It includes albums on individual peace groups, and subject albums such as monitoring and accompaniment, Troubles and peace in Northern Ireland, disarmament and particular campaigns in this area.

lPeace trails – telling local stories of work for peace, justice and inclusion – plans got derailed by Covid but will take off again. https://innatenonviolence.org/wp/peace-trails/

lVideo of seminars on recent peace movement history from seminars organised by INNATE, 2021. https://www.flickr.com/photos/innateireland/51689114275/


Larry Speight’s column in Nonviolent News (since 2004) has been an important part of INNATE’s insistence on ‘nonviolence towards the earth’.

Issues more generally include local and global justice, climate justice, peace and neutrality, social and cultural inclusion, interpersonal and ’domestic’ violence issues.

Current groups: Just some include Afri, Alternatives to Violence Project/AVP; CND/Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament; Corrymeela: Glencree: PANA/Peace and Neutrality Alliance; Pax Christi, StoP/Swords to Ploughshares; Financial Justice Ireland, Green groups (nonviolence towards the earth and thus humanity) including FOE, Feasta, Stop Climate Chaos, Friends of the Irish Environment, Eco Congregation; civil liberties groups inc, ICCL, CAJ.

Archival, documentary and campaigning materials available from INNATE

The two INNATE websites https://innatenonviolence.org/ (the ‘main’ INNATE website) and https://www.flickr.com/photos/innateireland (the INNATE photo and documentation site) have a substantial amount of material available on a broad understanding of peace, nonviolence and related matters. The following listing can only be considered partial but it is indicative of the contents; it is listed alphabetically in relation to each site.

As always, INNATE is happy to consider additions to its online material. Please contact innate@ntlworld.com This information also appears at https://innatenonviolence.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/INNATE-online-listing-2023-for-web.pdf

INNATE photo and documentation site


With a total of nearly two and a half thousand entries (as of January 2023), finding what you might want, or be most interested in, can be difficult so it is recommended that most users go to the ‘Albums’ (groupings of photos/entries on a theme). Below is a listing of the albums and their main content, however when clicking on ‘Albums’ online they are not listed alphabetically so you will need to scroll down to the ones you want. Some albums are very limited but photos are grouped this way to make them more accessible. Album can overlap, i.e. one entry can appear in a couple, or more, albums.

You can also use the word search facility in the top menu bar and this is useful where there is no obvious album to search or you are looking for a specific person or organisation not featured as an album. Where possible website links are given. Information about use of the material featured appears on the site (under ‘About’ on the top menu bar)

lAfri – Nearly two hundred photos from Afri events and famine walks over the years.

lAnti-Nuclear power movement – Mainly photos and documentation from late 1970s but also photo essay on wind turbines at site of erstwhile nuclear plant at Carnsore Point.

lAVP/Alternatives to Violence Project – Mainly from the international conference in Ireland,2014, but also on work in Bolivia and India.

lBishopscourt Peace Camp, 1983-86 – Photos and documentation from this peace camp at Bishopscourt RAF base, Co Down.

lChurches Peace Education Programme (1978-2005) – A small number of photos and documents on this important resource.

lCND and nuclear disarmament – Mainly 1980s photos and documentation, also Faslane in the ‘noughties.

lConflict Textiles – Comprehensively documented on its own website, this is a selection of photos from Conflict Textile events and exhibitions.

lCorrib Gas, 2011 – A short photo essay on ‘security’, monitoring and resistance at the Co Mayo site.

lCOP 26, Glasgow, 2021, a photo essay by Larry Speight.

lCorrymeela Community – A selection of photos of people and events, and documents from over the years.

lDawn (1974-85) – Scenes from producing Dawn magazine, events, and documentation.

lDealing with the past – A small selection of photos, on Northern Ireland and some international.

lDisarmament and resistance to war – A broad sweep of photos and documents from around Ireland.

lDrumcree Faith and Justice Group, Portadown – A small selection of photos and material from this important local group in the 1980s-1990s.

lEcology and green resistance – A limited but fascinating selection from actions and events.

lFellowship of Reconciliation – Photos from some International FOR events and some documentation on Irish/Northern Irish FOR (1949-1998)

lG8, Fermanagh, 2013 – Photos from Belfast and Fermanagh alternative events/demonstrations.

lGender and peace – A selection of photos on this frequent elephant in the room.

lGlencree Centre for Reconciliation – Documents from around the start in 1974 plus photos from the 1980s and recently.

lHuman rights – A small selection of photos mainly from Northern Ireland.

lHumour and satire – A miscellany showing the lighter side of entries on the site….

lInclusive and consensus decision making – A small selection with essential links.

lINNATE history – A selection of photos and entries on INNATE’s events and history since 1987.

lINNATE seminars and conferences – Photos of participants and documentation.

lIrish neutrality – A broad selection of photos and documentary entries.

lIrish Pacifist Movement (1936-1969) – Documentation and history.

lJustice Not Terror Coalition, Belfast, 2001+ – Opposition to the ‘war on terror’, post-9/11.

lKilcranny House, Coleraine (1985-2012) – Photos from this ecologically-focused peace centre.

lMediation – Some important photos and documentation from the start of focused mediation in Ireland in the mid-1980s, including MNI/Mediation Northern Ireland and MII/Mediators’ Institute of Ireland.

lMen, gender and nonviolence – Photos from international trainings for men by the Women Peacemakers Program (WPP), 2009-10

lMonitoring and accompaniment – A wide range of photos and links to informative material (see the information at the top of the album)

lMuseums for Peace, Belfast, 2017 – People and events from their 25th anniversary conference.

lNonviolence training – Photo from training events at home and abroad.

lNorthern Ireland Peace Forum (1974-88) – Documentation.

lNorthern Ireland, Troubles and Peace in – Several hundred photos and documents mainly from and about the peace and reconciliation movement, and also the general situation.

lNorthern Ireland peace process – A small selection of newspaper items, 1994-2007.

lPax Christi – Documentation and a few photos, mainly 1970s-1990s.

lPeace and Reconciliation Group (PRG), Derry, (1976-2015) – A small number of photos and documents.

lPeace miscellany, 2009-10 – A small number of photos from this time.

lPeace People – Photos from 1986 and documentary material from the beginning in 1976.

lPeace trails – A small but informative selection on peace trails, including Belfast and Mayo.

lQuaker peace work and witness – A limited number of photos on primarily Irish Quaker peace work.

lRaytheon Derry campaign, 1999-2010 – A wide range of photos from the succesful campaign to get arms company Raytheon out of Derry.

lSean MacBride – A small number of writings or interviews, taken from peace movement sources from the1980s, and one Afri event photo.

lThales arms company – Photos of demonstrations at the Castlereagh, Belfast plant.

lTom Weld artwork – Some examples of his map like work on peace and human rights.

lTrade Union/ICTU NIC action for peace – In relation to Northern Ireland and abroad.

lUS/NATO military bases, conference against, Dublin 2018 – People and events.

lWar Resisters’ International – Mainly from the Dublin 2002 international conference.

lWitness for Peace (1972+) – A small number of documents and cuttings.

lWomen Together (1970-2001) – Mainly documentation but also some photos.

lWorld Beyond War international conference, Limerick, 2019 – People and events including a visit to Shannon Warport.

INNATE main website


Nonviolent News is the main INNATE resource with all issues available since 1990 (it was occasional until 1994 when it became monthly). It went online in 2003 when the email and web edition became longer than the paper edition which became the first two pages of news only (older issues appear as PDFs). It is still produced in email and web editions (with the same content in both) and a shorter paper edition.

The INNATE website changed to WordPress in 2021 but all the previous material is available – you just need to click on the button to the right of the home page to get to the older site. If word searching for something you may need to do it on both the new and the old sites.

Resources are listed alphabetically below, with an indication where necessary of their location.

lAn alternative defence for Ireland (Dawn, 1983)

Perhaps somewhat out of date this still indicates it can be done…. https://innatenonviolence.org/wp/pamphlets/

lBishopscourt Peace Camp 1983-86

A short 4 page broadsheet analysing the history and context of this peace camp. https://innatenonviolence.org/wp/pamphlets/

lChristian Nonviolence – a study pack (1993)

Originally produced by the Fellowship of Reconciliation and Pax Christi, this is a useful introduction to the topic. Nonviolence and other religions have been explored in some ‘Readings in Nonviolence’ in Nonviolent News. https://innatenonviolence.org/wp/pamphlets/

lConsensus for small groups

An introduction and worksheets including tools that can be used. https://innatenonviolence.org/workshops/consensussmallgroups.shtml See also https://www.flickr.com/photos/innateireland/52550857618/in/dateposted/

lCorrymeela House Belfast

A short history of/tribute to Corrymeela House in Belfast which closed in 2014. https://innatenonviolence.org/readings/2014_11.shtml

lDawn Train

PDF copies of all 11 issues are online with contents listing at https://innatenonviolence.org/dawntrain/index.shtml This includes material on facilitating political discussion (Sue and Steve Williams, DT No.11), what enabled people in the North to change their views (Mari Fitzduff, DT10), and much more about peace and nonviolence at home and abroad.

lEco echoes

A compilation of some of Larry Speight’s columns from Nonviolent News married with his keen eye photography. https://innatenonviolence.org/wp/pamphlets/

lMichael Davitt, Land War and Non-violence

An 8-page pamphlet from Dawn (1979) exploring this important person and topic. https://innatenonviolence.org/wp/pamphlets/

lINNATE annual reports

All you never wanted to know about INNATE with a page per year. https://innatenonviolence.org/wp/annual-reports/

lMusical musings on Irish history and culture (2002+)

An exploration of violence, nonviolence and social change in Ireland through music and ballad, by Rob Fairmichael. https://innatenonviolence.org/resources/musical.shtml

lNonviolence – The Irish Experience Quiz

A fun way to challenge our perceptions of Ireland over the centuries – with questions on one side and answers on the other. Link at https://innatenonviolence.org/wp/resources/

lNonviolence in Ireland – a study guide

This can be used for individual or group study with links to material and questions for thought or discussion. Link at https://innatenonviolence.org/wp/resources/

lNonviolence – An introduction

What it says on the tin – an introduction to nonviolence from INNATE


lNonviolence Manifesto from INNATE

Short and to the point in 2 sides of A5. Link at https://innatenonviolence.org/wp/resources/

lNonviolent News since 1990

– News section – monthly news, all issues since 1990 online, covering a wide range of peace, nonviolence, green and human rights news and initiatives from around Ireland, with links where possible.

– Editorials – Commentary on current issues at home and abroad.

– Eco-Awareness – Larry Speight’s incisive commentary on green issues since 2004.

– Readings in Nonviolence – Reviews and material of many different aspects.

– Billy King:Rites Again – Idiosyncratic commentary on the world, the flesh and the divil else.

Each of these sections can be accessed independently or within the relevant full issue.

https://innatenonviolence.org/wp/category/nonviolent-news/ and pre-2021 issues at https://innatenonviolence.org/news/index.shtml

lNonviolence in Irish History

Dawn magazine’s pamphlet from 1978 still has important information and a wider message challenging the view of Irish history only being about violence. https://innatenonviolence.org/wp/pamphlets/

lMy kind of nonviolence (2012)

Fifteen people from around the island give their view on what nonviolence is about – a direction is perhaps evident, but no party line. https://innatenonviolence.org/wp/pamphlets/

lThe nuclear syndrome – Victory for the Irish anti-nuclear power movement

An extract from Simon Dalby’s thesis on this significant late-1970s movement looks at questions of organisation and strategy. https://innatenonviolence.org/wp/pamphlets/

lPeace groups in Ireland through the years

An up to date listing first issued in 2022 giving a very brief profile and links or suggestions for further information. Link at https://innatenonviolence.org/wp/pamphlets/

lThe Peace People Experience, 1987

An in depth study looking at the overall story after a decade of the Peace People, where the money went, the story of local groups, and interviews with key personnel. https://innatenonviolence.org/wp/pamphlets/

lPeace trails

Links for at home and abroad in a couple of newsletters on peace trails. https://innatenonviolence.org/wp/peace-trails/


Designed for home printing, there are well over a hundred small/A4 size posters which cover a multitude of issues in the fields of peace, nonviolence, violence, green issues, human rights and justice. https://innatenonviolence.org/wp/posters/

lWorkshops/Training in nonviolence, and group work and dynamics

A wide range of material for workshop use – which can also be used for personal study – including one on nonviolent tactics to use in relation to a campaign, the stages a successful movement may go through (‘Workshop on strategising’), and gender and violence.


lVegetarian and vegan cuisine

A short guide for those looking for new ideas for food in this area of importance to countering global warming. https://innatenonviolence.org/wp/pamphlets/

Materials passed to PRONI

INNATE has passed older archival material to the Public Record Office for Northern Ireland (PRONI) which is based in the Titanic Quarter in Belfast. The volume would be equivalent to about 7 boxes of material of 45 x 35 x 30 cm. A small amount of this material appears digitally in the INNATE photo and documentation site on Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/innateireland

Since it requires attendance at PRONI to access this material no comprehensive listing is given here but a full list of material passed to PRONI is available on request to innate@ntlworld.com What follows is a brief indication of its contents. The PRONI reference numbers for the material are D4828 (deposited 2021) and PTE 83/2022 (for additional material deposited in 2022). It includes Northern Ireland ‘peace and reconciliation’ material as well as internationally-related peace material from both sides of the border in Ireland


Includes dated peace movement ephemera (leaflets, cuttings, papers etc) from 1970s to 2018 and a wide variety of specific files and some photos.

PTE 83/2022

Includes more Dawn and INNATE materials and extensive materials on the Peace People used in the preparation of ‘The Peace People Experience’ pamphlet (1987).

INNATE Annual report 2021


Being pro-active and innovative is always easier to talk about than do but, strange as it may seem, the Covid era has made some developments more possible. The formation of StoP – Swords to Ploughshares – a network on the arms trade and demilitarisation in Ireland, and work INNATE has been doing on Irish peace movement history, have both been made easier by the shift to remote working.

StoP was started by INNATE following a seminar on the arms trade in late 2020; it is an independent, cooperative network which has had a good first year with involvement from Derry, Belfast, Dublin, Limerick and Galway among other places. It has acted as network, clearing house, and call to action. The highlight of the year for work in this area was undoubtedly the launch of the Downpatrick Declaration (originated from within Afri, and backed by INNATE and StoP); this proactive attempt to address militarisation in Ireland is a vital ingredient in work for peace. https://www.downpatrickdeclaration.com/ A StoP seminar on how Raytheon was kicked out of Derry was another important piece of work. https://youtu.be/Y0MxO1GmACQ

Work on peace movement history came to the fore for INNATE with two seminars in November, one on work to do with Northern Ireland and one on international peace work in Ireland. https://www.flickr.com/photos/innateireland/51689114275/in/dateposted/ This endeavour will continue in 2022; so far as Northern Ireland is concerned, the work fits into INNATE’s ‘Civil society and the Troubles’ project, to record and accredit work done by all parts of civil society. Meanwhile five large boxes of INNATE’s peace movement ephemera, records and event files went to PRONI/the Public Record Office NI, with more to go, and other materials are seeking a home as part of downsizing.

Public manifestations were not entirely absent; the coming into force of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was marked by an event organised by INNATE at the police/PSNI headquarters at Knock, Belfast – and the British government reported for acting illegally. https://www.flickr.com/photos/innateireland/50862311953/in/album-72157616378924274/ On St Patrick’s Day, Saint Patrick himself, along with supporters, appeared at Spirit AeroSystems in Belfast’s docks to drive out the drones being developed there for the RAF. https://www.flickr.com/photos/innateireland/51046065166/in/album-72157616378924274/

The usual 10 full issues of INNATE’s monthly publication Nonviolent News were produced in 2021, and a news supplement for January (there was none in August due to illness). In terms of length, issues averaged just over 10,000 words. One series which has been running has been on ‘Art and peace’ with interviews conducted by Stefania Gualberti, and this will continue. Each issue has had Larry Speight’s careful and informative ecological analysis, and Billy King’s more wayward musings.

The main INNATE website moved to using WordPress early in the year which means that it is usually online at the same time as the e-mail edition is sent out; all the old content is still there. The shorter paper edition resumed monthly despatch in the autumn with the ‘missing’ issues (due to Covid) being mailed out then.

The INNATE photo and documentary site, with considerably over two thousand entries on Flickr, has continued to build up and can be found at https://www.flickr.com/photos/innateireland/ It should well surpass half a million photo views in 2022. To facilitate finding what might be sought, using the word search or else accessing material via the named 43 subject albums is recommended.

Many other explorations and engagements took place not detailed here. A draft listing of peace groups in Ireland since the 19th century was drawn up and circulated for comment, listing nearly sixty projects and organisations in all (a few of which came and went a couple of times) and this publication was finalised early in 2022.

Monthly INNATE meetings took place remotely in 2021, with additional planning meetings as necessary.. Everyone is very welcome to join in and ‘anyone’ ‘anywhere’ can participate; we very much welcome additional involvement (even in a very limited way) and greatly appreciate those who contribute financially as INNATE is run on a very frayed and tight shoestring – and all those involved in the work are volunteers.

Rob Fairmichael, Coordinator, February 2022