Former Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has been nominated for the 2017 Tipperary Peace Award.
Last year’s winner was American Secretary of State John Kerry.
Mr McGuiness resigned from the Northern Ireland Executive last month and later announced that he wouldn’t be seeking re-election to the Assembly due to ill health.
A former Provisional IRA leader, Martin McGuinness was MP for Mid Ulster from 1997 until his resignation in 2013.
Following the St Andrews Agreement and the Assembly election in 2007, he became Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland with the DUP leader Ian Paisley becoming First Minister. On 5th June 2008 he was re-appointed as Deputy First Minister to serve alongside Peter Robinson, who succeeded Paisley as First Minister. He resigned as Deputy First Minister on 9th January in a protest over the Renewable Heat Incentive scandal and announced on 19th January that he would not be standing for re-election to the Northern Ireland Assembly due to ill health.
He was Sinn Féin’s unsuccessful candidate for President of Ireland in 2011.
The other nominees for the Tipperary Peace Award are –
Amal Clooney, nee Alamuddin, is a Lebanese-British lawyer, activist and author. She is a barrister at Doughty Street Chambers, specialising in international law and human rights. She has been part of several United Nations commissions and tribunals. Her clients include Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, in his fight against extradition. She has also represented the former Prime Minister of Ukraine, Yulia Tymoshenko, and Egyptian-Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy. She is married to the American actor George Clooney.
Fr. Patrick Devine
Roscommon-born and Kenyan-based, Fr. Patrick Devine, is a member of the Society of African Missions with 25 years experience of helping to mitigate conflict and poverty in Africa. In 2009, he set up the Shalom Centre for Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation (SCCRR) in Nairobi that has had remarkable success under his leadership in replacing conflict and violence with peace and co-operation in renowned conflict areas.
Amnesty Ireland (International)
Amnesty International is a global movement of more than 7 million people who take injustice personally. They campaign for a world where human rights are enjoyed by all. In Ireland, their 18,000 members, campaign on issues like reproductive rights, ending torture and protecting migrant & refugee rights, among others. They are currently actively campaigning for the release of Irish born Ibrahim Halawa, who is imprisoned for over 3 years in Egypt and have declared him to be a ‘Prisoner of Conscience’.
Syrian White Helmets
When the bombs rain down, the Syrian Civil Defence rushes in. In a place where public services no longer function, these unarmed volunteers risk their lives to help anyone in need – regardless of their religion or politics. Known as the White Helmets these volunteer rescue workers operate in the most dangerous place on earth. More than 50 bombs and mortars a day land on some neighbourhoods in Syria. When this happens, the White Helmets rush in to search for life in the rubble – fully aware that more bombs may fall on the same site. These volunteers have saved 78,529 lives, and this number is growing.
Lady Rabab al Sadr
Rabab al-Sadr is a Lebanese social and human rights activist and philanthropist. She adopted and promoted the social vision of her brother, Imam Musa al-Sadr, who encouraged her to join the Imam al-Sadr Foundation in Lebanon around 1960 and devote herself to social work and humanitarian aid. Al-Sadr oversees the girls’ section of the foundation, providing much-needed economic assistance and social guidance to orphaned and dependent girls, regardless of their religious background. Al-Sadr strongly believes in the central role of education for women as a means for social change and personal growth.
The award recipient will be announced in the coming weeks and will be presented with the International Peace Award in Tipperary on a date to be confirmed in 2017.
Previous recipients of the Tipperary International Peace Award include; Former South African President the late Nelson Mandela, former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, The late Senator Gordon Wilson from Enniskillen, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, former President of Ireland, Professor Mary McAleese and her husband Senator Martin McAleese, Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, who later went on to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, Dr. Richard Haass, Former UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon and and last year’s recipient Former US Secretary of State, John Kerry.