Fr. Patrick Devine, founder of the Shalom Center for Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation, has been named to a short list of prestigious nominees for the 2016 Tipperary International Peace Award, as announced this week by the Tipperary Peace Convention.
Other finalists include Lebanese-British lawyer, activist and author Amal Clooney, wife of actor George Clooney; former Northern Ireland deputy first minister Martin McGuinness; Amnesty Ireland; the Syrian White Helmets rescue workers; and Lebanese activist Lady Rabab al Sadr.
Previous recipients of the prestigious honor 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 U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry.
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 later in the year.
The creation of the award dates to Tipperary’s longstanding identification with the famous song that bears the town’s name. The Peace Convention website explains:
The name Tipperary, because of the song “It’s a long way to Tipperary” was internationally associated with war. The founding committee of the Tipperary Peace Convention felt it was time that our town should be known for peace. To this end, the Peace Convention was instituted in 1983 by a group of enthusiastic people, Tim Ryan, Joe Quinn, Maureen Walsh and Noel McInerney. The original aims were to promote the concept of peace through music and discussion, to provide an Open Forum for the discussion of current peace-related issues with contributions from leading spokespeople of various and diverse viewpoints and to select and reward, annually, a person who has made a particularly noteworthy contribution to the peace-making process.
The announcement of the finalists has received widespread attention in Irish media, including these news outlets:
In addition, the Society of African Missions – Fr. Devine’s order – carried a full story on the nomination.