Archive for the ‘Mairead Maguire’ Category

International Women’s boat to Gaza

By Mairead Maguire
Thursday 29th September, 2016 – Wed.,5th October, 2016

Participant on board Zaytoouna-Oliva boat

A few weeks ago, the US Government agreed to give Israel $38 billion dollars, the largest military funding package the U.S. has given any Nation. This $38 billion in military and other type of Aid, will be used to imprison the Palestinians of Gaza, and continue Israel’s military occupation, and imposition of an apartheid state, upon the Palestinian people.

This money will be used in the training fields of Israeli military which are in Gaza, where military experiments are done, using US military weaponry, by the Israeli Occupation Forces.

The U.S. military and Government is complicit in the crimes against the people of Gaza and the Palestinian occupied territory by the use of military hardware given by USA and the training that the Israelis give USA and USA gives to them.

It is also estimated that some 70% of European humanitarian aid to Palestine ends up in Israeli pockets.

Gaza continues to suffer from the continuing Israeli blockade, naval and land, and this 25-mile-long tiny strip, 5 miles wide, with l.9 million people, living in it, is a brutal blockade and Israel controls everything including, all the electricity, the food, etc. Indeed, everything which comes into Gaza comes through Israeli hands. Gaza’s only airport was completely destroyed in 2002 by Israeli jets and ground forces.

Egypt continues to be a part of this blockade as they have blocked Gaza’s southern border and Egypt continues to receive USA military funding. Medical authorities have reported that the time for operations in Gaza now goes up to 2025 as so many are awaiting health care, and the increasing issues around food, water, sewage, electricity, all of these mounting problems have led the U.N. to declare in their latest Report, that by the year 2020 Gaza will be uninhabitable. What hope is there for the Palestinians of Gaza, the vast majority of whom are young people.?

In order to give Hope to the people of Gaza by showing solidarity and support the Women’s Boat to Gaza sailed to Gaza in September, 2016.

Also we sailed in order to challenge this illegal and immoral blockade and occupation of Palestine by Israel, and draw international attention to the fact that under Geneva conventions it is illegal to punish civilians, which is what Israeli government policies continues to do. Read the rest of this entry »

The Future of Europe: The capacity to integrate, for dialogue and to generate

By Maired Maguire

“War is illegal and immoral, it has to end and it can be ended.’

Speech at the international meeting “Thirst For Peace”, Assisi September 18-20, 2016. Promoted by Community of Sant Egidio and Diocese of Assisi and Franciso Families.

Dear Friends,

I am happy to be here at this International Meeting and I would like to thank our hosts, for their invitation to attend. I have always been inspired by the lives of St. Francis and St. Clare, whom I believe are Icons of Christian Gospel Peace and Nonviolence.

Francis the man of action, steeped in empathy and love for all, and Clare a woman of prayer, whose love of God led her into the depth of mysticism and peace.

Francis and Clare lived in a time of violence and war, yet they choose to live the nonkilling/nonviolence of Jesus. Francis as a youth fighting in his local military, knew well how to wield a sword, yet he choose to follow the command of Jesus to Peter, when he told him to put up his sword and healed the Soldier’s ear.

He left the military to live in poverty and service, and together with Clare, and his followers refused to take up arms. Francis and Clare, in the midst of much feudal violence, choose to follow the Christian nonviolence manifesto ‘the Sermon on the Mount’.

For many people in Europe and the world, challenged by growing violence and injustice, the lives of these two great 13th century Saints gives us hope and inspiration.

Pope Francis, following in the steps of St. Francis, gives us all hope as he challenges us to work for the abolition of the death penalty, ending poverty, the arms race, nuclear weapons, and environmental destruction, etc.,

However, I believe we need a clear renunciation of the ‘just war’ theory (a phoney piece of morality in the words of the late Fr. John L. McKenzie) and I add my voice to those appealing to Pope Francis for an Encyclical on Peace and Nonviolence, calling Christians to rejection militarism and war and to follow a Peace theology in keeping with the teachings of the Nonviolent Jesus.

This would give great Spiritual leadership not only to Europe but to Humanity.

I believe Europe today Read the rest of this entry »

The Chilcot Inquiry must tell the truth

By Mairead Maguire

The long awaited Chilcot report (5 years) on the Invasion of Iraq will finally be released on 6th July, 2016.

The Report is to be welcomed and the hope expressed that this inquiry will tell the truth of what happened to the Iraqi people and clarify the UKs involvement, through an official Government recognition of facts of the wars, sanctions and invasion of Iraq and for transparency, accountability and reparation to be paid to the Iraqi people by the UK Government who participated in these illegal and immoral genocidal wars.

The story of what was done to the Iraqi people by UK and Western allies is shocking and deeply disturbing.

The two wars, the imposition of economic sanctions, causing the slow deaths of thousands of people, were indeed crimes against humanity, war crimes, breaking all international obligations and conducted with no respect for human life or the Iraqi people’s rights.

The UK/USA acted unilaterally ignoring the principal of multilateralism and irrespective of the enormous opposition to war against Iraq, articulated by millions of people around the world.

The invasion was carried out by US/UK NATO forces on the basis of a ‘lie’ that Iraq had nuclear weapons and was a threat to the US.

The foreign policy of the US/UK governments were for regime change and about Iraqi oil; the methods used were Read the rest of this entry »

TFF PressInfo # 372: Drop the Just War theory and abolish nuclear weapons!

By Mairead Maguire

Press Release 19th April, 2016

Nobel Peace Laureate, Mairead Maguire, co-founder of The Peace People and TFF Associate, says from Rome:

“I believe we are at an important and hopeful turning point in human history – from violence to nonviolence and from war to peace”

Laity and religious meeting in Rome appeal to Pope Francis to share with the world an encyclical on nonviolence and just peace and for the church to no longer use or teach ‘Just War theory’

It was a joy for me to join eighty people from around the world meeting in Rome 11-12th April, 2016, to contribute to the important discussion ‘Nonviolence and Just Peace Contributing to the Catholic Understanding of and Commitment to Nonviolence’.

Members of the three day event co-hosted by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the International Catholic Peace Movement Organization, Pax Christi, strongly called on Pope Francis ‘to share with the world an encyclical on nonviolence and Just Peace; and on the Church to ‘no longer use or teach ‘just war theory’; and continue advocating for the abolition of war and nuclear weapons’.

The statement of Appeal to the Pope also said:

‘We believe there is no ‘just war’. Too often the ‘just war theory’ has been used to endorse rather than prevent or limit war. Suggesting that a ‘just war’ is possible also undermines the moral imperative to develop tools and capacities for nonviolent transformation of conflict’.

The gathering in Rome consisted of lay people, theologians, members of religious congregations, priests and bishops from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Oceania and the welcoming address was given by Cardinal Turkson of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, who read a Statement from Pope Francis.

The Final Statement Read the rest of this entry »

A nonkilling, nonviolent world is not unrealistic – We can choose!

By Mairead Maguire

Address by Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate and TFF Associate, to Rome Conference on NATO
Friday 29th January, 2016.

Dear Friends,
I believe we, the human family, have no less a task before us, than transforming our thinking and mind-sets of violence and war, and moving to a demilitarized Europe and World. Einstein once said that everything has changed but our thinking. However, there is hope as indeed our thinking is changing and there is a growing consciousness that violence, whether it comes from State or non-state actors, is wrong, violence does not work, violence is not the way.

However, around the world, we, the people, are in danger of being overpowered and dis-spirited by increasing violence, militarism and war. Many people can see that many Political Leaders can no longer imagine a just peace, and under the guise of allegedly ‘just wars’ and unbounded preparation for war, they are leading us into repeated cycles of violence profoundly counter to the spirit of love and friendship residing in the heart of humanity.

But there is Hope and it resides with the People, who are great and are mobilizing and uniting across the Globe to bring about much needed change, and rejecting violence and war.

The World Health Organization has said that ‘Violence is a preventable disease’ and people are not born violent, rather we all live in cultures of violence. This can be changed through nonviolent peacemaking and the pursuit of ‘just peace’ and nurturing of cultures of peace. Using active nonviolence, based on love of enemies and nonkilling, can bring about a real peace that is just, inclusive and sustainable.

In Northern Ireland we faced violence from all sides, for over thirty years, as we lived in a deep ethnic/political conflict. This violence only ended when everyone acknowledged that militarism and para-militarism could not solve our human problems, and only through unconditional, all inclusive dialogue and negotiations could we reach a political agreement based on nonviolence, forgiveness, compromise and co-operation.

We spoke to ‘our enemies’ and made peace with them, because we recognized that without Peace nothing is possible, and with Peace, everything is possible.

We also began to tackle the root causes of our violence, by making painful policy changes.

Today in Belfast, it is good for all its citizens to live in a City at Peace, but we all acknowledge that our Peace process is a work in progress and we continue to work on justice forgiveness and reconciliation.

We meet at a time when, I believe, Europe is facing a cross-roads and hard choices regarding policies and priorities have to be made by all. Today’s refugees, migrant challenge, has shown the best and the worst of European values, via television beamed onto our screens to the world.

The best have been the compassionates response Read the rest of this entry »

Remembering the 1916 Rising

By Mairead Maguire
Nobel Peace Laureate, Co-Founder Peace People, Ireland and TFF Associate

When the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, the Irish Military, Government Members, and many Irish people gathered in Dublin, on Easter Sunday 27th March, 2016 to remember the Easter Rising of l9l6, some of his challenging words were addressed to the young generation.

He encouraged them ‘to imagine and to dream‘ and he said ‘we wish them well as they make music and continue to dream’. The Leaders of l9l6 had political hopes and dreams. President Higgins said ‘For the leaders of l9l6, their political hopes and aspirations for what a free Irish Republic might be, were linked to a rich Irish culture which they cherished and promoted.

Within that vision, their ancient Irish language and culture, informed by our history and migration, was central to everything for which they hoped and fought.’

I believe the men of l9l6 had a democratic right to their dreams of Irish self-determination and to work for Irish Freedom, but the violent method by which they fought for freedom was ethically and morally wrong. Read the rest of this entry »

Mairead Corrigan Maguire’s CV

Mairead Corrigan Maguire
Nobel Peace Laureate

Co-founder, Peace People – Northern Ireland l976.

Mairead Corrigan Maguire was awarded the l976 Nobel Peace Prize for her actions to help bring about peace and an end to the violence arising out of the ethnic/political conflict in her native Northern Ireland. She shares the award with Betty Williams.

Mairead was the aunt of the three Maguire children who died as a result of being hit by an Irish Republican Army getaway car after its driver was shot by a British soldier. Mairead responded to the violence facing her family and community by organizing, together with Betty Williams and Ciaran McKeown, massive peace demonstrations appealing for an end to the bloodshed, and a nonviolent solution to the conflict.

Together, the three co-founded the Peace People, a movement committed to building a just and nonviolent society in Northern Ireland. The Peace People organized each week, for six months, peace rallies throughout Ireland and the UK. These were attended by many thousands of people, mostly women, and during this time there was a 70% decrease in the rate of violence.

Since receiving the award, Mairead has dedicated her life to promoting disarmament and peace, both in Northern Ireland and around the world.

Working with community groups throughout Northern Ireland, political and church Leaders, she has sought to promote dialogue and conflict resolution, in order to bring about a nonkilling, nonviolent society and world.

Mairead has visited many countries, amongst others, North/South Korea, Afghanistan, Gaza, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Congo, Iraq, and other countries in violent conflict in order to be in solidarity with all people working for peace, justice and disarmament.

A graduate of Irish School of Ecumenics, Mairead – a pacifist – works with inter-church, inter-faith and secular organizations. And she is a councillor with the International Peace Council and Co-Chair of Nobel Womens’ Initiative.

She is a Patron of the Methodist Theological College, and Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education. She has worked extensively in the Middle East believing that peace is possible and as we are all interconnected as the Human Family, sharing one common Mother Earth, we can all do something for peace and justice for all.

Mairead is author of The Vision of Peace: Faith and Hope in Northern Ireland which is also available in Urdu.

Mairead joined as TFF Associate in March 2016.


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