Who will Win the Tipperary Peace Prize? Nominee Fr Patrick Devine to Speak at Queen’s, 22 March

The shortlist for this year’s Tipperary International Peace Prize has been announced. Most of the coverage in the Northern press has highlighted that Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness is among the nominees.

As in previous years, the range of nominees extends far beyond the island of Ireland. Other nominees with Irish connections are Amnesty International Ireland and Fr Patrick Devine.

Fr Devine is a native of Frenchpark, Co Roscommon, and the founder the Shalom Center for Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation in Nairobi, Kenya, an inter-religious organization pioneering conflict transformation and development work in Eastern Africa.

The date on which the winner will be announced is yet to be confirmed. But there is an opportunity to hear Fr Devine speak about his work at Queen’s University Belfast on Wednesday 22 March, in the Old Staff Common Room, 4.30 for 5.00 pm.

The Nationalist newspaper in Tipperary is running an online poll on who should win the prize – with Devine and McGuinness currently out front. (The newspaper poll will not affect the judging process.)

Previous winners of the Tipperary International Peace Prize include South African President 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 and Nobel Prize winner, Malala Yousafzai, former UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon and last year’s recipient: former US Secretary of State, John Kerry.

Fr. Devine’s work in Africa began in 1988 when he went to western Tanzania with the Society of African Missions (SMA). In the aftermath of the Rwanda genocide he coordinated the pastoral care input of the SMA to the refugees from 1994-98. He began the Shalom Center in 2009.

He was awarded the 2013 International Caring Award, succeeding the Dalai Lama in 2012. Other notable recipients include Jimmy Carter, Mother Theresa, Colin Powell, George Mitchell and Bill Clinton. In 2014, eight countries in Eastern Africa presented him with the prestigious IGAD Award for his visionary contribution to peace and development in the region.

Fr Devine features in a book I recently reviewed on Slugger, The Legacy of Irish Missionaries Lives On, by Matt Moran.

Fr Devine’s presentation at Queen’s is free and open to the public, but participants should register here for catering purposes. His talk will have direct relevance to academics and practitioners working in a variety of conflict situations, encompassing research-based religious and humanitarian perspectives.

Click here to learn more about the Tipperary Peace Prize.

Disclaimer: The event is hosted by the Senator George J Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice – where I work. 



  • Jollyraj

    Martin McGuinness for a Nobel Peace Prize??

    Are you f***ing kidding me?

  • John Collins

    Well Sean McBride won the Nobel Peace Prize and the Lenin equivelent- the only man to win the the two and he an ex IRA leader. He was also the son of an executed 1916 man, who also fought the British in the Boer War. and his mother, Maud Gonne, was a rabid republican all her adult life.
    And no , I am not f****king kidding you.

  • Ciaran74

    Many characters are lauded for many reasons, Winston Churchill, Oliver Cromwell, etc. but have varying inputs to events at different stages of their lives and environments.

  • Jollyraj

    Martin McGuinness. A man who publicly advocated the targeted murder of innocent civilians by criminal gangs, whom many believe led a terrorist organization which murdered, tortured, falsely imprisoned, robbed and indeed raped civilians for decades, and whom even now is apparently unapologetic for that. Nobel Peace Prize? JC, even by your standards that’s poor.

  • Jollyraj

    Are you putting Cromwell foward now?

  • burnboilerburn

    Unionism/Loyalism/ British Security Services publicly advocated the targeted murder of innocent civilians by criminal gangs, led terrorist organizations which murdered, tortured, falsely imprisoned, robbed and indeed raped civilians for decades, and whom even now is apparently unapologetic for that.

  • Ciaran74

    For the Tipp Peace prize? Ollie wouldn’t make the cut I suspect. Those guys got statues in Westminster for their handywork. Though to be fair I’m not sure if Winston’s was for the rape of Khartoum or sanctioning the pointless aerial murder of 600,000 German civilians. That said he was a good speaker. Oliver did deliver denominational democracy (for a moment) at the end of a sword but recognition in Scandinavia maybe beyond him……

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Cromwell, whose man Venables destroyed the Lagagn army, killing heaps more planters in a few hours at the Battle of Lisnagarvy than Sir Philem and Owen Roe had managed in a decade? I know we admire efficency, but Cromwell is still almost as odd a hero for Unionists as Churchill himself, the man who afile to arrest the UUC in March 1914 by a whisker.

  • John Collins

    Read my post again.
    Did I in any way, good, bad or indifferent, propose that M MG should get the Nobel Peace Prize. I merely pointed out, quite accurately, that a similiar backgroung did not stop another man getting, not one but two, similiar accolades.

  • John Collins

    Well in the 1798 Heritage Centre in Enniscorthy Cromwell is recognised as one of the fathers of democracy. My ‘standards’ would oppose this as only twelve miles down the road in Wexford Town he stood by while his troops ran amock and murdered unarmed civilians, elderly priests among them. But there you go