Author Archive | Gladys Ganiel

Enniskillen 30 Years On: Geraldine Smyth on Forgiveness and Mercy in the Public Square

An article by Joe Humphreys in today’s Irish Times marking the 30th anniversary of the Enniskillen bomb bears the headline: ‘Thirty years after Enniskillen: Can forgiveness transcend terrorist atrocities?’ Humphreys highlights the well-known words of forgiveness offered in the bomb’s immediate aftermath by Gordon Wilson, whose daughter Marie died in the atrocity. He also recognizes the words of more…

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Beyond the Abuse Scandals? Review of Maher and O’Brien’s ‘Tracing the Cultural Legacy of Irish Catholicism’

There is much insightful reading in a new collection of essays edited by Eamon Maher and Eugene O’Brien, Tracing the Cultural Legacy of Irish Catholicism: From Galway to Cloyne and Beyond (Manchester University Press, 2017). Maher, who lectures in Humanities at the Institute of Technology, Tallaght, has co-edited a number of collections on Irish Catholicism more…

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‘Victims of the Peace’ – Lessons from David Bolton’s ‘Conflict, Peace and Mental Health’

If there is one book that should be required reading for our MLAs, it is David Bolton’s Conflict, Peace and Mental Health: Addressing the Consequences of Conflict and Trauma in Northern Ireland, published this year by Manchester University Press. The book is a timely reminder that while the Assembly remains suspended and political progress remains more…

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Jonathan Powell on Ending Conflicts – Insights on Leadership

Jonathan Powell, the British Government’s chief negotiator on Northern Ireland under Prime Minister Tony Blair (1997-2007), joined Prof Richard English Monday for a conversation on ‘Ending Conflicts’ at the Senator George J Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice at Queen’s. Powell is now director of Inter/Mediate, a charity he founded in 2011 to more…

Denis Bradley: The Church Needs a Consultation of the Unfaithful

Writing in today’s Irish News, former priest Denis Bradley argues that what the Catholic Church needs to renew itself is a ‘consultation of the unfaithful.’ Reflecting on how aging priests, a lack of vocations, and vows of celibacy are symptomatic of a deeper malaise, Bradley rightly acknowledges that in recent years the Church has attempted more…

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Review of One Man, One God: The Peace Ministry of Fr Alec Reid

For many years the labours that constituted Fr Alec Reid’s (1931-2013) life work remained behind closed doors. It had to be that way: what he was doing was much too sensitive to be public knowledge. We have known for some time that Reid instigated secret talks that helped kick-start the Northern Ireland peace process. He more…

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‘He saw a common well of untapped compassion and forgiveness’ – Mary McAleese at the Launch of One Man, One God: The Peace Ministry of Fr Alec Reid CSsR

One Man, One God: The Peace Ministry of Fr Alec Reid CSsR was launched on Tuesday at Clonard Monastery by former President Mary McAleese. The book chronicles Fr Reid’s incalculable contributions to the peace process on the island of Ireland, and explores how his Christian faith influenced and sustained him in his work. It was more…

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Review of Embodied Peacebuilding by Leah Robinson – A Theology of Reconciliation that is not Practical is not Reconciliation at all

In Northern Ireland, ‘reconciliation’ can be a divisive word – so much so that the very use of the term accomplishes the opposite of its meaning. A prominent study led by Prof John Brewer concluded that ‘reconciliation’ was so contested that the term should be avoided altogether. My own surveys of clergy and churchgoers revealed more…

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Mitchell Institute Festival Goes Inside the Trump White House & Beyond – First Event Tomorrow on Radicalisation & Religious Freedom

The Senator George J Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice’s annual Spring Festival of Conflict Transformation runs 26 April-11 May at Queen’s University Belfast. It features 11 events, free and open to the public, including discussions, lectures, film and art with topics including the Trump White House, terrorism, borders, radicalisation and genocide. The more…

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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 more…

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Senator George Mitchell in Conversation with Monica McWilliams at QUB on Friday – Free Tickets

American Senator George Mitchell, the mediator in the talks that produced the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement, will be in conversation with Monica McWilliams on Friday 10 February, 1-2 pm, in the Great Hall at Queen’s University Belfast. The event is free and open to the public, but tickets must be reserved by contacting Mr Brett Walker (b.walker@qub.ac.uk / more…

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The Legacy of Irish Missionaries Lives On: Book by Matt Moran – The Irish Tradition of ‘Social Justice as Faith’?

There’s been plenty of discussion in recent weeks (and years) about the decline of the Catholic Church in Ireland. The trauma stemming from clerical sexual abuse continues to cast a long shadow over Irish society. Indeed, the Irish Times’ Derek Scally has recently argued that the Catholic Church was as authoritarian and dominant as the more…

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Caring for Carers? – 4 Corners, Cliftonville Football Club, and Rethinking Public Policy

The value of carers’ contributions to Northern Ireland is similar to that of the entire 2016/17 Stormont health budget – but is our Government investing in improving their circumstances? This year’s 4 Corners Festival (3-12 February) is highlighting carers’ contributions to our society through a banquet at City Hall for people who provide full time more…

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Catholic Ireland’s Confession Box – Irish Times Initiative

Yesterday I posted a blog that asked the question: ‘Is the Catholic Church Losing the Irish People?’ Coincidentally, yesterday’s Irish Times ran a lengthy and soul-searching reflection by Derek Scally on a similar topic. Scally, it seems, has concluded that yes, the Catholic Church already has lost the Irish people. But he argues that it more…

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Is the Catholic Church Losing the Irish People? Reflections on Tony Flannery & the Church of England

On Sunday, Redemptorist priest Fr Tony Flannery celebrated mass publicly for the first time in five years, defying a Vatican ban on public ministry dating from 2012. Fr Flannery is being disciplined by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for expressing views contrary to official church teachings on matters like clerical celibacy and more…

CRC Award for Fr Gary Donegan; & Reconciliation Reframed by Rev Norman Hamilton

CRC Award for Fr Gary Donegan; & Reconciliation Reframed by Rev Norman Hamilton

Fr Gary Donegan, a Passionist priest who served 15 years at Holy Cross Church in Ardoyne in North Belfast, was today honoured with the Community Relations Council (CRC) Award for Exceptional Achievement. Rev Norman Hamilton presented the award after delivering the annual David Stevens Memorial Lecture on “Reconciliation Reframed.” The event was held in the more…

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Book Review of Rev Ken Newell’s Captured by a Vision: An Enthralling Human Story

Rev Ken Newell, a former minister at Fitzroy Presbyterian in Belfast, is best-known for his ecumenical peacemaking during the Troubles. Newell partnered with his friend the late Fr Gerry Reynolds of Clonard Monastery, and a group of committed laity from their congregations, to develop the Clonard-Fitzroy Fellowship. This small group, rooted in joint spiritual practices more…

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‘We need to encourage young people that this is a place they can build their future’: Report on ‘Let Them Speak’

Back in February, 90 Sixth Form Pupils from 25 schools across Belfast gathered at Ulster University to discuss the city’s future. The event was part of the 4 Corners Festival, and was featured on Slugger at the time. The 4 Corners Festival have now produced a booklet that collates some of the students’ comments, grouped more…

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CRC Award for Civic Leadership for Fr Martin Magill and Rev Steve Stockman – Relationships as the Foundation for Reconciliation

The Community Relations Council (CRC) this week presented its annual award for Civic Leadership to Fr Martin Magill of Sacred Heart in North Belfast and Rev Steve Stockman of Fitzroy Presbyterian in South Belfast. Magill and Stockman are outspoken advocates of Christian peacebuilding, regularly making the case in their writing and broadcasting that part of more…