Posted By: November 06, 2018

                                Echo News                                   

Caucus launches its ‘real people’ peace prize


By Irish Echo Staff.    Monday, November 5, 2018


A new peace prize has been launched by the Washington, D.C.-based Irish National Caucus.

The prize, said the INC in a statement, is intended to honor and recognize individuals who have struggled for Irish justice over the past fifty years.

Said the statement: “It is not primarily focused on public figures, the rich or the famous, but rather on ‘the real people’ who spent many years in the background struggling to get America and Irish-Americans to stand

up for justice in Northern Ire- land/The North.”

The prize is being dubbed the “Irish American Peace Prize” and consists “of a beautiful plaque with an imprint of Irish National Caucus famous logo: the Dove of Peace super-imposed on the Shamrock.”

The citation declares: “Presented to (name): For dedication to the founding principle of the Irish National Caucus: “Ireland, too, has the right to be One Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Caucus President and founder Fr. Sean McManus stated: “We believe this prize was needed to bring balance, truth and a sense of realism to the whole history of the past fifty years. And, I felt, as one of the persons who has been longest involved in the struggle (and still living!) that I had a duty to launch the Irish Ameri- can Peace Prize in order to honor real people who have been ignored: individuals who bore the heat of the day, who were not ‘sunshine patriots,’ and who were not afraid to take a stand when it was not fashionable or easy.

“The reality is that many Irish Americans were too scared or disinterested to take a stand, and some just emerged when it was easy and had no cost – as is always the way, and as the history of Ireland amply illustrates. So far, the common reaction of those to whom I’ve spoken is: ‘It’s about time such a prize was given.’”

Fr. McManus continued: “Anyone who did not struggle for justice, confronting British government oppression in Northern Ireland does not deserve this prize, because to me the only way to work for peace is to struggle against injustice.

“There is only one government in charge of Northern Ire-land, and that is the British government, and that is where the buck stops. To ignore that fundamental fact is to cover up government injustice and to be-

come complicit in that injustice. The Irish American Peace Prize will not cover up or be complicit.

“The Irish American Peace Prize places justice at the heart and center of peace because, as the maxim states, peace is, indeed, the fruit of justice. Or, as Pope John Paul II added, in his reflection on that maxim, ‘peace is the fruit of solidarity.’ The Irish American Peace Prize is all about justice and solidarity, about opposing state-sponsored racism, sectarianism, and inequality in Northern Ireland, and about unity and peace.”

He concluded: “We had considered such a peace prize for a long while. However, the idea crystallized and became more compelling through my work as chief judge of the World Peace Prize. In this work, we have presented the World Peace Prize to a number of labor leaders in the United States and we will be traveling across the country to present the same prize, so it seemed a very natural moment to institute the Irish American Peace Prize.

“I was, also, increasingly conscious if I waited much longer some of these great, dedicated and humble individuals would be no longer with us. The names of the winners of the Irish American Peace Prize will be announced at the upcoming World Peace Prize events in different cities across the United States beginning in November.”