This site includes the postings from the Irish Aires email list. This includes a listing of Irish/Celtic events in the Houston area and other information that the Irish Aires radio program posts.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Rev Good Interview & Event at St. Thomas

(Reminder of this event coming up this Wednesday at the University of St Thomas. We will play the second half of our interview with Rev Good tonight on Irish Aires. Jay) Dear Friends: Please join us for our third cultural event of the fall season and welcome our guests from Ireland and Northern Ireland . We are honored to have as our guests Fr. Alec Reid and Rev. Harold Good, internationally renowned clerics involved in peace and reconciliation, not only in Northern Ireland, but in Spain and around the world. This event is free and open to the public; no RSVP or tickets sold; first-come, first-served. Parking is available in the Moran Center , Graustark at West Alabama . Sponsors: University of St. Thomas Center for Irish Studies Cultural Outreach Forum and The Irish Society; Co-sponsors listed below Wednesday, October 10, 2007 Northern Ireland Peace Process: Stumbling Blocks and Stepping Stones Fr. Alec Reid and Rev. Harold Good When: 7:00 p.m. Where: Cullen Hall, 4001 Mt. Vernon Co-Sponsors (at the time of printing): University of St. Thomas Social Justice Committee Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston Office of Justice and Peace of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston St. Paul's United Methodist Church , Houston Christ Church Cathedral, Houston Rev. Harold Good and Fr. Alec Reid served as facilitators in the back channels of the Northern Ireland Peace Process for many years from the start of "the Troubles" in 1969 through today. Fr. Reid was the behind-the-scenes link who convinced John Hume of Northern Ireland's Social Democratic and Labour Party, the nationalist party, to meet with Gerry Adams of Sinn F‚in, the republican party. This opening of communication led to the creation of a peaceful and democratic strategy for resolving the Northern Irish Conflict that ultimately was capable of persuading the Irish Republican Army (IRA) to end their armed campaign. These events formed part of the foundation for the 1994 ceasefire and the negotiations that led to the 1998 Good Friday Agreement (also known as the Belfast Agreement) facilitated by former United States Senator George Mitchell. This Agreement served as one of the stepping stones to the 2007 power-sharing Parliament in Northern Ireland in which Rev. Ian Paisley of the Democratic Unionist Party is now the First Minister and Mr. Martin McGuinness of Sinn F‚in is now Deputy First Minister. Fr. Reid and Rev. Good also served as independent clerical witnesses who observed and verified the historic decommissioning (destruction) of arms by the IRA in September 2005. This decommissioning ended the long tradition of physical force politics in Ireland and opened the way to the new Parliament of Stormont in Northern Ireland . Both Rev. Good and Fr. Reid have been involved in special peacemaking ministries to comfort and support people living at the heart of the conflict. They both have helped prisoners, their families and others to promote understanding and reconciliation between the Nationalist/Republican community and the Unionist/Loyalist community. One of these ministries seeks to foster dialogue and friendship between the separated Christians of Belfast by calming fears and building bridges between the communities; the other ministry endeavors to remove the conflict from the streets and onto the conference table where it can be settled through methods of peaceful and democratic politics. Rev. Good is the former President of the Methodist Church of Ireland and lives in Belfast . He has served in churches in Northern Ireland , the Republic of Ireland and the United States . Alongside his ministry within local communities, Rev. Good has had a wider role as adviser to the Government on social policy, Human Rights Commissioner, part-time prison chaplain, Chair of the Northern Ireland Association for the Care and Re-settlement of Offenders (NIACRO) and a founding member of Healing Through Remembering, an organization concerned with responsibility towards victims and others seeking appropriate ways of dealing with the painful past. Fr. Alec Reid was born in Dublin and raised in Tipperary . He is a member of the Redemptorist Clonard Monastery, which stands at the interface between Catholic and Protestant neighborhoods in West Belfast 's Falls Road and Shankill Road areas. The mission of the Redemptorist Order is to preach the values and the blessings of the Christian Gospel to people everywhere, but particularly to the poor, the marginalised and the downtrodden. Fr. Reid divides his time between Northern Ireland and the Basque Region of Spain. These two individuals have devoted their lives to ending violence, wherever it may be found. They will discuss the stumbling blocks and stepping stones that have led to the current peace in Northern Ireland . We look forward to seeing you on Wednesday night! Lori Meghan Gallagher, J.D. Director, Center for Irish Studies University of St. Thomas 3800 Montrose Blvd. Houston , TX 77006 713-525-3592 (direct) 713-525-3866 (fax)
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