Home Opinion Letters to the Editor McGuinness and Adams for 2018 Nobel Peace Prize

McGuinness and Adams for 2018 Nobel Peace Prize

E-mail Print PDF

 By Sabina Clarke

As we approach the 20th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement and with the global response to the death of Martin McGuinness and his legacy undisputed —now is the time to nominate Martin McGuinness posthumously and Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams as the joint recipients of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has a less than stellar record regarding The Troubles and its Peace Prize awardees.

In October 1976 the Nobel Committee awarded the Prize to Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan, founders of the Peace People’s movement. The award was tarnished by the two women quarrelling about who would keep the prize money.  They also lost credibility with their own people by failing to condemn state violence with the same ardor that they criticized the IRA. These circumstances led to the disintegration   of the Peace People movement.

 In October 1998 the Nobel Committee –on the heels of the historic April 1998 Good Friday Agreement-- again recognized Northern Ireland by awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to John Hume, the Social Democratic & Labor Party, SDLP Leader and David Trimble, the Ulster Unionist Party, UUP Leader for their “efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in Northern Ireland.”

The Committee reasoned that since there was “one from the Catholic side and one from the Protestant side” —no one would be alienated. This decision disappointed   many since it seemed not only simplistic but flawed since it totally excluded Sinn Fein.

In Ireland there were bets on the following combinations:   John Hume by himself;   John Hume, David Trimble and Gerry Adams; and David Trimble and Gerry Adams—but never just Hume and Trimble.

So, there was great expectation in both Ireland and the U.S. for Adams getting the Nobel Peace Prize. When he did not there was shock abroad and shock in the United States. Ed Moloney, journalist and author and expert on the Troubles has stated that there would have been “no peace process without Gerry Adams.”

I remember well that morning in 1998 anticipating with others that Adams, who was to speak at the Union League in Philadelphia later that day would be included in the Award and that we would be there to cover it. And I recall our disappointment and still hear Adams’ words that echoed thru the packed room –the sincerity of which no one could deny—when he tried to comfort the crowd by saying that he did not care about prizes and that the only prize—the important prize—was peace.

 For more than 40 years, Gerry Adams (portrait by Megan Lawlor) and Martin McGuinness have been inseparable as trusted friends and comrades.

Growing up in Belfast, Adams experienced firsthand –the bias, blatant discrimination and bigotry towards Catholics. He came from a strong republican background.

McGuinness grew up in Derry in a staunchly Catholic family that was not political. He turned to republicanism after witnessing the government’s repression of the nationalist community. And he was second-in-command of the Irish Republican Army, IRA, on Bloody Sunday when British soldiers murdered peaceful protestors marching for Civil Rights. His response was visceral.

At his 1973 conviction he said, “We have fought against the killing of our people. I am a member of Oglaigh na Eireann, (IRA and very, very proud of it.”

As early as 1972, both  were recognized by the British  and  secretly flown to London to participate in what turned out to be abortive   talks with then Secretary of Northern Ireland Willie Whitelaw; and  by the mid-1980’s  they  were acknowledged  as the key people in the Provisional republican movement.

Sinn Fein’s outreach for peace began in the 1970’s with talks between Gerry Adams and Father Alec Reid, the Redemptorist priest and into the mid 1980’s with Gerry Adams’ outreach to John Hume which resulted in the crafting of the Hume/Adams Joint Document for Peace.

While pursuing the rocky and dangerous road to peace, Sinn Fein adopted the dual strategy of the armalite and the ballot box—but an end to violence was always the goal. As revolutionaries turned politicians, they were vilified by former comrades who called them traitors for having compromised and they risked being assassinated while they argued that compromise through democratic means was the only way forward.

 McGuinness appeared to be always content to stand in Adams’ shadow.  However, the worldwide response to his passing has changed that. His legacy now stands firmly with Adams—both recognized as world leaders who helped end decades of murders and violence that took more than 3,200 lives.

Through their joint commitment to a peaceful solution, what was once considered an intractable conflict has become a template for peace and reconciliation around the world.

Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness risked their lives and their careers for peace.

 

The Journey

The Journey Starring Colm Meany

Micheline Skeffington at iBAM! Oct 28-29

Micheline Skeffington at iBAM! Oct 28-29 in Literary Salon at Heritage Center

2017 June

May 2017

SHARE!

Delicious

Who's Online

We have 608 guests online

Ad and Other Payments

Paying For
Instructions

Shop Irish!

ASSISTED LIVING
Homecare Angels

ATTORNEY
Murphy & Smith Ltd
Levin & Perconti
AUTO RENTAL - IRELAND
Dooley Car Rentals

BAGPIPERS & DRUM CLASSES

Chicalba Bagpiping

BAKERY
Doughs Guys Bakery
BANKS

Marquette National Bank
BANQUETS
Gaelic Park
Irish Am Heritage Ctr
BEAUTY SALONS

Appearances Pk Ridge
 847-825-7615
Hair by O'Hara & Friends-Hometown
BOOKS - IRISH
TheIrishBookClub.com
BRICK REPAIR/REPLACEMENT
Shamrock Tuckpointing

CAREGIVERS
Aishling Companion Homecare

CATERERS
Harrington's Catering & Deli
Unforgettable Edibles
CHARITABLE ORG

Mercy Home
Chgo Irish Immigrant Support
CAULKING & SEALING
Shamrock Tuckpointing
CHIMNEY REPAIR

Shamrock Tuckpointing

CHOIR
Irish Heritage Singers
CORNED BEEF/FULL BREAKFAST
Harrington's Catering & Deli
COTTAGE RENTAL
Connemara Cottage
Ann @ 773-627-4485
Cosgrove Cottage
Cottage Mary Rose
Dingle Cottage: 312-399-8793
Gurtenard Hse - Listowel Co Kerry
Ireland Family Vacations
CREMATION URNS
Steve Shannon Collection
CRUISES

Andy Cooney
CULTURAL ORGANIZATIONS

Chicago Gaelic Park

iBAM!
Irish Am Heritage Ctr
Irish Am Society Co Will
Irish Heritage Singers
DANCE SCHOOLS

McNulty School of Dance
Trinity Irish Dance
ENTERTAINERS

Chicalba Bagpiping

Green Meadow Boys
Harpist Lillian Reasor
847-658-2133
Paddy Homan
The Larkin Brothers
Catherine O'Connell
Joe McShane
Singer Sharon McAteer
St Stephens Green
FESTIVALS

Arlington Heights
Cleveland
Dublin

IAHC
Kansas City
Milwaukee
FINANCIAL PLANNER

Corrigan Financial
FLORIST

Garland Flowers
FULL IRISH BREAKFAST MEATS
Harrington's Catering & Deli
FUNERAL HOMES

Blake-Lamb

Gibbon's Funeral Homes
Roberty J Sheehy & Sons

Maher Funeral Home
GAELIC YOUTH FOOTBALL
773-719-2847 Jerry
GARBAGE REMOVAL
Flood Brothers Disposal
GOLF COURSES
Palos Golf
GRAPHIC DESIGN

Laura Coyle 773-343-7268
GROCERIES/MEAT

Harrington's Catering & Deli

O'Connor's Market

Winston's

HOME CARE

Aishling Companion Homecare
HOTELS

The Irish Cottage 1 866 CU-IRISH
HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTANT
James Fitzgerald
IMMIGRATION SERVICES

Chicago Irish Immigration
IMPORT SHOPS
Celtica Gifts 773-784-7712
Celtic Home and Hearth
Donegal Imports
Gaelic Imports
Irish Shop
Rampant Lion
INSURANCE

American Family-Joan McKee
JEWELERS

H. Watson
MUSIC
Rampant Lion

MUSIC SCHOOLS
Chgo Academy of Piping/Drumming
Irish Music School of Chgo
MYSTERY SHOPPER
Cathy Cooney-Millar 224-944-9654

PARTY PLANNERS
That Special Event

PENNY WHISTLES
Michael Burke
PHYSICAL THERAPY
SPORTS-ORTHOPEDIC
Athletex
PLASTERING

William McNulty & Son
708-386-2951
PUB/RESTAURANT RECRUITER
Cathy Cooney-Millar
PUBS & RESTAURANTS

Ambassador Public House
Ashford House
The Celtic Knot
Clancy's Pizza Pub
Corcorans
Emerald Loop
Fifth Province

The Galway Arms
Kitty O'Shea's
Lizzie McNeill's
Lucky Grill
Nine Irish Brothers
Peggy Kinnanes
R
ed Apple Buffet
Six Penny Bit
Vaughan's Pub

REALTORS

Baird & Warner - Tara Riley

Koenig & Strey
Patrick Carney
Mary Ellen Considine  773-769-2500
RESTAURANT/HOSPITALITY RECRUITER
Cathy Cooney-Millar 224-944-9654
SPORTS CLUBS

Chgo Celtic Soccer Club
stbrigids.chicago.gaa.ie
ST PATRICK'S DAY
St Patrick's Day Parade
SWEATERS

Anne's Irish Knits
TABLE RUNNERS
All 32 Counties
TELEVISION-CABLE

Irish Journal 708-366-4665
THEATRE
Late Nite Catechism
TRAVEL /TOURS
BestIrishTours.com
Country Travel Discoveries
Gadabout Travel
Harp & Eagle Tours
TREE SERVICE

Ken's 773-600-6443

TUCKPOINTING
Shamrock Tuckpointing
VACATION RENTALS
Dingle Cottage
Cork - Cottage from $450 weekly
Don at 608-274-1180
WASTE REMOVAL
Flood Brothers Disposal
WEBSITE BUILD/MAINTAIN
The Lavery Company
WEDDING PLANNER
That Special Event

WEDDING VENUES
Gaelic Park
Irish Am Heritage Ctr
Palos Country Club
WOOD FLOOR SPECIALIST
The Sexton Group
Delicious