Peace Lecture – Northern Ireland deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MLA
August 20, 2013 | Nick Taylor
The Deputy First Minister of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Martin McGuinness MLA is to visit the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Peace Centre to deliver a lecture. The overall aim of the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister (OFMDFM) is to contribute to and oversee the co-ordination of Executive policies and programmes to deliver a peaceful, fair, equal and prosperous society. The office has specific responsibilities for victims and survivors.
Our peace lectures are delivered by senior figures including politicians and those working in the media to an invited audience working in the specialisms of peace, conflict and war studies.
The principles of the Foundation for Peace are that we work to prevent violence with those vulnerable to it, those affected by it, and those professionals who are tasked to deal with it. We are independent, we are not politically aligned, we are funded as a charity, we are not faith based, we work with all parties and we do not pursue specific causes.
Our Founders are leading peace campaigners and have spoken to Mr McGuinness and extended the invite. Co-founder Colin Parry said: “part of our ethos is that we talk to everyone.
“We don’t just talk to victims of terrorism or young people who are at risk of being radicalised. We also talk to people who have been associated with terrorist acts.
“In simple terms, you make peace with your enemies, not with your friends.
“Mr McGuinness is now a mainstream politician, Martin’s history is one of being involved with the IRA.
“His past would have placed him beyond the pale for many people, but not for me and my foundation.”
Any visit or lecture will be carefully and sensitively co-ordinated and we will discuss such arrangements with key stakeholders. Mr McGuinness has visited Warrington before and has held private meetings with the parents of Tim Parry and Johnathan Ball.