A Tribute to Bruce Kent

We are deeply saddened by the death of our good friend and colleague Bruce Kent. Bruce was an extraordinary and inspirational figure who dedicated practically his entire life to the cause of promoting peace and opposing war. He was a guest of Afri on many occasions stretching back to 1984 when he shared a platform with Desmond Tutu and Sean MacBride at a memorable event in Sean MacDermott St church. He returned again in 1995 – before the Good Friday Agreement – to speak at a conference entitled ‘Militarisation and the International Arms Trade’ in Crossmaglen, County Armagh, organised by Afri and Peacewatch Ireland. He was a key contributor when we organised a Hedge School in collaboration with The International Peace Bureau in All Hallows College in 2006 and he returned again to speak at Féile Bríde in Kildare in 2008 and 2015. I had the privilege of serving on the Board of the International Peace Bureau, just after he retired as President but while he was still actively involved in the IPB.  But I believe that perhaps his greatest contribution to humanity and the Planet was his founding of the ‘Movement for the Abolition of War’, which clearly demonstrated his radical commitment to peace and his utter rejection of war and the war industry. Sometime in the future, hopefully, people will look back on the founding of this movement and see it as being on a par with the establishment of the movement for the abolition of slavery. This initiative represents the kind of radical thinking and action we need in a world enslaved by war and the weapons industry. Bruce’s dedication to ending war was matched only by his warmth, his wit, his sense of humour, his kindness and his unstinting encouragement.  It was a real privilege to have known him and to have travelled a part of the road with him. Go raibh a anam uasal ar dheis Dé

Joe Murray

(L-R) Joe Murray (Afri) with Bruce Kent, Clare O’Grady Walshe and Richard Moore (Children in Crossfire) at Afri’s Annual Féile Bríde Conference in 2008

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