The third episode in the “Airing Erris” series was held yesterday in Ceathrú Thaidhg in Erris, County Mayo. This episode focussed on policing and included contributions from former UN assistant Secretary-General Denis Halliday, Goldman Environmental prize winner Willie Corduff, former Garda and Human Rights Monitor Bernard McCabe, peace activist Margaretta D’Arcy and investigative journalist Gemma O’Doherty. Garda Whistleblower John Wilson, also attended, and spoke about his experiences of Garda corruption.
The event was livestreamed by Atlantic Livestream and can be watched again here.
Lorna Siggins also wrote an article about the event in the Irish Times: Ex-UN official calls for presidential commission to investigate Garda
Airing Erris 3 with a special message from Desmond Tutu and featuring Willie Corduff, Denis Halliday, Margaretta D’Arcy, Bernard McCabe and Gemma O’Doherty will take place in Erris on 6th July. The event will be live-streamed by Atlantic Stream via the following link:
An Afri statement, supported by Desmond Tutu, Denis Halliday, Ed Vulliamy and others, calling for an urgent and comprehensive enquiry into the policing of the Corrib Gas project has been rejected by Minister Shatter. Despite what Archbishop Tutu described as the “many disturbing incidences” highlighted in the statement and growing concern in relation to Garda activity in general, Minister Shatter has claimed that a public enquiry is unnecessary.
In light of ongoing controversies concerning lack of accountability of the Gardaí, and serious shortcomings on the part of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC), Afri, supported by the undersigned, wishes to draw renewed attention to serious concerns around the policing of the Corrib Gas Project. Local residents have exhausted all available means of redress – including reports to GSOC, the Minster for Justice and the Garda Commissioner – without receiving satisfactory responses. Therefore, we now call for an independent and comprehensive enquiry into all aspects of the policing of the Corrib Gas Project to seek redress and accountability in relation to abuses which are, sadly, ongoing.
These concerns include, for example, the verbal and physical abuse of Willie Corduff by Gardaí as he took part in a peaceful protest in Glengad on April 22nd and 23rd 2009.This was followed by an attack by a group of men in dark clothes with their faces covered. During this attack Mr. Corduff was struck on the head by a blunt leather-covered object and then beaten until he lost consciousness. Mr. Corduff was removed to hospital and suffered serious pain and distress for many weeks afterwards. This attack occurred while Gardaí were in close proximity and no satisfactory investigation into the attack has ever taken place.
There are concerns also about the sinking of Pat O’Donnell’s boat the Iona Isle, which was boarded by masked men in June 2009. Pat O’Donnell, recipient of a state bravery award in 2013, and his crewman Martin O’Donnell were attacked and held down while the Iona Isle was holed and sunk under cover of darkness. Some hours later men fitting the description of those who boarded the boat were reported to have been picked up in Killala harbour by a transport vehicle used by the Shell Corrib Gas project. Both Mr. O’Donnell and his crewman were later admitted to Castlebar General hospital. (more…)
Signs of hope and causes for optimism are still to be found amid the bleak picture often presented on the daily news. Despite the realities of war, climate change and hunger, we can find hope and inspiration in those who continue to resist, to struggle, to challenge, and even to celebrate.
Imbolc, the ancient Irish festival that marks the beginning of spring, is almost upon us. It represents a time of new beginnings after the long, dark winter. In Irish tradition, people celebrated this time on February 1st, and honoured Brigid, who was noted in legend as a strong and fearless leader that carried a torch for peace, truth and justice. (more…)
“We are the last frontier in a Europe that is looking for GM free food” Clare Keane.
A film about the dangers of allowing Teagasc to field test GM potatoes in Ireland. With contributions from Afri chairperson Andy Storey, Clare Keane, and former Assistant Secretary-General of the UN, Denis Halliday.
Film by Dave Donnellan.
The justice and human rights group Action from Ireland (Afri) held a protest action at the Department of the Environment on Easter Monday to express its opposition to the proposed introduction of genetically modified (GM) potatoes into Ireland. Protesters wearing potato masks, and carrying a banner with the slogan “hands off our genes”, called on the Environmental Protection Agency to reject Teagasc’s recent application to introduce GM potatoes to County Carlow.
Afri spokesperson Lisa Patten described the Teagasc application as “contaminating” Ireland’s green reputation. Ms Patten said “this move would be a serious blow to our food sovereignty and undermine this indigenous and flourishing part of the Irish economy which is part of the fabric of our social and cultural heritage. Introducing genetically modified food into our food sector is a cul de sac for the Irish people and seriously damaging to our reputation as a green, clean island. Our government should be doing everything they can to develop our proven potential to become the hub for GM-free food which the European market in particular is demanding, as well as safeguarding the safety and food security of the Irish people.”
Afri invites you to The Jimmy Gralton Gathering of Solidarity and Challenge on Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th March in Erris, County Mayo…
Press Release, 3 March 2011
A number of prominent Irish academics, writers and activists have backed a campaign to audit Greece’s public debt, amid suggestions that such an audit might also be required in Ireland. Greek campaigners are calling for an independent and international Audit Commission to find out why the debt was incurred and the uses to which borrowed funds were put. There is a widespread belief that much Greek debt was used for wasteful or corrupt purposes and that the cost of repayment should not be borne by the Greek people. Among the Irish figures supporting the Greek debt audit campaign are writer Fintan O’Toole and former UN assistant secretary general Denis Halliday. International supporters of the campaign include renowned linguistics professor and writer Noam Chomsky and filmmaker Ken Loach. (more…)
Saturday, 23 October 2010, Kimmage DSC, Dublin
The Afri Hedge School 2010 was organised in partnership with Kimmage Development Studies Centre (KDSC) and took place on Saturday, 23 October in Kimmage DSC in Dublin.
The event focused on the fundamental right to food and discussed the importance of food sovereignty as a precondition for food security and tackling world hunger. Introductory talks were given by Alan Matthews, from the Economics Department at Trinity College Dublin, Former UN Assistant Secretary General Denis Halliday, and Clare O’Grady Walshe, who launched her new pamphlet, entitled Seeds of Hope in a World of Insecurity. The pamphlet deals with issues of food insecurity and loss of biodiversity and was edited by Dervla Murphy.
PRESS RELEASE, 2 June 2010
Afri has expressed outrage and revulsion at the latest Israeli war crime, the attack by commandos on an unarmed aid vessel resulting in the deaths of at least nine people and the wounding of many more. Afri calls on the international community to ensure that those responsible and their political masters are held accountable for these murders of innocent civilians, which were executed in international waters. Afri expresses its strong solidarity with the peace activists on board the Rachel Corrie, including our patron Denis Halliday, and calls on the Irish government to use its influence with the United States (Israel’s main backer) to ensure that the vessel is allowed to complete its humanitarian mission to the besieged people of Gaza. (more…)
Afri was one of the many NGOs which supported the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, which eventually succeeded in achieving its goal when an international treaty banning landmines entered into force in March 1999.
In 2008 Afri became actively involved in the Campaign to ban Cluster Munitions, which also reached a successful conclusion, achieving a treaty to ban the use, deployment or stockpiling of Cluster Munitions, at the Dublin Diplomatic Conference in Croke Park in May 2008.
Following on these successes and with the encouragement of our patron, Denis Halliday, Afri has recently taken up the campaign towards securing a ban on Depleted Uranium Weapons, which have caused so much death and health damage throughout the world. (more…)
PRESS RELEASE, 18 January 2010
Human rights organisation Afri is calling for a suspension of all work on the Corrib gas project in Erris, County Mayo, pending an independent and comprehensive investigation of its safety, human rights, economic and environmental dimensions. Afri is asking people to sign a petition to that effect, which will be delivered to the government next month. The petition will be launched by former UN assistant secretary-general Denis Halliday in Buswells Hotel at 11.30 on Monday January 18th.
Afri chairperson Andy Storey noted that “local people oppose the project because of the dangers it poses to their health and safety, and the way in which the policing of the project has violated their human rights. People throughout Ireland have also objected to the project on the grounds that Shell and its associates are reaping the full benefits of this gas find while the Irish people – the true owners of the resource – are left with almost nothing.” (more…)
Dr Jawad Al-Ali
Coordinator, Manchester-based Campaign Against Depleted Uranium
former UN Assistant Secretary General
Chair: Barbara Raftery
June 25th 2009
Buswell’s Hotel at 8.15pm
Despite the snow and frost, over a hundred people made their way to the Derby House Hotel in Kildare for Afri’s annual Féile Bríde Conference on February 8th.
The theme ‘seeds of hope…seeds of change’ was reflected in the snowdrops peeping through the snow, as we gathered for the annual festival of words, music, dance and cooking! Frida Berrigan and Denis Halliday looked at our addiction to war and the cost to humanity and the planet while Chef Richard Corrigan and members of Irish Seed Savers Association together showed how to preserve our natural seed heritage, grow our own food and cook it in the most mouth watering way imaginable!
Afri has been concerned about issues of food and hunger since its inception in 1975. One of Afri’s annual events is the Famine Walk, which remembers the Great Famine of the 1840s (a famine caused amongst other things by the dependence on a monoculture crop) in the context of ongoing famine and starvation throughout the world today.
We look especially at the causes of famine in the 21st century, particularly the war industry (the worst aspects of which are currently being demonstrated by the brutal Israeli bombardment of Gaza) an industry which now costs in excess of a staggering $1,200 billion annually, literally taking food from the mouths of the poor, an issue that will be addressed by Denis Halliday and Frida Berrigan in the opening session of this year’s conference. (more…)