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Mary & Martin McAleese Win Tipperary Peace Award

The United Nations invites the world to celebrate “One Day In Peace” on the first day of every calendar year and to reflect on our own life and the life of the world around us. It therefore comes as no surprise that the Tipperary Peace Convention should annually announce the recipients of the Tipperary Peace Prize on this World Day of Peace.

This winners of the 2011 Tipperary Peace Prize, to be awarded this year, goes jointly and deservedly to Ireland’s former President Mrs Mary McAleese and her husband, current Senator Mr Martin McAleese, who will both receive the 2011 Tipperary International Peace Award, at a date as yet to be announced.

The Tipperary Peace Convention paid tribute to the work carried out by Mr and Mrs McAleese in both Northern Ireland and the Republic, as well as their efforts and success in forging stronger ties with Great Britain. Mrs McAleese, who served for 14 years as President, made history in May 2011, when she played host to Queen Elizabeth II, the first British monarch to visit Ireland since Independent.

A spokesperson for the convention stated: “In view of the work carried out by Mary and Martin McAleese in promoting peace and reconciliation, Tipperary Peace Convention is delighted to announce that they are the joint recipients of the 2011 Tipperary International Peace Award.  The theme of Mary McAleese’s presidency was Building Bridges and for many people, the highlight of her two terms as President was the visit of Queen Elizabeth to Ireland in May 2011, which undoubtedly was the culmination of President McAleese’s long and dedicated work for reconciliation. Along with her work for reconciliation she also used her time in office to address issues concerning justice, social equality, social inclusion and anti-sectarianism and her Presidency has been a healing one,  for which this, and future generations, will be eternally grateful.  Mr McAleese carried out much work within Loyalist Communities in Northern Ireland and initiated a series of meetings with senior paramilitary leaders in an effort to negotiate peace.

Past recipients of this peace prize include former South African president Nelson Mandela, Live Aid organiser Bob Geldof, former US president Bill Clinton and Afghan human rights activist, Dr Sima Samar.

The McAleeses were selected from a short list of nominees, including Queen Nour of Jordan and former US president Jimmy Carter.

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