Promoting Peace through Music and Discussion

The White Helmets

The White Helmets will receive the

2016 International Peace Award

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How it all Began

The name Tipperary, because of the song “It’s a long way to Tipperary” was internationally associated with war. The founding committee of the Tipperary Peace Convention felt it was time that our town should be known for peace. To this end, the Peace Convention was instituted in 1983 by a group of   enthusiastic people, Tim Ryan, Joe Quinn, Maureen Walsh and Noel McInerney. The original aims were to promote the concept of peace through music and discussion, to provide an Open Forum for the discussion of current peace-related issues with  contributions from leading spokespeople of various and diverse viewpoints and to select and reward, annually, a person who has made a particularly noteworthy  contribution to the peace-making process.

 

One of the most successful peace forums took place in 1985. The participants in the debate included; Mr. John Rogers S.C. (Attorney General); Mr. Alban Maginnis (S.D.L.P.); Mr. Fraser Agnew (Unionist); Mr. Brendan O’Regan (Founder of Co-Operation North) and our own Dr. Martin Mansergh (Government Head of Research). This was part of our contribution to the peace that we now enjoy in our country.

 

 

 

 

There is one song that is known worldwide and which has made Tipperary one of Ireland’s best known towns. “It’s a long way to Tipperary” is the title of the song that was written by an Englishman by the name of Jack Judge.

 

You might wonder how this simple song became to be sung by soldiers as they went out to battle in the First World War and how it became so popular worldwide. Well with the outbreak of the Great War the song was introduced to the front by soldiers of the Irish Regiments as they landed in France. In 1914 a War Correspondent for one of the papers, related on that landing and of the troops marching past him, company after company, battalion after battalion, each regiment singing their own songs. As the 2nd Battalion, the Connaught Rangers approached, he heard them singing a song he had not heard before. They were singing “Tipperary”. That afternoon he    included this in his report and when it appeared in the Daily Mail it helped the song achieve instant fame. It was adopted by the British Army as its unofficial anthem and when the guns finally fell silent on the 11th hour of the 11th month in 1918, a lone soldier made his way into the ruined town of Mons in Belgium, climbed to the top of the ruined belfry and the famous song rang out again over the Western fronts as the great conflict finally ended.

 

Tipperary may be known the world over because of that war song but we like to think that the modern Tipperary is now known for its efforts to promote peace and peaceful  co-operation on a national and international stage.

 

Tipperary Peace Convention was founded in the early 1980’s with those ideals in mind. 32 years on the same ideals are still as relevant today as they were when the Convention was   founded. It is fitting that this small group from Tipperary have learned from the past in searching for ways in which to promote a peaceful future.

It’s A Long Way to Tipperary . . .

Past Recipients of the Peace Prize

Secretary of State John Kerry 2015

Ban Ki Moon 2014

Malala Yousafzai 2013

Richard Haass 2012

Former President Mary McAleese

Senator Martin McAleese 2011

Senator Edward Kennedy

US ambassador to Ireland Jean Kennedy Smith 2010

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