Friday, 30 August 2013

Bradley Manning to receive Sean MacBride Peace Prize,
Irish CND President tells Hiroshima Day commemoration

Patrick Comerford

This morning’s edition of the Church of Ireland Gazette [30 August 2013] carries a half-page report and a three-column photograph on page 6 following my address as President of the Irish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (Irish CND) at the annual Hiroshima Day commemorations in Merrion Square, Dublin, earlier this month [6 August 2013].

Bradley Manning to receive Seán MacBride Peace Prize,
Irish CND President tells Hiroshima Day commemoration

The President of the Irish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (Irish CND), Canon Patrick Comerford, has announced that this year’s Seán MacBride Peace Prize is to go to the jailed US whistle-blower, Bradley Manning.

Canon Comerford was speaking at Irish CND’s recent annual Hiroshima Day commemoration at the Hiroshima Cherry Tree in Merrion Square, Dublin.

During the commemoration, a wreath was laid at the Cherry Tree by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Cllr Oisín Quinn. Other speakers included the poet, Hugh McFadden; Tomoko Matsumoto, First Secretary of the Japanese Embassy; and Dr David Hutchinson Edgar, a parishioner of Tallaght.

Also present were the Ambassador of Mexico, Carlos Garcia de Alba, and Grete Ødegaard, Counsellor and Deputy Head of Mission, the Royal Norwegian Embassy.

The Seán MacBride Peace Prize is named after the Irish Nobel Peace Prize winner, the late Seán MacBride, a former President of Irish CND and of the International Peace Bureau (IPB) in Geneva, to which Irish CND is affiliated.

The prize is presented each year by the IPB and Canon Comerford said that this year’s award to Bradley Manning was “for his courageous actions in revealing information about US war crimes.”

Canon Comerford continued: “When Bradley Manning revealed to the world the crimes being committed by the US military, he was engaging in an act of obedience to this high moral duty. Already, he has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

“Bradley Manning has also revealed the whereabouts of US tactical nuclear weapons, as well as the location of key US military facilities.

“War operations, and especially illegal ones, are frequently conducted under the cover of secrecy. To penetrate this wall of secrecy by revealing information that should be accessible to all is an important contribution to the struggle against war.”

The President of Irish CND described the heavy sentence facing Bradley Manning as “not only unjust but also having a very negative effect on the right to freedom of expression that the US claims to uphold.”

Canon Comerford asserted: “It is to the shame of Ireland that neither of these modern-day heroes, holders of the banner of morality in the immoral nuclear age, has not been offered asylum in this country.

“We ought to be grateful to them, each for taking the risk that comes and raising … subjects which ought to be discussed in public and which no statesman cares to approach.”

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