Sunday 15 December 2019

Ex-prisoners to bring peace message at youth summit

President Mary McAleese shakes hands with UDA leader Jackie McDonald when she visited the loyalist Taughmonagh area of Belfast in 2005.
President Mary McAleese shakes hands with UDA leader Jackie McDonald when she visited the loyalist Taughmonagh area of Belfast in 2005.
Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

TWO former prisoners involved in the Northern conflict will bring a message of peace when the One Young World summit opens in Dublin next month.

Senior loyalist Jackie McDonald and republican Sean 'Spike' Murray, who have both served time for their part in the Troubles, will talk of their own personal road to peace and reconciliation before the 1,000 delegates at the event.

Young people from 190 countries have registered for the 2014 summit to attend alongside a list of global leaders from business, politics, fashion, science and sport acting as One Young World counsellors.

The summit will deliver a €2m boost to the Dublin economy.

Independent News and Media is the official media partner of the event which takes place from October 15-18.

The event is still seeking some corporate sponsors.

One Young World delegates are 18 to 30-year-olds who have demonstrated their leadership potential, many of whom have had an impact in their home countries on a range of issues, including the role of business in society, transparency, climate change, global health and human rights.

They will share a stage with renowned world figures such as the former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan; former President Mary Robinson; and Bob Geldof, debating issues and hammering out solutions on sustainable development, human rights, peace and conflict.

The Dublin bid to host the summit was submitted by Clara Kelleher, Bob Coggins and Valerie McGrane, Dublin youth leaders.

"It was a young people's bid, not a corporate bid and that's what impressed the organisers," said Mr Coggins.

Irish Independent

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