By Ray O’Hanlon
Nobel Peace Prize winner John Hume will be presented with the Catholic Theological Union’s 2000 Distinguished Service Award at its annual Blessed Are the Peacemakers dinner in Chicago this week.
The CTU’s president, Rev. Donald Senior, said the organization was honored to bestow its award "on a man who has devoted his life to guiding Northern Ireland out of the treachery of terrorism and toward the promise of lasting peace."
The CTU, which describes its mission as preparing "ministers of peace," is the largest Catholic graduate school of theology and ministry in the U.S.
NYC Council resolution
A resolution is being presented to New York City Council this week that urges the RUC to provide all relevant security information to Sinn Féin elected officials in Northern Ireland who have been targeted by loyalist paramilitaries.
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The resolution, sponsored by Council Speaker Peter Vallone, requests that the information be provided to 13 Sinn Féin councilors in Belfast, four more in Lisburn and any other Sinn Féin officials who the RUC believes are under threat.
The 17 councilors have been warned that they are on loyalists death lists but the RUC has declined to provide any further information to the individuals on the lists.
Mullan in Mass.
Don Mullan, author of "Eyewitness Bloody Sunday" and an upcoming book, "Bombed and Abandoned," will deliver a free lecture at Merrimack College in North Andover, Mass., on Thursday, May 4, at 7:30 p.m. in Cascia Hall.
Mullan was a teenager when 14 of his fellow civil rights marchers were killed in Derry City by members of the British Parachute Regiment in January 1972 on what has become known as "Bloody Sunday."
His eyewitness account was instrumental in bringing about a new Bloody Sunday Inquiry in 1998. The public-hearings phase of that inquiry began last month in Derry.
His forthcoming book deals with the 1974 car bomb attacks in Dublin and Monaghan that left 33 civilians dead and hundreds injured. Mullan will discuss allegations that loyalist paramilitary forces, trained by the British Army, were responsible for the unsolved mass murder and that the Dublin government conspired to cover-up the atrocity.
The lecture is co-sponsored by the Ancient Order of Hibernians of Lawrence, the Irish Foundation, and the Irish American Unity Conference. For information, call (978) 683-9007.
— Jim Smith
Crowley protests to Mandy
Rep. Joe Crowley has written a letter to British Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Mandelson urging him to "correct" the discrimination faced by Catholics in the senior ranks of the North’s civil service.
"Although Catholics make up over 42 percent of the population in Northern Ireland, they account for only 24 percent in the senior ranks of the civil service," Crowley said. Thirty-six members of the House of Representatives have co-signed the Queens Democrat’s letter to Mandelson.
Hevesi honors five
New York City Comptroller Alan Hevesi will honor five members of the city’s Irish American community at the annual "Irish Heritage" awards ceremony in City Hall, Thursday evening, April 27.
The five honorees are Dr. Catherine Thornton, Adjunct Associate Professor at the College of Professional Studies, St. John’s University; M’ O’Driscoll, founding member of the Irish Immigration Reform Movement and Emerald Isle Immigration Center; Dennis McMahon, an attorney who is behind the present campaign for a U.S. stamp honoring Commodore John Barry; Dennis Hughes, president of the New York State AFL-CIO, and Linda Downes, who chairs the Rince Ceol Amhrán Committee at the Irish Arts Center in Manhattan.
Willie Joe remembered
The late Willie Joe Cunningham, known to all as "Mr. Donegal," will be remembered at a special Mass in Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Mulberry St. in Manhattan on Sunday, April 30, at 3 p.m. The celebrants will be Frs. Paul O’Donnell Duggan, Patrick Boyle and Colm Campbell. For details, call (718)522-7700.