Tipperary International Peace Prize ceremony to go ahead despite planned protests

Tipperary International Peace Prize ceremony to go ahead despite planned protests

The 2016 Tipperary International Peace Award is to go ahead next Wednesday despite plans by a protest group to picket this year’s award recipients, the Syria Civil Defence –  also known as the ‘White Helmets’. 

“The award is a testament to the enormous bravery and courage shown by the White Helmets who have saved more than 100,000 people, while upwards on 200 of the unarmed volunteers have lost their lives while saving others,” said organiser and Chairperson of the Peace Convention committee, Mr. Martin Quinn. 

The prize giving ceremony has become the focal point of controversy in recent weeks, as numerous groups and individuals have contacted the Tipperary Star and other media expressing concerns about the winners.

A group called the ‘Irish Socialist Republicans’ have confirmed that they will go ahead with a protest at the Great National Ballykisteen Golf Hotel on Wednesday next, (September 6th) and will be continuing the campaign to have the event called off. 

The group claims that “scores of campaigners have now contacted the hotel by email, by phone and through Facebook, making the management aware of the … connections of the White Helmets and asking the hotel to cancel the event.” 

Organisers of the Tipperary Peace Award responded to the Tipperary Star on Monday (September 4th), saying there is no change to their plans, and the event is going ahead as scheduled. 

The Peace Convention has stressed that the White Helmets are a worthy recipient, fully deserving of the award. The "SCD is officially an impartial humanitarian NGO, with no affiliation to any political or military actor and… has verifiable international funding through the reputable Mayday Rescue Organisation, under the stewardship of James Le Mesurier,” stated a press release from the Tipperary Peace Convention.

More on this story later.