Angry students protest Good Friday peacemaker Bertie Ahern’s award in DCU – – Our News, Your Views

Angry students protest Good Friday peacemaker Bertie Ahern’s award in DCU

Image source: DCU

A ceremony at Dublin City University to award honorary degrees to former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and peace activist Professor Monica McWilliams was disrupted by a group of student protesters.

The group, which began speaking on stage after Ahern received his award, said they could not allow the event to go unchallenged.

He said Ahern was the architect of the financial crisis that has affected the lives of so many young people.

The group, who wore masks and called themselves the Connolly Youth Movement, spoke for less than a minute before being ushered out of the auditorium.

The former Taoiseach remained silent with his head bowed during the protest and the audience stood up and cheered when the group was removed.

Mr. Ahern then continued his speech.

Mr Ahern and Professor McWilliams received honorary degrees from the DCU in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

The DCU chairman said the two signatories to the Good Friday Agreement were brave men from very different backgrounds who were united in their passion for peace.

Professor Dyre Keogh, President of Dublin City University, said: “Both are bridge-builders and share an innate ability to bring people together, to find common ground, to make connections. Both played pivotal roles in the creation of the Good Friday Agreement,” reports RTE.

Professor McWilliams was a founding member of the Women’s Alliance and is a graduate of Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Michigan.

Prof McWilliams paid tribute to her fellow recipient, Mr Ahern, reports RTE.

“I’m not sure I could have carried on without Bertie Ahern, he is a rock and we should be proud to have a man like Bertie Ahern on this island,” she said, reports RTE.

Having been awarded an honorary doctorate, Mr Ahern said he believed Northern Ireland’s future is good, but that people need to be at peace with conservation.

“We have had 25 years of peace. Compare the 25 years since that historic Good Friday with the quarter century of bloodshed that preceded it,” reports RTE.

He also paid tribute to fellow award winner Professor McWilliams.

The ceremony was attended by several public figures including former President Mary McAleese and her husband Martin, reports RTE.

The DCU has previously awarded honorary doctorates to peace process architects Seamus Mallon, David Trimble, John Hume and Senator George Mitchell and former US President Bill Clinton.

Mother Teresa and Seamus Heaney were also awarded honorary degrees.

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