Durham Youth Ambassadors recognised for contribution to peace in Northern Ireland
(15 January 2013)
Two Durham University students have been recognised for organising a mass peace campaign in Northern Ireland by becoming the first ever recipients of national peace awards presented by David Ford, Justice Minister, Northern Ireland.
Music student, Enya Doyle (Trevelyan College) and Law student, Lauren Sloan (Josephine Butler College) set up a cross-community peace movement based around a Celtic music ensemble called ‘Not in My Name’.
The group formed three years ago in response to the murder in March 2009 of Constable Steve Carroll, the first Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) police officer to be murdered by republican dissidents.
‘Not in my Name’ developed a particular repertoire of music, including tunes and songs from all communities (including Celtic, Ulster Scots and Irish traditional music), to send out a message of hope andto promote peace and justice across Northern Ireland through concerts.
At the age of 15, Enya Doyle, from Lurgan, Northern Ireland, set up the group while at school and then together with Lauren Sloan, then aged 16, from Banbridge, Northern Ireland, they campaigned for peace throughout their studies at school and university.
The group also inspired a mass protest movement following the murder of Constable Ronan Kerr, in 2011, when tens of thousands of people attended a rally for peace and held up placards saying ‘Not in my Name’, calling for an end to violence.
Lauren, assisted by Enya, set up a social media campaign, lobbying for equality of sentencing in murder trials, following the sentencing in May 2012 of the killers of Steve Carroll.
The Steve Carroll Foundation, set up in memory of Constable Steve Carroll, will be officially launched at Parliament Buildings, Stormont, by his widow, Kate, on Monday 14 January, 2013. Constable Carroll, aged 48, was shot dead while on duty in Craigavon, Co Armagh, on 9 March, 2009, by the Continuity IRA. Two men are serving jail terms for his murder.
The new foundation has created a set of annual national peace awards. The awards are to be presented at the launch.
Enya Doyle, age 18, Durham University Music Student from Lurgan, Northern Ireland, will receive the Beacon of Hope Scholarship for outstanding, inspirational, courageous and a sustained contribution to peace. Enya will also receive the Northern Ireland Young Peacemaker of the Year award presented by Luke Waters, NYPD/FBI Special Task Force.
Lauren Sloan, age 19, Durham University Law student from Banbridge, Northern Ireland, will receive the Northern Ireland Youth for Justice Campaigner Prize for her tireless dedication to promoting justice by demanding the reform of sentencing tariffs for murder in Northern Ireland presented by David Ford, NI Justice Minister.
Kate Carroll will be visiting Durham University on 18 February 2013 to begin peace work with young people, students and universities. Enya Doyle is a recipient of the Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship for Music at Durham University.
Durham University music student, Enya Doyle, said: "Northern Ireland has been in the news again recently for all the wrong reasons. I was promised peace and that promise continues to be shattered.
“The Steve Carroll Foundation is about to be launched and I am proud to stand beside Kate on this new, exciting and courageous journey. This foundation offers us all an alternative Northern Ireland and one that I want to be engaging with. Violence is never justified and we will not stall in our fervour for a safer, shared future here.”
She added:“Fifteen years ago, a very courageous, former Durham University student called Mo Mowlam stood at the parliament at Stormont and called for peace. Her words still matter: ‘If everyone is willing to accept some change, we can do it’.”
Durham University student, Lauren Sloan, said: "The images of Northern Ireland that I have seen broadcast recently whilst studying, have both shocked and disheartened me. The horrific scenes of youths battling police, and the streets I know so well erupting into riot grounds, is neither the Northern Ireland I remember, nor want to promote.
“The launch of the foundation fills me with hope, as it provides a platform for discussion, peaceful resolution, and most importantly, recognition for young people who don't want to resort to the ways of the past. The message and vision of the foundation is stronger than that of lawless individuals, and has capacity to bring about real, effective change in our country that we can all be proud of.”