Youth ambassadors and murdered policeman's widow launch peace initiative
(18 February 2013)
Two Durham University students who led a mass peace campaign in Northern Ireland are helping to launch a new network for peace across the UK.
The students, Enya Doyle, aged 18, (BA Music) and Lauren Sloan, aged 19, (LLB Law), are helping to establish a programme of peace lectures at UK universities, and to set up peace societies in schools across Northern Ireland and parts of the Republic of Ireland.
Four years ago, the pair set up a music and campaign group in response to the murder in 2009 of Constable Steve Carroll, the first police officer to be murdered in Northern Ireland since the Good Friday Agreement.
Their cross-community Celtic music group, called ‘Not in My Name’, 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.
The new peace network’s launch event in England, part of the Josephine Butler College 2013 Seminar Series at Durham University, takes place on Monday 18 February.
Enya and Lauren, the first two youth ambassadors for the Steve Carroll Foundation, will be talking about their ‘Not in My Name’ campaign experiences and their work with the Steve Carroll Foundation, set up by Kate Carroll, the widow of Steve.
Campaigner Mrs Carroll will also attend the Durham launch event to highlight the work she has begun in setting up the foundation.
At the age of 15, Enya, from Lurgan, Northern Ireland, founded the ‘Not in my Name’ music ensemble while at school. Together with Lauren, then aged 16, from Banbridge, Northern Ireland, they campaigned for peace throughout their school studies.
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.
Lauren said: “The event offers an insight into one of the most prominent conflict situations of recent decades. Kate will tell her own story and her first-hand experience of tragedy, and the trial and conviction of her husband’s murderers.
“This is a new opportunity to discuss on-going issues and solutions, especially in the wake of the recent flag protests in Belfast.”
Music student, Enya Doyle, is a recipient of the Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship for Music at Durham University. She said: “‘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.”
Kate Carroll said: "It is a real privilege for me to be invited to Durham University to speak about the Steve Carroll Foundation and our hopes for peace in Northern Ireland. At the launch of the foundation last month, I promised to take a message of hope across schools and universities.
“It is totally appropriate that my first visit is to Durham, where two of the foundation’s dedicated Youth Ambassadors are current students. It is also fitting that this is the University that gave Northern Ireland Mo Mowlam – a former student at Trevelyan College who courageously brokered the Good Friday Agreement.
“The North East is a region that has also been directly impacted upon by our turbulent troubles and I have shared the pain felt by the family of the first soldier killed in Northern Ireland, in 1971, Gunner Robert Curtis from Gateshead.”
The students, working with the Steve Carroll Foundation, now aim to establish Beacon of Hope Peace Societies in schools and universities to encourage young people to promote peaceful solutions to conflicts.
The seminar event starts at 6pm at Josephine Butler College, Durham University on Monday 18 February. It is followed by a musical performance, refreshments and a buffet.