Madigan Muses: Hibernian Freedom for All Ireland (FFAI) Speaker’s Tour Returns to Ohio
by Marilyn Madigan
The Ohio Hibernians are honored to host the FFAI Speakers Tour, featuring Mark Thompson, CEO of Relatives for Justice in Belfast. Last year, the Cleveland Hibernians hosted the tour, featuring Carmel Quinn of the Ballymurphy Families, The Ohio Hibernians are proud that the tour is coming to the Midwest again this year. The Columbus AOH and LAOH will be hosting the event on Friday November 16 at Tara Hall, 274 East Innis Avenue, Columbus, OH. 43207. Doors open at 6pm. Speaker at 7pm.
Entertainment will be had before and after the talk. Everyone is welcome and donations will be accepted at the door. All AOH and LAOH divisions are encouraged to make a donation to the National FFAI fund in order to support this event and our work in the North of Ireland. Donations should notate Ohio FFAI event. Any excess funds may be designated to programs qualified for FFAI.
This past February, I had the privilege of meeting Mark Thompson during the AOH Freedom for All Ireland Tour. He is an excellent speaker and a great advocate for human rights, peace and justice in the North of Ireland. This is a crucial time with Brexit and its effect on the Good Friday Agreement. Come hear the first-hand story of families seeking truth and justice for the loss of their loved ones.
Irish America needs to be aware and see how we can help. With this column is included Mark Thompson’s biography, provided by Danny O’Connell, AOH National Vice- President:
“ Mark Thompson is a founder member and the CEO of Relatives for Justice. He is responsible for the strategic development and management of Relatives for Justice and has overseen the growth of the organization from a successful and dedicated voluntary campaigning group to an established professional human rights, advocacy and support organization.
Relatives for Justice sets the bar on best practice for victims and survivors of conflict in Ireland. Mark has overseen the establishment of a holistic model of support for families affected by conflict violations, ensuring effective support for redressing human rights abuses. These are partnered by a range of services, including therapeutic support.
Under Mark’s tenure Relatives for Justice has become an internationally recognized and highly regarded human rights NGO. Mark’s experience in pro-actively holding those responsible to account and in ensuring that the needs and experiences of victims of the conflict in Ireland are identified and championed makes him one of the most recognizable and respected figures in the debate on how we deal with the past.”
As an advocate in the field of human rights, Mark has been central to key strategic litigation, not least around Article 2 of the ECHR in both holding the UK to account, but also in re-established these rights, ensuring that they are upheld in all areas of legacy investigation and transitional justice mechanisms.
Mark has made representations on families’ behalf to the US Congress and the United Nations, European Parliament, European Court, as well as to governments in both Ireland, Britain and across the globe.”