Mairead Maguire

Mairead (Corrigan) Maguire is a member of World BEYOND War’s Advisory Board. She is a Nobel Peace Laureate and Co-founder of Peace People – Northern Ireland 1976. Mairead was born in 1944, into a family of eight children in West Belfast. At 14 she became a volunteer with a grass-roots lay organization and began in her free time to work in her local community. Mairead’s volunteerism, gave her the opportunity to work with families, helping to set up the first centre for disabled children, day care and youth centres for training local youth in peaceful community service. When Internment was introduced by the British Government in 1971, Mairead and her companions visited Long Kesh Internment camp to visit prisoners and their families, who were suffering deeply from many forms of violence. Mairead, was the aunt of the three Maguire children who died, in August, 1976, as a result of being hit by an IRA getaway car after its driver was shot by a British soldier. Mairead (a pacifist) responded to the violence facing her family and community by organizing, together with Betty Williams and Ciaran McKeown, massive peace demonstrations appealing for an end to the bloodshed, and a nonviolent solution to the conflict. Together, the three co-founded the Peace People, a movement committed to building a just and nonviolent society in Northern Ireland. The Peace People organized each week, for six months, peace rallies throughout Ireland and the UK. These were attended by many thousands of people, and during this time there was a 70% decrease in the rate of violence. In 1976 Mairead, together with Betty Williams, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their actions to help bring about peace and put an end to the violence arising out of the ethnic/political conflict in their native Northern Ireland.   Since receiving the Nobel Peace prize Mairead has continued to work to promote dialogue, peace and disarmament both in Northern Ireland and around the world. Mairead has visited many countries, including, USA, Russia, Palestine, North/South Korea, Afghanistan, Gaza, Iran, Syria, Congo, Iraq.