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A passion for social justice: Tribute to Anne MOORE

A passion for social justice: Tribute to Anne MOORE
by Allan LEONARD
8 August 2020

Anne Moore will be remembered for her passion for social justice. I met Anne during my employment as a policy officer for the Alliance Party as I sought out the views of a valued stakeholder, NICVA, where she served as public affairs officer. Anne and I had plenty of enjoyable conversations and discussions on official as well as unofficial business matters—we would frequently diverge to global and philosophical perspectives.

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@FactCheckNI @SluggerOToole Private

It’s all about the test: Counting COVID-19 deaths

It’s all about the test: Counting COVID-19 deaths
by Allan LEONARD for FactCheckNI
14 April 2020

“The figures on deaths relate in almost all cases to patients who have died in hospital and who have tested positive for COVID-19. Slight differences in reporting in devolved administrations may mean that they include a small number of deaths outside hospital.” — Department of Health and Social Care (UK)

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Asking the right questions for a better-informed public

Asking the right questions for a better-informed public
by Allan LEONARD
28 January 2020

Representing FactCheckNI and as part of a four-person panel, I was invited to give evidence to the UK House of Lords Select Committee on Democracy and Digital Technologies. Fellow witnesses were Ed Humpherson (Director General for Regulation, Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR)), Will Moy (Chief Executive, Full Fact), and Jenni Sargent (Managing Director, First Draft).

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Lies and democracy: Who are the truth tellers?

Lies and democracy: Who are the truth tellers?
by Allan LEONARD for FactCheckNI
6 December 2019

As part of the annual general meeting of NICVA, the umbrella body of the voluntary and community sector in Northern Ireland, there was a panel discussion on the topics of truth, trust, and how everyone engages with a bombardment of information. Entitled, “Lies and Democracy: The Fight for the Truth”, BBC Radio Ulster presenter, Seamus McKee, moderated the discussion with panellists Amanda Ferguson, John Barry, and Orna Young.

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@SharedFuture @SluggerOToole

Musicking for peacebuilding

Musicking for peacebuilding
Sounding Conflict: From Resistance to Reconciliation
by Allan LEONARD for Shared Future News
28 November 2019

The state-of-the-art acoustic facility, the Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC) at Queen’s University Belfast, was a most appropriate meeting place for a two-day symposium that explored the roles of music, from activist resistance to a hopeful tool for reconciliation from conflict. The event was organised by the Mitchell Institute for Global Peace at Queen’s University.

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The role and responsibilities of media in divided societies. Discuss.

The role and responsibilities of media in divided societies. Discuss.
by Allan LEONARD for Shared Future News
8 November 2019

A two-day international conference examined the role that media plays in divided societies and in creating more peaceful and stable communities. Organised by the Social Change Initiative in partnership with Conciliation Resources and the University of Edinburgh’s Political Settlements Research Programme, the event was attended by journalists from South Africa, Colombia, Myanmar, Rwanda, Turkey, the Middle East, the Balkans, Kashmir, Somalia, Syria, Nepal, and Northern Ireland.

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Considering Grace: An invitation to listen

Dr William HENRY (Moderator, Presbyterian Church in Ireland), Jamie YOHANIS, and Gladys GANIEL. Book launch: Considering Grace: Presbyterians and the Troubles. Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Belfast, Northern Ireland. (c) Michael COOPER @mcooperpics

Considering Grace: An invitation to listen
by Allan LEONARD for Shared Future News
5 November 2019

Considering Grace, by Gladys Ganiels and Jamie Yohanis, is a new book that explores how Presbyterians responded to the Troubles, through a series of narratives from 120 people who tell their stories of how they coped with trauma and tests of their faith. The book was launched with a set of readings and short presentations at Assembly Buildings, Belfast, to an audience of several dozens.

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The polite rebel: Sheelagh Murnaghan

The polite rebel: Sheelagh Murnaghan
by Allan LEONARD
3 October 2019

Sheelagh Murnaghan was the only Liberal Party MP (1961-69) in the Northern Ireland Parliament, representing the constituency of Queen’s University Belfast, which was the venue for a launch event of a new biography about her remarkable life. There were many Murnaghan family members in the audience of a few dozen attending.

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The role of media in conflict: A Féile discussion

The role of media in conflict: A Féile discussion
by Allan LEONARD for Shared Future News
8 August 2019

Hosted by Féile an Phobail, the campaign group Time for Truth organised an event to examine the role of the media in conflict and to listen to the account of those journalists in the front line who helped shape and influence the narrative. The panellists were Amanda Ferguson (journalist), Sean Murray (film director), Trevor Birney (film producer), and Barry McCaffery (journalist).

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Shared housing and integrated education: Building good community relations

Shared housing and integrated education: Building good community relations
by Allan LEONARD for Shared Future News
7 August 2019

A panel discussion on how shared housing projects and the integrated education movement are contributing towards good community relations was held at St Mary’s College, Belfast, as part of the Feile Festival. The panellists were Deborah Howe (Equality Commission), Christine Davis (Housing Executive), Grainne Mullin (Radius Housing), and Jill Caskey (Integrated Education Fund). The event was chaired by Gerry McConville.

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Reporting the Troubles: A swirl of emotions

Reporting the Troubles: A swirl of emotions
by Allan LEONARD
6 August 2019

As part of the EastSide Arts Festival, the editors read from Reporting the Troubles, their book compilation of stories of the Northern Ireland conflict. Deric Henderson (former Ireland Editor of the Press) and Ivan Little (UTV, ITN, Belfast Telegraph) were joined by guest Eamonn Mallie (RTE, BBC, Downtown Radio). Several dozen attended in a warm, upper floor room at the EastSide Visitor Centre.

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Is ethical journalism possible in a contested place?

Is ethical journalism possible in a contested place?
by Allan LEONARD for Shared Future News
27 May 2019

At a public lecture event hosted by the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice, at Queen’s University, Professor Steven Youngblood (Director, Center for Global Peace Journalism, Park University, Missouri) discussed the ethics of journalism in a contested place like Northern Ireland. Youngblood also spoke at Ulster University and held separate workshop sessions, all supported by the US Embassy.