UN Secretary General Mr Ban Ki Moon was awarded the Tipperary International Peace Prize on Sunday, after travelling for over 30 hours by airplane and car from his native South Korea.
Mr Ban and his wife were afforded a full Irish Military Guard of Honour by ex-servicemen who soldiered on UN missions abroad, in recognition of Ireland’s contribution to peace and stability as a member of the United Nations . Over 250 guests, dignitaries, politicians from across the divide, and ambassadors from Europe, Asia and Africa attended the ceremony, with Guest Speaker Mr Charlie Flanagan, Minister for Foreign Affairs. Mr Ban said it was indeed a “long long way to Tipperary” from Korea, but it was well worth the trip as “some 90 people (from Ireland) have paid the ultimate price for the cause of peace,” in reference to the number of Irish soldiers who have died while on UN missions in war zones. Ireland has been a “world leader” in terms of pursuing peace, said Mr Ban, to the forefront of banning land mines, implementing the Good Friday Agreement, and a “champion of conflict mediation” in the Middle East and beyond.
Full story in this week’s Tipperary Star.