Haass to receive Tipperary peace award

Diplomat commended even though talks on contentious Northern Ireland issues stalled

Dr Richard Haass is to receive the Tipperary International Peace Award for 2013 for playing a “very prominent and significant role in assisting the peace process in Northern Ireland”. Photograph: Paul Faith/PA Wire.

Dr Richard Haass is to receive the Tipperary International Peace Award for 2013 for playing a “very prominent and significant role in assisting the peace process in Northern Ireland”. Photograph: Paul Faith/PA Wire.

Mon, Feb 3, 2014, 21:28

A US diplomat who attempted to mediate between Northern Irish political groups on contentious issues such as parades, flags and the past is to be honoured for his efforts.

Dr Richard Haass is to receive the Tipperary International Peace Award for 2013 for playing a “very prominent and significant role in assisting the peace process in Northern Ireland”.

The Tipperary Peace Convention said that, even though the parties did not reach an agreement, the blueprint left by Dr Haass for addressing the issues in future represented considerable progress.

“The months of difficult and inclusive commitment to the process engaged in by Dr Haass and his team is to be greatly commended and it is clear that the high level of agreement achieved in the process can be built upon and his draft agreement could yet form the basis for a deal,” the convention said.

The Tipperary Peace Award was founded in 1984. It was set up to recognise people who promote the ideals of peace and peaceful co-operation in Ireland and across the world.

Dr Haass said he was honoured to be selected for the award, previous recipients of which include former South African president Nelson Mandela and former US president Bill Clinton.

Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the Taliban for campaigning for girls to go to school without fear in a part of the country where the Taliban had once imposed strict Sharia law, won the 2012 award.

Dr Haass succeeded Senator George Mitchell and served as US special envoy to Northern Ireland from 2001-03. He returned last year to chair the all party talks, which came to an end on New Year’s Eve.

The award will be presented to Dr Haass later this year in Tipperary.