Archbishop Tutu arrives for Dublin visit tomorrow

 

South African Archbishop Emeritus and Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr Desmond Tutu will arrive in Ireland tomorrow for a number of engagements.

Afri, the justice and peace organisation, invited Dr Tutu to Ireland to mark the 30th anniversary of its founding as he is the agency's international patron.

The archbishop's first duty will be to preach at a Church of Ireland immigrants' service in Dublin on Monday.

The Discovery Service, at 12.30pm in the Church of St George and St Thomas on Cathal Brugha Street, will be led by Archbishop of Dublin Dr John Neill.

On Tuesday evening Dr Tutu will give a public lecture titled "War and Peace in the 21st Century" at an Afri event in the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin.

Dr Tutu (74) will become an honorary patron of Trinity College Dublin's Philosophical Society on Wednesday. The award will be presented by TCD provost Dr John Hegarty.

Destiny's Child singer Beyoncé Knowles is a friend of the archbishop and will join him if she recovers from flu, a spokesman for the society said.

The black-tie event is also expected to be attended by Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, Northern Ireland politicians and singers such as Damien Rice and Sharon Corr.

Dr Tutu has been a regular visitor to this State in recent years. Afri first invited him in 1982, but his passport was confiscated by the apartheid regime and he was unable to attend. Following an international outcry, the passport was returned and he visited Ireland two years later.

In 1984 he met the Dunnes Stores anti-apartheid strikers on his way to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. He won the award for his role in the campaign to end apartheid in South Africa.

Dr Tutu also returned to Ireland to lead Afri's annual famine walk in Mayo in 1991.

Last year he attended an HIV/Aids conference in Dublin, one of the biggest events of Ireland's European presidency.

UN secretary general Kofi Annan has called Dr Tutu "the foremost moral authority of our time".

Joe Murray of Afri said Dr Tutu had come to represent "the struggle for peace, justice and human rights worldwide".