Dalai Lama to visit Ireland in April


The Tibetan spiritual and political leader the Dalai Lama is to make his third visit to the Republic this April.

The Nobel Peace Laureate will take part in a series of events for the social change initiative "Possibilities 2011", which is run by three Irish-based non-governmental organisations – Children in Crossfire, Afri and SpunOut.ie.

On April 13th, he will deliver a talk on universal responsibility during the Social Forum at the Citywest Hotel in Dublin which will also be attended by former president Mary Robinson. The  following day, he will  visit the Solas Bhríde Centre in Kildare where he will speak on spirituality. 

He will conclude his visit on the following day at the University of Limerick, where he will deliver a talk on the power of forgiveness. 

Speaking ahead of his visit, the Dalai Lama said he believes individuals can make a difference in society. “It is up to each of us to make the best use of our time to help create a happier and fairer world,” he said. “It will be especially important to visit at a time when Ireland is facing serious turmoil, as is the world as a whole, grappling as it is with economic upheaval, climate change, and great and growing chasms between rich and poor.”

The visit of the exiled Tibetan leader comes after a personal invitation from Children in Crossfire founder, Richard Moore.

The charity was established in 1996 by the Co Derry native, who was just 10 years old when he was blinded by a rubber bullet in 1972. Mr Moore has since become a leading international advocate for the rights of children suffering from the injustice of poverty.

The Dalai Lama is patron of Children in Crossfire, which works to protect and promote the rights of some of the world’s most vulnerable children.

TheDalai Lama has made three separate visits to Northern Ireland, in 2000, 2005 and 2007. He paid a one-day visit to the Republic on October 11th, 1973, when he was received at Áras an Uachtaráin by then-president, the late Erskine Childers.

On a subsequent visit in March, 1991, two years after he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the Dalai Lama informally met then-president Mary Robinson, but was not officially received by the Department of Foreign Affairs.

At the time the Tibet Support Group accused the Government of being “enslaved” to trading links with China, but the department said the visit was regarded as a private one.