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Senator George Mitchell receives award from charity bosses

Senator George Mitchell receives award from charity bosses

American statesman George Mitchell has been honoured for his contribution to the peace process at a special ceremony in Belfast.  

Senator Mitchell, who brokered the Good Friday Agreement, was presented with the award for leadership and peacebuilding by Andrew McCracken chair of CO3, which represents charity leaders.

Mr McCracken said: “George Mitchell is someone who has given sacrificially to many causes but possibly none more so than peace in our own community; his listening ability, his patience, and his courage to take risks for peace are now woven into the tapestry of the society that we are now able to live in.”

Senator Mitchell responded: “I’m an American, proud of it and always will be, but a very large part of my heart and emotions are in Northern Ireland. This is a great place, with great people, its energetic and productive.”

“I am deeply honoured to be recognised by you and  can say to you in all sincerity that it was a labour of love.”

During the evening there were warm tributes from two former politicians who took part in the talks process that led to the 1998 agreement. Baroness May Blood and Dawn Purvis praised him for his extraordinary patience and courtesy during the fraught and fractious negotiations that preceded the settlement.

Senator Mitchell shared reflections on his leadership style and the importance of cultivating patience, humility and listening skills.

Before he was presented with his award,  poet Colin Dardis read a poem he had been specially commissioned to write in George Mitchell’s honour.


 

View the photographs from the evening online here.

 

View the poem "Affinity" by Colin Daris online here.