Martin McGuinness nominated for peace prize

Veteran Sinn Féin politician Martin McGuinness. Credit: Presseye

Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness has been nominated for a peace prize which includes the likes of Nelson Mandela among its past winners.

The former Northern Ireland deputy first minister, who stepped down from politics last month due to ill-health, is on the short list for the 2016 Tipperary International Peace Award.

Mr McGuinness, a former IRA commander, spent almost 10 years at the helm of devolved government in Belfast – sharing power with the late Ian Paisley and then with subsequent DUP leaders Peter Robinson and Arlene Foster.

He stood down as deputy first minister amid the “cash for ash” scandal of the Renewable Heat Incentive which paid over-the-top subsidies for those who put in special boilers.

The former Sinn Féin chief negotiator joins other contenders for the award, including:

  • Amal Clooney, human rights lawyer

  • Yulia Tymoshenko, former Ukrainian prime minister

  • Mohamed Fahmy, Egyptian-Canadian journalist

  • Father Patrick Devine, Kenya-based Irish priest

  • Lady Rabab al Sadr, Lebanese activist and philanthropist

  • Amnesty International (Ireland), human rights organisation

  • Syrian White Helmets, volunteer rescue team

Previous recipients include Malala Yousafzai, who survived being shot by the Taliban on her way to school; former UN general secretary Ban Ki-moon; former president of Ireland Mary McAleese and her husband Martin; and Bob Geldof.

The Tipperary Peace Convention will announce the winner in the coming weeks.