Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 29 May 2016

Retiring First Minister Peter Robinson on list for top Irish peace prize

By Staff Reporter

Published 02/01/2016

Outgoing DUP leader and First Minister Peter Robinson with his successor, Arlene Foster
Outgoing DUP leader and First Minister Peter Robinson with his successor, Arlene Foster

Outgoing First Minister Peter Robinson has been shortlisted for a prestigious international peace prize.

The former DUP leader has been nominated for the Tipperary International Peace Award.

The citation for the award hails his role in the formation of the coalition government at Stormont.

It reads: "Mr Robinson has been involved in Northern Irish politics for more than 40 years, being a founding member of the Democratic Unionist Party and the leader of the party from 2008 to 2015.

"On June 5, 2008, he was ratified by the Northern Ireland Assembly as First Minister, with Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness as Deputy First Minister.

"In February 2010, Robinson and McGuinness oversaw the devolution of policing and justice powers from the British Parliament to the Northern Ireland Assembly, negotiating a power-sharing deal with Sinn Fein.

"This process ensured that devolution in Northern Ireland was able to be fully completed."

Other nominees for the prize include former Irish President Mary Robinson, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, American Secretary of State John Kerry and former president of Israel Shimon Peres.

The prize has been awarded since 1984 by the Tipperary Peace Convention, with the focus on promoting values of peace and peaceful co-operation.

Pakistani schoolgirl education activist Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban for calling for schooling for girls, was awarded the prize in 2013. She went on to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Nelson Mandela, former US president Bill Clinton, ex-Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev, Bob Geldof and UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon are other previous recipients.

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