Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland integrated schools movement loses out to Ethiopian PM for Nobel Peace Prize

By Eimear McGovern

The integrated schools movement in Northern Ireland has been pipped to the post for a Nobel Peace Prize after losing out to the Ethiopian Prime Minister.

Abiy Ahmed was awarded the prize on Friday for his efforts to "achieve peace and international cooperation" after Ethiopia reached a peace deal with Eritrea, ending a 20-year military stalemate.

The Northern Ireland Integrated Education Fund (NICIE) congratulated Mr Ahmed on his success. It said the nomination was an acknowledgement of the work done in the sector.

"This is wonderful news for a very deserved winner who has worked tirelessly for peace and international cooperation for his country," the group said in a statement.

The first fully integrated school opened in Northern Ireland in the 1970s. Today around 7% of the school population attended an integrated school.

"NICIE were both thrilled and humbled to have been nominated. We would like to pass on our sincere thanks to those who took time and consideration in officially nominating us.

"From the list of confirmed nominations we were included with some fantastic organisations and individuals, each well-deserved nominees in their own right.

Baroness May Blood is Integrated Education Fund campaign chair
Baroness May Blood is Integrated Education Fund campaign chair
Liam Neeson speaking from New Mexico

"Whilst winning would have been fantastic, the nomination acknowledges the dedication and great effort of so many incredible people over the last 38 years in the development of Integrated Education in Northern Ireland. For that alone we are tremendously grateful."

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