Children lead vigils for peace

SIXTEEN children, each representing one million Iraqis said to be surviving on food rations, released 250 paper doves towards the tip of the new Spire of Dublin and beyond, during a city-centre peace vigil yesterday.

The children, all of different ethnic backgrounds, released the doves, attached to helium balloons, during a silent vigil organised by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.

Vigils were held at local post offices across the country in tandem with similar protests across the continent and organised by the European Trade Union Federation.

They took place ahead of nationwide protests planned for this afternoon.

The largest demonstrations are expected to begin at 2pm from Dame Street in Dublin and at 1pm from Daunt Square in Cork.

As peace vigils were held yesterday, the Islamic Foundation of Ireland issued a strong statement condemning the military action. Imam Yahya Al Hussein said: “The attack on Iraq will almost certainly lead to the unnecessary death of Iraqi civilians, further destabilise an already unstable region, harm long-standing international treaties and set a dangerous precedent for unilateral intervention in the affairs of the other nations.” SIPTU’s general secretary Joe O’Flynn, who attended yesterday’s Dublin vigil, said: “This war is not only necessary illegitimate in the context of international law.” The Irish section of Amnesty International the human rights organisation held a “Sorrow and Solidarity” protest outside the British Embassy in Dublin at lunchtime yesterday, highlighting the suffering of innocent people caught up in the Iraq conflict.

Protests Today:

Dublin, from Dame St, 2pm.

Cork, Daunt Square, 1pm.

Belfast, Donegal Street, 2pm.

Galway, Fr Burke Park, 1pm.

Waterford, The Glen, 2pm.

Sligo, Quay Street, 3pm.

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