Ballina Lions Club

  • Ballina Lions Club will honour former President Mary Robinson as the Chair of the internationally renowned  The Eldersat a special function in the town this evening.

    The former President of Ireland and Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson, succeeded  the late Nelson Mandela as Chair of The Elders.

    The Elders is an international non-governmental organisation of public figures noted as elder statesmen, peace activists, and human rights advocates, who were brought together by Nelson Mandela in 2007. They describe themselves as "independent global leaders working together for peace and human rights".

    Before the Lions Club ceremony in Ballina this evening, South African human rights activist Kumi Naidoo will deliver the fifth Mary Robinson International Human Rights lecture in Ballina Arts Centre this afternoon at 2pm.

    Kumi Naidoo is a former general secretary of Amnesty International and was the first African head of Greenpeace.

    The lecture will be followed by a discussion between Mr Naidoo and Mary Robinson, facilitated by journalist Olivia O'Leary.

    Then at 5pm in The Great National Hotel, The President of Ballina Lions Club Conall Calleary together with Oliver P. Bourke, the family of the late Aubrey de Vere Bourke junior, Henry O. Bourke & Adrian P. Bourke in honour of Bernard Black, district governor district 133 will salute Mrs Robinson and she will address the National Lions Club Convention as the inaugural speaker.

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    The Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring will perform the official opening of a new Famine Exhibition in Ballina tomorrow afternoon (Saturday) at 3pm in the Gallery Space of Ballina Civic Offices.

    The exhibition will then be open, free of charge, to the public from Monday next until March of 2019.

    It’s an initiative by Ballina Lions Club. Monies raised in donations during the exhibition will be used to assist charities addressing homelessness in the county.

    The Famine Exhibition is one of a number major famine related events that Ballina is hosting, which included the special screening of the internationally acclaimed movie Black ’47, the visit today (Friday) to Ballina of the Australian Ambassador to Ireland Richard Andrews for the unveiling of a bronze statue to “The Famine Girls” and the publication of Terry Reilly’s latest book Mayo forgotten Famine Girls,while the Jackie Clarke Museum is running an Autumn Education Series on the Famine.

    Paul Graham and Adrian Bourke are the joint Chairs of the Ballina Lions Club Famine Exhibition and they have been telling Midwest News about the exhibition which includes a short documentary, information boards about the famine and artefacts that were used in workhouses at the time that are now on display in Ballina.