Archbishop Tutu Praises NUI Galway's ALIVE Volunteering Programme

Friday, 20 February 2009

(Leagan Gaeilge) Following a lengthy standing ovation, Archbishop Desmond Tutu addressed a packed audience of over 1000 people at NUI Galway's Literary and Debating Society event on Sunday, 15 February. The Noble Peace Prize winner called for a sense of 'togetherness' in order that humanity might combat the challenges of climate change and economic meltdown. Archbishop Tutu, who led South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, was critical of the vast sums spent on military budgets, when so many lacked clean water, education and basic healthcare. Referring to the 'so-called war on terror', he said there was no way to win 'as long as there are conditions in the world that make people desperate'. The Archbishop was introduced by Sir Bob Geldof, who told the packed auditorium 'how privileged we are to be in the same room as an historic giant'. Sir Bob was making his first visit to NUI Galway in over 30 years, since he gigged in the college bar with the Boomtown Rats. Speaking about the spirit of volunteering at NUI Galway, the Archbishop praised the University's ALIVE volunteering programme which encourages civic engagement, describing it to media as 'fantastic'. He also reminded the audience that every human was family, and said 'you know you all come from Africa'. Dan Colley, Auditor of the Literary and Debating Society at NUI Galway, described the Archbishop's address and 'enlightening and lightening', referring to the South Africans humour. At the end of proceedings, Sir Bob Geldof presented the Literary & Debating Society's highest accolade, the President's Medal, to Archbishop Tutu. The medal has previously been awarded to such notable figures as philosopher and linguist Noam Chomsky, US Senator Mike Gravel, Congressman Bruce Morrison, and former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern. Proceeds from the event have been pledged to two charities of Archbishop Tutu's choice, Tygerberg Children's Hospital and Philani Child Health and Nutrition project in South Africa.
Ardmholadh Tugtha ag an Ardeaspag Tutu do Scéim Dheonach ALIVE in OÉ Gaillimh
(View in English) I ndiaidh don slua seasamh agus bualadh bos fada a thabhairt dó, labhair an tArdeaspag Desmond Tutu leis an mbreis is 1000 duine a bhí sa lucht éisteachta ag ócáid Chumann Liteartha agus Díospóireachta OÉ Gaillimh, Dé Domhanigh, 15 Feabhra. D'iarr buaiteoir Dhuais Síochána Nobel go mbeadh 'aontacht' ann sa chaoi go mbeidh an cine daonna in ann aghaidh a thabhairt ar na dúshláin a bhaineann leis an athrú aeráide agus leis an ngéarchéim sa gheilleagar. Rinne an tArdeaspag Tutu, a bhí i gceannas ar Choimisiún Fírinne agus Athmhuintearais na hAfraice Theas, cáineadh ar na suimeanna ollmhóra airgid a chaitear ar bhuiséid mhíleata, nuair atá a oiread sin daoine gan uisce glan, gan oideachas ná cúram bunúsach sláinte. Ag tagairt dó don 'chogadh in aghaidh na sceimhlitheoireachta', mar a thugtar air, dúirt sé nach bhféadfaí an cogadh sin a bhaint 'fad atá cúrsaí ar domhan ag cur éadóchais ar dhaoine'. Chuir Bob Geldof an tArdeaspag Tutu i láthair, agus dúirt sé leis an slua 'gur phribhléid é bheith sa seomra céanna le fathach de chuid na staire'. Ba í céadchuairt Bob Geldof ar OÉ Gaillimh í le 30 bliain, ó bhí sé ag seinm i mbeár an choláiste leis na Boomtown Rats. Ag labhairt dó faoina thógtha atá OÉ Gaillimh le hobair dheonach, mhol an tArdeaspag Tutu scéim dheonach ALIVE a chuireann an comhpháirteachas poiblí chun cinn, agus dúirt sé leis na meáin go bhfuil an scéim seo 'thar barr'. Chuir sé i gcuimhne don lucht éisteachta gur gaol gach duine lena chéile, agus dúirt 'tá a fhios agaibh gurb as an Afraic sibh ar fad'. Dúirt Dan Colley, Reachtaire Chumann Liteartha agus Díospóireachta OÉ Gaillimh, go raibh aitheasc an Ardeaspaig 'lán eolais agus lán de chroí', ag tagairt dó d'acmhainn ghrinn fhear na hAfraice Theas. Bhronn Bob Geldof Bonn an Uachtaráin, buaicghradam an Chumainn Liteartha agus Díospóireachta, ar an Ardeaspag Tutu i ndiaidh na léachta. I measc na ndaoine ar bronnadh an gradam seo orthu go dtí seo bhí an fealsamh agus an teangeolaí Noam Chomsky, an Seanadóir Meiriceánach Mike Gravel, an Feisire Meiriceánach Bruce Morrisson, agus an t-iar-Thaoiseach Bertie Ahern. Bronnadh luach na dticéad ar dhá charthanas a roghnaigh an tArdeaspag Tutu, Ospidéal Leanaí Tygerberg agus tionscadal Sláinte agus Cothaithe Leanaí Philani san Afraic Theas.
-Críoch-

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