Michael Farrell (activist)

Last updated

Michael Farrell (born 1944) is an Irish civil rights activist, writer and former leader of People's Democracy, from its inception through to the 1969 Burntollet Bridge incident and into the 1970s. [1] [2]

Farrell was educated at Queen's University, Belfast and the University of Strathclyde. [3] He was a Labour Trotskyist, becoming involved in the Northern Ireland civil rights movement in Northern Ireland in the late 1960s, and was a founding member of the university-based People’s Democracy, which was established on 9 October 1968, after Royal Ulster Constabulary police had broken up a civil rights march in Derry on 5 October. He stood as their candidate for Bannside in the Northern Ireland general election of 1969 where he finished third behind Terence O'Neill (the Northern Ireland Prime Minister) and Ian Paisley. [4] He was on the executive of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association and was interned without trial for six weeks from 9 August 1971. Imprisoned for breach of the peace in 1973, Farrell and another PD member, Tony Canavan, went on hunger strike in demand of political status. The strike lasted for thirty-four days before they were released.

In the 1980s he campaigned for the release of victims of miscarriage of justice cases in England and in the Republic of Ireland, including the Birmingham Six. [5] He also campaigned against political censorship under Section 31 of the Broadcasting Act in Ireland.

After moving to Dublin and becoming a solicitor, Farrell was co-chairperson of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties from 1995 to 2001. [6] He was appointed a member of the Irish Human Rights Commission in 2001 and reappointed in October 2006, serving until 2011. In 2005 he was appointed to the Steering Committee of the National Action Plan Against Racism. He is currently working for Free Legal Advice Centres, Dublin, and has brought cases to the European Court of Human Rights and the UN Human Rights Committee. [7]

In 2011 he was appointed to the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance and was re-appointed for a second term in 2016. [8]

In 2012 he was appointed to the Irish Council of State by President Michael D. Higgins. [9]

In 2022 University College Dublin recognised Farrell's immense contribution to Irish public life, and specifically to human rights in the context the introduction of Ireland’s gender recognition laws with an honorary doctorate. [10]

Published works

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mary Robinson</span> President of Ireland from 1990 to 1997

Mary Therese Winifred Robinson is an Irish politician who was the 7th president of Ireland, serving from December 1990 to September 1997, the first woman to hold this office. Prior to her election, Robinson was a senator in Seanad Éireann between 1969 and 1989, and a councilor on Dublin Corporation from 1979 to 1983. Though briefly affiliated with the Labour Party while a senator, she became the first independent candidate to win the presidency and the first not to have had the support of Fianna Fáil. Following her time as president, Robinson became the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights from 1997 to 2002.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Robert Ballagh</span> Irish contemporary artist, painter and designer

Robert Ballagh is an Irish artist, painter and designer. Born in suburban Dublin, Ballagh's initial painting style was strongly influenced by pop art. He is also known for his hyperrealistic renderings of Irish literary, historical and establishment figures, or designing more than 70 Irish postage stamps and a series of banknotes, and for work on theatrical sets, including for works by Samuel Beckett and Oscar Wilde, and for Riverdance in multiple locations. Ballagh's work has been exhibited at many solo and group shows since 1967, in Dublin, Cork, Brussels, Moscow, Sofia, Florence, Lund and others, as well as touring in Ireland and the US. His work is held in a range of museum and gallery collections. He was chosen to represent Ireland at the 1969 Biennale de Paris.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ulster Special Constabulary</span> Specialized police force of Northern Ireland

The Ulster Special Constabulary was a quasi-military reserve special constable police force in what would later become Northern Ireland. It was set up in October 1920, shortly before the partition of Ireland. The USC was an armed corps, organised partially on military lines and called out in times of emergency, such as war or insurgency. It performed this role most notably in the early 1920s during the Irish War of Independence and the 1956-1962 IRA Border Campaign.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Michael D. Higgins</span> President of Ireland since 2011

Michael Daniel Higgins is an Irish politician, poet, broadcaster and sociologist who has served as the ninth president of Ireland since 2011. Entering national politics through the Labour Party, he served as a senator from 1973 to 1977 having been nominated by the Taoiseach. Elected in 1981 as a Teachta Dála (TD), he represented the Galway West constituency from 1981 to 1982 and 1987 to 2011. Between these terms, he returned to Seanad Éireann from 1983 to 1987 as a senator for the National University. He served as minister for arts, culture and the Gaeltacht from 1993 to 1997 and mayor of Galway from 1981 to 1982 and 1990 to 1991. Higgins was the president of the Labour Party from 2003 to 2011, until he resigned following his election as president of Ireland.

Conor Brady is an Irish journalist, novelist and academic. He was the editor of The Irish Times between 1986 and 2002.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Peter Sutherland</span> Irish businessman, barrister and politician (1946–2018)

Peter Denis Sutherland was an Irish businessman, barrister and Fine Gael politician who served as UN Special Representative for International Migration from 2006 to 2017. He was known for serving in various international organisations, political and business roles.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Michael Longley</span> Irish poet (born 1939)

Michael Longley,, is an Irish poet.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Catholic University of Ireland</span> Former private university in Ireland (1854–1909/1911)

The Catholic University of Ireland was a private Catholic university in Dublin, Ireland. It was founded in 1851 following the Synod of Thurles in 1850, and in response to the Queen's University of Ireland and its associated colleges which were nondenominational; Cardinal Cullen had previously forbidden Catholics from attending these "godless colleges".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mairéad Farrell</span> Member of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (1957–1988)

Mairéad Farrell was a member of the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA). She was shot and killed by the British Army in Gibraltar on 6 March 1988.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Monica McWilliams</span> British politician and academic (born 1954)

Monica Mary McWilliams is a Northern Irish academic, peace activist, human rights defender and former politician.

John J. Kelly is a senior Irish academic. A professor of chemical engineering, he was for a period dean of the Faculty of Engineering at University College Dublin. He was executive director of the Ireland Canada University Foundation, chairman of the Scholarship Board of the O'Reilly Foundation, and president of Independent College Dublin, and is chairman of the board of trustees of the Friends of Bethlehem University in Ireland.

European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) is the Council of Europe’s independent human rights monitoring body specialised in combating antisemitism, discrimination, racism, religious intolerance, and xenophobia. It publishes periodic reports on CoE member states and general policy recommendations. The decision to found ECRI was adopted in 1993. The organization became officially active as of March 1994.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">University College Dublin Law Society</span> Student debating society

The UCD Law Society is one of the largest student societies in Europe. Established in 1911 as 'The Legal and Economic Society', as of 2009 it had approximately 4100 members drawn from the various faculties of the university. The society holds weekly house debates, mock trials, moot court competitions and careers events, as well as inviting notable figures to address the society. Individuals who have addressed the society include President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins, former Irish Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern and President of the European Council Donald Tusk. The society's motto is "Ar son na Córa".

Rita Ann Higgins is an Irish poet and playwright.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fermanagh County Council</span>

Fermanagh County Council was the authority responsible for local government in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, between 1899 and 1973. It was originally based at the Enniskillen Courthouse, but moved to County Buildings in East Bridge Street, Enniskillen, in 1960.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Yvonne Farrell</span> Irish architect

Yvonne Farrell is an Irish architect and academic. She is the co-founder, together with Shelley McNamara, of Grafton Architects, which won the World Building of the Year award in 2008 for their Bocconi University building in Milan. The practice won the inaugural RIBA International Prize in 2016 for their Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología building in Lima, Peru, and was awarded the 2020 Royal Gold Medal. In 2017 she was appointed, along with Shelley McNamara, as curator of the 16th Venice Biennale of Architecture in 2018. She won the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2020, also with McNamara.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">University College Dublin</span> Public research university in Ireland

University College Dublin is a public research university in Dublin, Ireland, and a member institution of the National University of Ireland. With 38,417 students, it is Ireland's largest university, and amongst the most prestigious universities in the country. Five Nobel Laureates are among UCD's alumni and current and former staff. Additionally, four Taoisigh and three Irish Presidents have graduated from UCD, along with one President of India.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Shelley McNamara</span> Irish architect

Shelley McNamara is an Irish architect and academic. She attended University College Dublin and graduated in 1974 with a Bachelor of Architecture. She founded Grafton Architects with Yvonne Farrell in 1978. Grafton rose to prominence in the early 2010s, specialising in stark, weighty but spacious buildings for higher education. McNamara has taught architecture at University College Dublin since 1976 and at several other universities.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tom Burke (priest)</span>

Patrick Thomas Burke was an Irish Carmelite priest, physicist and school teacher, and co-founder of the Young Scientist Exhibition.

Dr. Sindy Joyce is an Irish Traveller human rights activist and academic sociologist. In January 2019 she became the first Irish Traveller to obtain a doctorate from an Irish university. Her doctoral thesis funded by the Irish Research Council, "Mincéirs Siúladh: An ethnographic study of young Travellers’ experiences of urban space", explored the interaction of young Travellers with the settled community and the Gardaí in Galway city.