His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama will visit Ireland next year to take part in a series of events being planned by three Irish based NGO’s. Children in Crossfire, Afri, and SpunOut.ie, will host The Dalai Lama in his visit to Ireland and organisers say the visit comes at an important time when Ireland, North and South, is looking at important questions of identity, peace and progress.
The announcement comes just days before UTV screens a documentary about Children in Crossfire founder, Richard Moore, who the Dalai Lama calls ‘His Hero’. The documentary, 'The Dalai Lama's hero' (screened on UTV, Sunday October 24th at 10.15pm) follows Richard Moore and Charles Innis, the British Soldier who blinded him, as they travel to India for a personal meeting with the Dalai Lama and charts their journey to forgiveness and friendship.
Moore was blinded at the age of 10 by a rubber bullet in his native Derry and has since become a leading international advocate for the rights of children suffering from the injustice of poverty. His friendship with the British Solider who wounded him has become an inspiration to many and features in his autobiography 'Can I Give Him My Eyes?' the title of which comes from Richard's father's passionate plea to the doctors who tried to help him after the attack.
The Dalai Lama is now the Patron of Children in Crossfire, which works to protect and promote the rights of some of the world's most vulnerable children and it was during a visit to the Dalai Lama's home in exile in Dharmsala, India earlier this year that he warmly accepted the invitation to return to Ireland.
Speaking at the announcement of the visit of the Dalai Lama to Ireland, Richard Moore said:
"There is perhaps no greater advocate for peace and compassion as respected worldwide as the Dalai Lama. He is a man of great warmth, depth, knowledge and insight. As a refugee from his native Tibet since fleeing the Chinese invasion in 1959, he has suffered a great deal alongside his people. His extraordinary work for peace has been recognised by his Nobel Peace prize in 1989, and by the awarding of the U.S Congressional Medal in 2007.
"However, it is the great admiration and esteem The Dalai Lama is held in, by people from all walks of life and all faiths, that makes him such an important figure and perhaps the most important figure in a world that is deeply grabbling with complex economic, ecological and social problems, and the need to cultivate human understanding, connection and collective action. It is against this backdrop that we are profoundly honoured and excited to welcome His Holiness back to Ireland, an island he has great respect and affection for."