GOTF Podcast - Justice Teresa Doherty
This interview includes some of the most gruesome details we’ve recorded in any of our podcasts because they relate to crimes against humanity in war. If ever we would want there to be a Guardian of the Flame of humanity it would be in a court of law when dealing with horrific crimes against the most vulnerable human beings alive today. Justice Teresa Doherty is a remarkably courageous woman who speaks in this interview extensively about a brave career devoted to the rights of the most vulnerable on this planet. It was a privilege to interview Justice Doherty who has served around the world in law and in Northern Ireland in the early days of the Troubles. In recent years she has written some of the most landmark legal opinions which have had ripple effects on cases all over the world, particularly related to the rights of women and girls in wars. In this interview she also spoke of her upbringing as a Catholic girl in pre-civil rights Northern Ireland and of her time in Papua New Guinea. Towards the end of her career she has presided over the Special Court for Sierra Leone which sentenced Liberian warlord Charles Taylor, the first sitting head of state to be convicted of war crimes. The most significant decisions she wrote were related to Gender Based Violence and in particular key opinions on sexual slavery and an opinion on forced marriage as crimes against humanity. She also wrote a definition of the use of a child in conflict as a crime against humanity which was followed afterwards by the International Criminal Court.
GOTF LIVE Podcast with John Herron
Since we started the Guardians Of The Flame project we’ve seen how religious rhetoric and imagery can provide fuel not just for sectarian conflicts, but also for degrading and damaging LGBTQ+ people. John Herron is a friend of ours. He was a pastor in a conservative Pentecostal church for many years, he underwent so called “reparative therapy” which left him no less gay, but all the more isolated and living in a place of shame. That all changed when he was outed and faced rejection and abandonment from his church. Since then he has been on a road to healing and accepting his sexuality, not as a disease to be healed from, but something about him that makes him unique and a gift to the world. The subject of sexuality continues to be such a challenging question for Christians to engage constructively with. It is one of the main reasons why young people leave churches. We hope this live conversation with John will help heterosexual people of faith learn from his story, to reach for empathy and to move further along a path to constructive dialogue with LGBTQ people. A dialogue which is about listening and laying down the privilege of always having the microphone. For our many listeners who are not coming from a faith tradition we hope this episode gives a hopeful vision for a pluralistic society as we move into 2022.
GOTF Podcast - Bertie Ahern: Former Irish Taoiseach
We interviewed the former Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Bertie Ahern this week for Guardians Of The Flame. In his role leading the Irish government from 1997 he built relationships with the then new British PM Tony Blair and with the political leaders in Northern Ireland. He played a monumental role in paving the way for the Good Friday Agreement which brought a final peace to the 30 years of the Troubles in Northern Ireland. During our conversation we spoke about Bloody Sunday. This interview is being released just before the 30th January which is the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday. Bertie Ahern was playing Gaelic Football in Drumcondra on the north side of Dublin on the day it happened. But 26 years later in 1998 he was ushering in a lasting peace in Northern Ireland. Every Prime Minister will leave a legacy domestically and in foreign policy. For us living north of the Irish border Bertie Ahern was one of the most positively consequential leaders. In this interview he speaks of how he became friends with the late Ian Paisley, the firebrand Protestant preacher and politician. We also spoke about deep challenges facing us in the present day by Brexit which Bertie Ahern recognises as a disaster for Ireland. Peace has come in Ireland as grassroots individuals, victims and former combatants have chosen the way of peace. But political leaders have ultimately also paved the way for the peace we enjoy today by being able to make difficult and at times controversial agreements. We have a lot to thank Bertie Ahern for as we reflect on the post-Troubles society we enjoy today.
GOTF Podcast - Brother Thierry Marteaux: Benedictine Spirituality & The Way of Jesus
Brother Thierry is one of the Benedictine monks from the Holy Cross Abbey in Rostrevor. It is a community of Brothers who came to Northern Ireland to be a presence of reconciliation in the midst of our ongoing religious and ethnic conflict. In normal years thousands come through their doors and just about as many Protestants come to sit at the feet of these holy men as Catholics. They truly are peace makers and their roots go deep. The spirituality of Benedictines is rooted in prayer and silence. We recorded an interview with Brother Thierry early on in our podcasts and it was a conversation full of depth and wisdom. So we wanted to record Brother Thierry on film. We touched on both the depth of Benedictine spirituality and also the residue of mistrust about institutional religion and the Catholic Church in Ireland and in much of the West. This is a warm hearted interview with a man who embodies fortitude, grace and wisdom. These gifts plus a life of prayerfulness offer a way of looking at the world that is perhaps a signpost pointing towards our true home.
GOTF Podcast - Pádraigin Ní Uallacháin: Music Of The Soul
Pádraigin Ní Uallacháin is a singer-songwriter as well as an academic. She has worked with the likes of celebrated Irish poets Seamus Heaney and Ciaran Carson and has sung and recorded with many Irish folk musicians. She has recorded her own original songs as well as uncovering in her research ancient songs and putting them to music. This is a wide ranging interview where we touch on both her music, her life and career as well as spirituality in Ireland. She also sang a few songs from some of her research and albums. This interview was recorded in the Holy Cross Abbey in Rostrevor. The monks from the Benedictine Abbey kindly let us use their church which is a perfect backdrop for Pádraigin’s beautiful and poignant voice. Pádraigin is a national treasure and is another signpost to an Ireland that treasures it’s mystical past but in a way that transcends sectarian and religious divides. Her work can be found at www.irishsong.com
Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin - My Mind's Desire (Ropo mian dom menmainse)
We have a new season of podcasts coming very soon, including an interview with Pádraigin Ní Uallacháin which we will share in the coming weeks. For now, here is the first of 2 songs that Pádraigin sang for us in the Benedictine Abbey in Rostrevor. This is a 12th century monastic song which Pádraigin has discovered in her research and brought back to life - My Mind's Desire (Ropo mian dom menmainse)” from her recording Songs of the Scribe (Guth Ár Sinsear).
Alan McBride - Shankill Bomb (GOTF Documentary)
28 years ago on the 23rd October 1993, an IRA bomb went off in a well loved fish shop in the loyalist Shankill Road. The bomb killed 9 innocent civilians, and also one of the two bombers. People were queuing for their fish and the owner of the shop and his daughter were behind the counter serving people. The bomb left many bereaved and a whole area indelibly marked by the carnage. Alan McBride is a man of courage who is deeply committed to a transformed society where we can deal with the painful legacy of the past and become a society of reconciliation. In this clip from our documentary, Alan talks about the bomb which killed his wife and he speaks about the challenging journey of acknowledging the humanity of the 19 year old men who grew up close to him and who carried a bomb that day into a busy fish shop. To watch the full documentary go to guardiansoftheflame.org
Richard Moore - Rosemount School
This a short video we filmed in addition to our podcast with Richard Moore, outside Rosemount Primary school in Derry/Londonderry, where in 1972 he was shot and blinded by a British soldier with a rubber bullet. Richard was ten years old and it was just weeks after Bloody Sunday where one of his uncles was killed. Since that time Richard has become something of a modern day saint and he transformed his suffering into love and compassion. - To watch or listen to our full podcast with Richard, visit our YouTube channel or find it wherever you get your
Kathleen Gillespie: The day her husband became 'The Human Bomb'.
On 24 October 1990 Patsy Gillespie was chained into his seat and made to drive into an army base with a van carrying over 1200 pounds of explosives. Kathleen Gillespie, Patsy’s widow, is a remarkable woman of courage, passion and empathy. In this short clip, Kathleen describes the events surrounding that day when her husband became known as 'The Human Bomb'.- This clip is taken from our podcast with Kathleen Gillespie and Anne Walker, available on our YouTube channel or wherever you get your podcasts.
James Greer - From Paramilitaries to Peacemaker
James Greer shares his powerful story of joining the UDA, ending up in prison and then the transformative experience that led him to the path of a peacemaker. This clip was taken from our podcast with James, available on our YouTube channel or wherever you get your podcasts.