Friends of Sabeel-Ireland

Rev. Alan Martin
9 Sycamore Road
Dublin 16 / Ireland
Tel: 00-353-1-295-2643
Email: avmartin24@gmail.com


Friends of Sabeel-Ireland was set up in 2003 in Dublin. Earlier in that Year, Dr. Naim Ateek had come to Ireland and met people from local churches – clergy and lay – who wanted to hear of his experience and to see in what way we might be able to support the aims of Sabeel. Aware that other countries had formed “Friends of Sabeel,” for instance Canada, Australia and the UK, the new committee decided to explore the practicalities and formally established Friends of Sabeel-Ireland.

The first public meeting was held at St. Brigid’s Parish Stillorgan, in south Dublin, and welcomed Garth Hewitt, a renowned gospel singer and human rights activist, who had been regularly visiting the Middle East for the previous 15 years. Those who formed the first Sabeel-Ireland committee were: the Rev’d K.H. Thompson (Chairman), the Rev’d D. Moynan (Vice-Chair), Mrs May Byrne (Treasurer), Fr. Tim Murphy, the Rev’d Sandra Pragnell, Alan and Marie Geraghty and Alma Kavanagh.

Meetings were held either every month or bi-monthly in Taney, Dundrum, with the encouragement of the Rev’d Des Sinnamon. The Sabeel-Ireland constitution was adopted in September 2003, during a visit from Dr. Ateek. Sabeel-Ireland received its charitable status in October 2003.

The 5th International Sabeel Conference took place in Jerusalem in April 2004, attended by the Rev’d Ken Thompson, representing Ireland, and over 500 participants from around the world. For the Thompsons, it was a shock to see the deterioration of Bethlehem compared with their visit to that holy city 7 years earlier. The first public meeting in Ireland was in October 2004. That same month, Garth Hewitt put on another concert which raised awareness of the Palestinian issues for a wider audience.

In November 2005, we again welcomed Dr. Ateek in Dublin when he addressed a gathering at the Milltown Institute on the 10 requirements for peace, including: the issues of occupation, the loss of Palestinian land, Gaza, demolition of homes, the right of return, illegal West Bank settlements, a call for Jerusalem to be open to the three faith traditions, educational programmes for peace and democracy. During that visit, Sister Celine Mangan OP addressed the conference under the title, “Land and the Bible – Land and the people of Israel-Palestine – Towards an Inclusive Theology.”

In 2005, Trinity College Dublin hosted a theological seminar and open discussion on the theme of the future of the Holy Land and its people, with Dr. Ateek as the Keynote speaker.

Also in 2005, Wesley College hosted a workshop led by Mrs Jennifer Sinnamon on the issues facing Palestinian Christians.

During this time, members of Friends of Sabeel and many in their congregations, supported Sabeel by importing Palestinian goods and crafts for sale in the churches.

FOS Ireland continues to be involved in issues of Palestinian advocacy as well as sending representatives to the international conference held in Jerusalem in 2013.

We join Friends of Sabeel around the world in prayers for an end to the occupation and the coming of a just peace.

Rev. Alan Martin
Friends of Sabeel-Ireland
9 Sycamore Road
Dublin 16 / Ireland
Tel: 00-353-1-295-2643
Email: avmartin24@gmail.com