Renowned Irish author Don Mullan presents on World War I
Sept. 26, 2014 - Celebrated Irish author and humanitarian Don Mullan presented the talk "The Christmas Truce and the Great War" on Wednesday, Sept. 24, in the Center for Communications and Engineering.
Mullan reflected on a series of unofficial ceasefires during World War I that took place along the Western Front around Christmas 1914.
"Our galaxy is one of billions of galaxies," said Mullan. "When you realize that we literally survive on a moisturized speck of dust in the cosmos it has to be very humbling. Education is a process that should always be leading us towards humility. It should teach us that there are more questions than answers."
Mullan is best known for his book, "Eyewitness Bloody Sunday." At age 15, he witnessed "Bloody Sunday," in which Northern Irish Catholic civil rights protesters and bystanders were shot by soldiers of the British Army on Jan. 30, 1972. Fourteen of them died.
The event profoundly influenced the course of his Mullan's life and, "Eyewitness Bloody Sunday," is credited with changing the course of the peace process in Northern Ireland.
Christine Kinealy, founding director of the Ireland's Great Hunger Institute, first met Mullan in 1995 while working together on a famine project.
"His compassion took my breath away," Kinealy said. "Almost 20 years later, I am still in awe of Don's kindness, energy and determination. He is a man who has changed history, yet he remains unchanged in his selflessness and vision."
Mullan's involvement in the Northern Ireland civil rights movement led to him becoming director of Action From Ireland, a Dublin based human rights organization. During his tenure he helped to establish the first annual Famine Walk in commemoration of all those who perished in "the Great Famine" in Ireland and those who continue to die of hunger and poverty today. He has written several books and produced several documentaries and films, including An Unreliable Witness (2004) and the film Bloody Sunday (2002), which won best picture at both the Sundance and Berlin Film Festivals.
Ireland's Great Hunger Institute is a scholarly resource for the study of the Great Hunger, which is also known as An Gorta Mór. Through a strategic program of lectures, conferences, course offerings and publications, the institute fosters a deeper understanding of this tragedy and its causes and consequences.
The Albert Schweitzer Institute conducts U.S. and international programs that link education, ethics and voluntarism. A dynamic presence at Quinnipiac, the institute has drawn notable humanitarians both to campus and to its board.