Barbara Flaherty, Executive Vice President of the Irish National Caucus, World Peace Prize winner Michael Carrigan, and Fr. Sean McManus, President of the INC at the award presentation in Burr Ridge, Illinois.
By Irish Echo Staff
Just two days after the midterm elections top political leaders in Illinois turned out in strength to honor Michael T. Carrigan, president of the Illinois AFL-CIO and recipient of the World Peace Prize "Roving Ambassador for Peace" award.
The prize was presented by Fr. Sean McManus, president of the Capitol Hill-based Irish National Caucus and chief Judge of the World Peace Prize.
The presentation ceremony, in Burr Ridge, was chaired by Barbara Flaherty, Executive Vice President of the Irish National Caucus, and a judge on the World Peace Prize Awarding Council.
President Carrigan said: “I am humbled and deeply honored to receive this recognition from the World Peace Prize Awarding Council.
“The Labor Movement and its allies build peace through economic and social justice causes throughout the world.
“Our fight for justice knows no borders and the enemies of peace are the enemies of justice. The work continues and the Labor Movement will not be distracted from its goals. I would like to thank the awarding council for this great honor and accept it on behalf of all in the labor movement fighting for justice and building peace throughout the world.”
Top political leaders turned out for President Carrigan in what a release descrbibed as a “powerful display of solidarity.” Those leaders included U.S. Senator Dick Durban (D-IL),
Lieutenant Governor Juliana Strattan, Mike Madigan, Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives, Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza, and Congressman Dan Lipenski (D-IL).
Senator Durbin, addressing the gathering praised the choice of Mr. Carrigan for the World Peace Prize, acknowledging that without Carrigan and the labor movement in Illinois he would not be a U.S. senator.
Lieutenant Governor Strattan told the audience that during the elections she and President Carrigan had "roved the State" and she always knew he was a man of justice and peace.
Congressman Lipenski, describing himself as "quarter Irish," congratulated Mr. Carrigan on his prize and announced he was entering his own comments into the Congressional Record and would be signing on as a “friend” of the Irish National Caucus.
Said Fr. McManus: "This was, indeed, a very special presentation of the World Peace Prize. President Carrigan is a beloved labor leader, a great American and a proud Irishman.
“Though we were honoring President Carrigan with the World Peace Prize, it was also an honor for us to be part of this great occasion."
The ceremony also included the first presentation of the newly created Irish American Peace Prize. According to the release it was presented to attorney Dick Stanton of Illinois, “long time campaigner for justice, equality, unity and peace in Ireland.”