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Minister Coveney congratulates the Syrian Civil Defence (a.k.a. the White Helmets) on receiving the Tipperary International Peace Award

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney, TD, has warmly congratulated the Syrian Civil Defence (a.k.a. the White Helmets) on receiving the Tipperary International Peace Award.

Minister Coveney said:

“The White Helmets are extremely deserving recipients of the Tipperary International Peace Award. These 3,000 volunteers risk their lives every day to rescue their fellow citizens in the most dangerous and challenging of circumstances. They have saved almost 100,000 lives to date. Sadly, many of their members have paid the ultimate price and have themselves fallen victim to the violence from which they have sought to save others. I am very pleased that their heroism and sacrifice have been recognised with this award”.

Minister Coveney went on to say:

“Since 2012, Ireland has contributed €87.5 million to the humanitarian response to the Syria crisis – which is Irish Aid’s largest response to a single crisis in recent years. I urge all sides to work for a political transition, an end to violence, the lifting of all sieges and barriers to humanitarian relief and for accountability for the atrocities and crimes committed against the Syrian people. Ireland fully supports the UN-led Geneva peace process and the work of UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, and remains committed to supporting efforts towards a peaceful resolution to the conflict”.

Notes to Editors:

The Syrian Civil Defence (a.k.a. the White Helmets) is a non-political volunteer organisation operating in areas outside of government control in Syria.

The bulk of their activity consists of urban search and rescue in response to bombing, medical evacuation, evacuation of civilians from danger areas and essential service delivery, including reconnecting electrical cables, providing safety information and securing buildings.

The organisation was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2016, and a film about their work won the 2017 Oscar for best short documentary.

The Tipperary International Peace Award, has been awarded annually by the Tipperary Peace Convention since 1984. Notable past recipients include Nelson Mandela (1989), Bill Clinton (2000), Malala Yousafzai (2012), Ban Ki-moon (2014) and John Kerry (2015).