November 12 – Top leaders in Illinois turned out in strength to honor former Decatur Mayor and City Councilman Michael T. Carrigan, president of the Illinois AFL-CIO, with the World Peace Prize of “Roving Ambassador for Peace.”
The Prize was presented by Father Sean McManus, president of the Capitol Hill-based Irish National Caucus and chief Judge of the World Peace Prize. The presentation ceremony was chaired by Barbara Flaherty, Executive Vice President, 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 Illinois leaders turned out for the ceremony, including U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, Lieutenant Governor Juliana Strattan, House Speaker Mike Madigan, Speaker, Illinois Comptroller, Susana Mendoza, and Congressman Dan Lipinski.
Senator Durbin, when addressing the audience 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.
Father McManus added: “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— presented to attorney Dick Stanton of Illinois, long time campaigner for justice, equality, unity and peace in Ireland.