Mairead Corrigan-Maguire

(1944 – )

Mairead Corrigan (Miss), a Northern Ireland social activist, was born January 27, 1944 in Belfast, Northern Ireland to Mr. & Mrs. Andrew Corrigan, her father being a window cleaning contractor.  Mairead had five sisters and two brothers.  She was educated at St. Vincent’s Primary School, Falls Road, Belfast, and then later graduated from Miss Gordons Commercial College in 1967 and occupied various secretarial positions in Belfast, 1959-76.  She married Jackie Maguire, 8 September 1981; 1 child, John Francis; stepchildren–Mark, Joanne, Marie-Louise.

Mairead has be received various recognitions for her social activism, such as: the  Carl Von Ossietzky Medal for Courage (Berlin Section of International League of Human Rights), 1976; an Hon. Doctor of Law from Yale University, U.S.A., 1976; Norwegian People Peace Prize, 1976; and the Nobel Peace Prize Winner, 1976.

She has been a volunteer social worker in the Catholic neighborhoods of Belfast and a lay member Legion of Mary, Roman Catholic Chapter since 1959.  On August 10, 1976, a car chase between IRA and British troops through Belfast, Northern Ireland, led to an accident in she saw three of her sister’s children killed when a car driven by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) terrorist went out of control after being fired on by British troops.  Her sister, distraught over the death of her children, took her own life several years later.  The incident led Mairead, a Catholic, and Mrs. Betty Williams, a protestant, who also witnessed the incident, joined with Mr. Ciaran McKeown, a newspaper reporter, to form the Community of Peace People (formerly the Northern Ireland Peace Movement), on August 14, 1976, a movement of Catholics and Protestants dedicated to ending sectarian fighting in Northern Ireland. For their work the two women were awarded the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize, she was the chair, 1980-81; now is the the Honorary Life President of Peace People Co. Ltd.
(src:  Who’s Who in the World 10thEd 1991-92; International Who’s Who)