A CHEMICAL weapons inspector from Limerick city is among a group which has been honoured with the Nobel Peace prize.
Kieran Carey, from Janesboro, has received the prestigious award for his work in eliminating chemical weapons in Syria with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), along with his 18 colleagues.
Fine Gael deputy Kieran O’Donnell was among those who sent his congratulations to Kieran this week on this “great honour”.
“The inspectors are charged with destroying Syria’s stock of chemical weapons. In fact, it was Kieran who read out the letter of congratulations received by the inspectors in Syria on winning the prize,” explained deputy O’Donnell.
“This is truly remarkable achievement, perhaps the ultimate testament that can be given. Tragic events in Syria have emphasised the absolute importance of the work being done by Kieran and the OPCW. They are quite simply on a mission to save lives,” he said.
In a video posted online, Mr Carey read a statement from the OPCW director general Ahmet Üzümcü to his colleagues, congratulating them on their achievement, while also urging them to be mindful of the work that has yet to be done.
Mr Üzümcü said receiving this award was “extraordinary and completely unexpected”.
“This prize goes to all of our colleagues past and present even though we happen to be in the limelight here today..in the same breath let me say that we must not rest on our laurels, we’ve only just embarked on our extraordinarily difficult mission. There is a long road ahead and there are many more milestones to pass.”
“We are a small organisation which for over 16 years, and away from the glare of international publicity, has shouldered an onerous but noble task – to act as the guardian of the global ban on chemical weapons that took effect in 1997.
“We have since then worked with quiet determination to rid the world of these heinous weapons – weapons which have been used to horrific effect throughout the twentieth century, and, sadly, in our own time too.
“Events in Syria have been a tragic reminder that there remains much work yet to be done. Our hearts go out to the Syrian people who were recently victims of the horror of chemical weapons.
“Today we are engaged in work which is meant to ensure that this atrocity is not repeated. Never in the history of our organisation have we been called on to verify a destruction program within such short timeframes – and in an ongoing conflict.
We are conscious of the enormous trust that the international community has bestowed on us.”