Nobel prize activist causes scene at airport

By Jennifer Lipman, September 29, 2010
Máiread Maguire

Máiread Maguire

Máiread Maguire, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, has flouted the orders of Ben Gurion airport security officials by refusing to board a plane out of Israel.

Ms Maguire was prohibited from entering Israel following her involvement in an attempt to breach the naval blockade of Gaza in June. She was deported after the Rachel Corrie ship was boarded by the Navy and redirected to Ashdod.

At the time, she gave written confirmation that she would not attempt to enter Israel again. However onlookers said the 65-year-old caused a scene by refusing to board the flight to Britain.

Israeli officials agreed to allow her to remain in the country overnight. She is expected to fly home today.

Ms Maguire, a Belfast activist, was awarded the Nobel prize in 1976, for her efforts to bridge the gaps between Republican and Loyalist factions in Northern Ireland.

At a lecture in February 2009, under the auspices of the UK United Nations Association, she accused the Israeli government of having carried out a “crime against humanity and called on people to boycott Israel.

Last updated: 10:39am, September 29 2010