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Cambridge Peacemaker Padraig O'Malley On Conflict, Addiction, New Documentary16:00
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UMass Boston Professor Padraig O'Malley testifies at a House briefing on political reconciliation in Iraq in 2008. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)
UMass Boston Professor Padraig O'Malley testifies at a House briefing on political reconciliation in Iraq in 2008. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)
This article is more than 3 years old.

Padraig O'Malley has devoted much of his life to making peace — bringing adversaries together to resolve some of the word's most intractable conflicts — from Northern Ireland to South Africa to Iraq.

O'Malley is an Irishman, author and professor at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. When he's not traveling, he lives in Cambridge, where he owns The Plough and Stars pub, which helps finance his global peacemaking efforts.

It's a bit ironic, because O'Malley is an alcoholic. He's been sober for the past 14 years, but he says being an addict and attending regular AA meetings inspired his approach to conflict resolution.

"The people in conflicts, like Northern Ireland or in Israel and Palestine, had the characteristics of addicts," says O'Malley. "I developed a very simple theory, that just as AA works in the principle that one alcoholic is in the best position to help another, that one divided society is in the best position to help another."

A new documentary by Central Square Films and Brookline-based director James Demo dives deep into the professional — and personal — life of Padraig O'Malley.

It's called "The Peacemaker" and it screened recently at the Independent Film Festival in Boston, and will premiere in Europe next month at the Sheffield Doc/Fest in the UK.

Guest

Padraig O'Malley, John J. Moakley professor of peace and reconciliation at UMass Boston's John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies. His most recent book is "The Two-State Delusion: Israel and Palestine — A Tale of Two Narratives." He tweets @MoakleyChairUMB.

More

The Boston Globe: Padraig O’Malley Makes Peace For Others, Finds Little For Himself

  • "In the teeming, yet tidy, office of his cozy walk-up on Massachusetts Avenue, Padraig O’Malley rattled off his to-do list: He’ll try to persuade Iraqi leaders to address sectarian violence; he’ll kick off a project in Bulgaria to engage disaffected Muslim youth susceptible to the lure of Islamic extremism; he’ll travel to Lebanon to convene a forum that seeks to address conflicts in divided cities of Europe, Africa, and the Middle East."

Variety: Hot Docs Festival: ‘The Peacemaker’ Team Talks Addiction, PTSD And Recovery

  • "The concept of recovery, in both the political and personal realms, is explored in “The Peacemaker,” Boston filmmaker James Demo’s intimate portrait of international peace broker and author Padraig O’Malley."

Boston.com: Making A Film About A Man Who Makes Peace

  • "Boston filmmaker Jim Demo is in Northern Ireland, continuing production on his documentary “The Peacemaker.’’ It’s about Dublin-born, Cambridge-based Padraig O’Malley, professor of international peace and reconciliation at the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston."

This segment aired on May 13, 2016.

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