Mary Lou McDonald tells London march for Palestine that Northern Ireland shows peace is possible in Middle East

Mary Lou McDonald tells London march for Palestine that Northern Ireland shows peace is possible in Middle East

SINN FÉIN leader Mary Lou McDonald has said the Northern Ireland Peace Process shows it is possible to bring an end to the conflict in the Middle East.

The Dublin Central TD was speaking at the latest London march in support of Palestine, which the Palestine Solidarity Campaign has said drew more than half-a-million people.

Similar events were held around the world, including opposite the White House in Washington and in Rome, Bankgok and Jakarta, among other cities.

Meanwhile, several rallies took place across Ireland, including in Dublin, Derry and Cork.

'This can happen'

More than 23,000 Palestinians have been killed since the October 7 Hamas attacks on Israel, which claimed around 1,200 lives.

Speaking to those gathered in London, Ms McDonald that while some may see peace as 'a dream too far', the North showed it was possible to find 'a journey out of conflict'.

"The Nakba, the Palestinian nightmare, has gone on too long," she said.

"We seek a new horizon of freedom, of peace, of security.

"To the cynics, the indifferent, the belligerent, who say that this can't happen, that peace and Palestinian freedom is a dream too far — I say this standing here in London, in common cause with you, having walked our own long journey out of conflict, of building a peace for 25 years, I say this can happen, this must happen, that all of us must ensure it will happen."

Protesters display flags and banners (Image: HENRY NICHOLLS / AFP) (Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS/AFP via Getty Images)

Ms McDonald also praised South Africa, which has filed a case with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) accusing Israel of committing genocide against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Following two days of hearings in the Hague this week, the ICJ has now begun deliberating on the case, saying a decision will be announced in due course.

Ms McDonald back South Africa's case, saying Israel must be 'held to account'.

"This week, South Africa has shown others what it means to lead," she said.

"The case for an immediate, permanent ceasefire is unanswerable. The refusal to support an immediate, permanent ceasefire is unconscionable.

The Little Amal puppet was on display at the demonstration (Image: Guy Smallman/Getty Images)

"The world stands at a crossroads and there is a choice to be made.

"We're told the world order is based on human rights, justice and the rule of law. We now demand human rights, justice, and the rule of law for Palestine, for Gaza, for the West Bank.

"We demand that Israel is held to account, that the slaughter ends now, that governments everywhere call for ceasefires.

"That the international effort is now for peace and Palestinian self-determination."

Nine arrests

Saturday's National Demonstration for Palestine, the seventh such event, saw campaigners march from Bank Station to Parliament Square.

As well as Ms McDonald, speakers included former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Palestinian ambassador to Britain Husam Zomlot.

Little Amal, the 10ft puppet of a Syrian refugee girl that made its way across Europe in 2021, was also on display.

The Metropolitan Police said 1,700 police were deployed in the city and nine arrests were made during the day.

"The majority of those who attended today did so peacefully and lawfully," added a spokesperson.