Today is a very special day because today we received Sophie’s MSc certificate in applied peace and conflict studies. This is my Sophie’s second Master and I’m mindful of the period when we first met 13 odd years ago in Belfast when Sophie worked in a coffee shop. We realised we had a real interest in peace and conciliation way back then. No one will ever know the contribution that my Sophie has given to the peace process here. The Folktown initiative and the Folktown Market was just not about selling goods and lining other people’s pockets. It has been peacebuilding by stealth. Sophie has been responsible for bringing so many people together using the Folktown initiative as a catalyst. Her other Master by the way is creative and cultural entrepreneurship and I know she is now talking about doing PhD. She helped me create the End of the War show 7 years ago, and produce my first solo album. I played places like Hong Kong, New York and around Europe, and frankly I couldn't have done it without her. We made a short film called Lost Commandos about ex-combatants moving on from conflict. It played at the QFT. There’s been so many things that Sophie’s driving force has played a vital part in. Now Sophie is working with the community in the Holylands at Queen’s. I just want to say it out loud today that I’m so very very proud of her, and she is my hero, my lover, my partner and my best friend. Well done Sophie. May you live forever.
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