Northern Ireland

Brian Rowan to be honoured for his ‘commitment to journalism and peacebuilding’

The veteran journalist will receive an honorary degree from The Open University

Veteran journalist Brian Rowan
Veteran journalist Brian Rowan is to be honoured by The Open University

Brian Rowan is to be honoured by The Open University for his “commitment to journalism and peacebuilding”.

The veteran journalist and author will receive an honorary degree of Doctor of the University in Belfast on Friday.

Mr Rowan has dedicated much of his career to reporting the conflict and peace processes in Northern Ireland and during two decades at the BBC made significant contributions as a correspondent and security editor.

As an author, Mr Rowan has provided invaluable perspectives on Northern Ireland’s history through his books, which include, ‘Behind the Lines’ and ‘How the Peace Was Won’.

In 2015, he chaired a landmark public debate on legacy and policing, featuring the late Sinn Féin deputy first minister Martin McGuinness and former PSNI chief constable Sir George Hamilton.

Feile an Phobail - St Mary's College Belfast - 5th August 2015..PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton and Martin McGuinness were at St Mary's College Belfast an open forum discussion and debate about the current and past political issues. The discussion was chaired by  political journalist Brian Rowan..Picture Irish News / Declan Roughan.
Brian Rowan, centre, pictured with the late Martin McGuinness (left) and George Hamilton. PICTURE: DECLAN ROUGHAN

During the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement last year, he developed ‘25 Pieces’, an exhibition and publication drawing from his personal archive.

Mr Rowan said: “My role in reporting and commenting on our journey from conflict to peace has been both a challenge and a privilege.

“And, in this year, that marks the 30th anniversary of the 1994 ceasefires, I look forward, in the not too distant future, to sharing some of my research with The OU’s OpenLearn platform.

“We are in a better place now, and as we look out across our world, we see that peace is always a work in progress.”

John D’Arcy, director of The Open University in Ireland, said: “Brian Rowan’s dedication to uncovering and sharing the truth about Northern Ireland’s complex history is unparalleled.

“His commitment to journalism and peacebuilding aligns perfectly with our values at The Open University.

“The Open University shares Rowan’s commitment to reconciliation and community cohesion.”