Jailed for peace and human rights — Clare Grady

‘THE Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult and left untried” is a phrase found in What’s Wrong with the World by GK Chesterton (1874 –1936).

However, we know he didn’t get it entirely right in that there are, and always have been, individuals truly living the Christian life and spirit.

One such person is American peace activist and Clare Grady whose grandparents come from Glanafosha and Cloonmore, Tuam.

Clare is currently serving a prison sentence of one year and a day in the Federal Prison Camp, Alderson, West Virginia for her work as an activist.

But it wasn’t far from the tree that apple fell. Clare’s father John Peter Grady was another activist and was one of the leaders of Camden 28, a group of Catholic left anti-Vietnam War activists whose actions led to what has been called “one of the great trials of the 20th century”.

It was 1971 when the group carried out a raid on a Camden, New Jersey draft board, breaking into the office in the middle of the night and removing or destroying the records of draft registrants.

At this time tens of thousands of young American men were being drafted to fight in Vietnam (1955-1975). It is estimated that over the 20-year period in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, anywhere between 1,450,000 and 3,595,000 people lost their lives as a result of the war.

Read the full feature in this week's edition of The Tuam Herald, on sale in shops and online at www.tuamherald.ie