The Light House Cinema, Smithfield, Dublin 7, 7.30pm
Speaking Notes for Guest Speaker, Senator Terry Leyden
· Distinguished guests from the international diplomatic community, fellow Oireachtas members, councillors, friends and colleagues from the media, academia, industry, the arts and further afield - it gives me great pleasure to welcome you all here this evening and to introduce this evening's special event.
· Tonight’s Irish premiere of ‘Endless Corridor has been facilitated by The European Azerbaijan Society, as part of the Justice for Khojaly Campaign.
· And whilst we gather here in Dublin in the beautiful surroundings of The Light House cinema a very short distance of the River Liffey, it is worth remembering that in cities across Europe and beyond tonight and around this time, the documentary we are about to see premiered in Dublin, will also receive its country premieres before audiences gathered in The Hague, Ankara, Moscow, Berlin, Paris, Brussels, Prague and Bratislava.
· I want to commend the Producer and Director, Aleksandras Brokas (from Lithuania), and the Co-Producer, Gerald Rafshoon (from USA), for undertaking the project and bringing the film to the big screen. This was five years in the making and involved film professionals from 15 countries in order to provide an independent point of view on the situation in the region.
· Tonight's documentary is about real events. Real lives. Real conflicts. Real tragedy.
· Narrated by Jeremy Irons – who is well-known to us all living in Ireland, of course – tonight’s film examines the events surrounding the Khojaly Massacre, when 613 men, women and children were killed on 25th-26th February 1992 – 23 years ago this month,
· The film follows Lithuanian journalist Ricardas Lapaitis on a trip back to Azerbaijan 20 years after he covered the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and Khojaly Massacre as a war correspondent. This is a story, he says, that has haunted him since.
· As a national politician who is, and who has been for many years, actively engaged in dialogue at international level – be that in Brussels, Strasbourg or elsewhere across Europe and beyond – I have come to learn a great deal about Azerbaijan, its people, its issues, and chief among all of this, the Nagorno-Karabakh issue –
· Tonight is an important occasion. Thank you for being here. My thanks to The European Azerbaijan Society for the kind invitation to make this short address to you and I hope you find the documentary engaging and informative. You are all welcome to stay for a glass of wine after the film also, just outside here in the mezzanine area.
· Thank you.