NUI Galway Symposium on the European Union and the Northern Ireland Peace Process

Apr 25 2018 Posted: 10:19 IST

Architects of the European Union peace programmes in Northern Ireland will come together at NUI Galway for the first time in 20 years to reflect on the role the EU played in the Northern Ireland peace process. They will be joined by academic experts for a unique symposium at the University on Friday 27 April, to discuss the EU’s role in the peace process, the future of the Good Friday Agreement, and the Irish border in the shadow of Brexit.

The symposium will discuss the challenges posed by Brexit 20 years after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, at a time when EU involvement in the Peace Process and cross-border relations in Ireland is at the centre of public debate.

Symposium speakers include:

  • Mr Carlo Trojan, former secretary general of the European Commission and head of the 1994 Northern Ireland Task Force.
  • Mr Hugh Logue, former EU Commission official. In 1994 he, along with two colleagues, was asked by President Jacques Delors to consult all parties in Northern Ireland. Their recommendations became the blueprint for the first EU PEACE Programme.
  • Ms Jane Morrice, former head of the EU Commission Office Northern Ireland. She was involved in the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement and was a member of the Standing Orders Committee, which set the initial rules governing Assembly procedures post-devolution.
  • Mr Colm Larkin, senior official of the EU Commission from 1974-2004 and special advisor in the Office of First and deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland from 1998-2001.
  • Andy Pollak, founding Director of the Centre for Cross Border Studies in Armagh.
  • Tom Arnold, current chair of the All-Island Civic Dialogue on Brexit and former chairman of the Irish Times and member of the Royal Irish Academy.
  • Dr Katy Hayward, School of Sociology, QUB and Dr Mary C Murphy, Department of Government, UCC.
  • Dr Giada Laganà, Dr Brendan Flynn and Dr Niall Ó Dochartaigh, School of Political Science and Sociology, NUI Galway.

Event organiser, Dr Giada Laganà from the School of Political Science and Sociology at NUI Galway, said: “This is a unique occasion to learn that the role of the EU in the Northern Ireland peace process has been much more significant and much more positive than is often recognised.”

The event will be opened by Noel Dorr, former secretary general of the Department of Foreign Affairs and former Irish Ambassador to the United Nations and the United Kingdom. Professor Alan Ahearne, Director of the Whitaker Institute, will make closing remarks.

This unique and innovative event is organised by the Conflict, Humanitarianism and Security Research Cluster of the Whitaker Institute at NUI Galway, in partnership with the Moore Institute and supported by the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Academic Association for contemporary European Studies.

The symposium will take place in the O’Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance, NUI Galway on Friday, 27 April from 9am to 5.30pm.

The event is free and advance registration is essential at:


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