I will be taking part in a one-day conference on ‘Constitutional Pasts and Futures: Northern Ireland and the British Irish Relationship Twenty Years after the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement’ on Tuesday 8 May at the Royal Irish Academy, 19 Dawson Street, Dublin.
At 10.30 am, there is a keynote address by former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern on the making, implementation and prospects of the Good Friday Agreement.
The conference is hosted by University College Dublin’s Institute for British Irish Studies and includes the launch of the John Whyte Oral Archive of the Northern Ireland Conflict. This archive encompasses elite interviews with Northern Irish, British and Irish politicians and civil servants involved in negotiations from 1972-2007.
I am on the last panel of the day with the SDLP’s Alasdair McDonnell and John O’Brennan of NUIM.
9:45-11.30 The Good Friday Agreement: constitutional reframing?
Chair: Jennifer Todd, Research Director, Institute for British Irish Studies
• 9:45 -9:50 – Welcome: Ben Tonra, Director, Institute for British Irish Studies
• 9:50-10.30: Panel Discussion: the record of the 1998 Agreement: what did and didn’t succeed
Melanie Hoewer (UCD), Avila Kilmurray (The Social Change Initiative), Etain Tannam (TCD), Ruth Taillon (Centre for Cross Border Studies)
• 10.30-11.30: Keynote address. Bertie Ahern on the making, implementation and prospects of the Good Friday Agreement
Followed by Question & Answers with panel
11.45-1.30: Constitutional Pasts: Lessons from the last 20 years
Chair: Paul Gillespie, Deputy Director, Institute for British Irish Studies
• ‘International involvement and inclusive power sharing. Lessons from Northern Ireland and Beyond’ Stefan Wolff (Birmingham) and Dawn Walsh (DCU)
• ‘Sustaining the Promise of Peace? Human Rights, Equality and a Shared Society’, Colin Harvey (QUB)
• ‘What went wrong with complex consociationalism, Irish style?’ Jennifer Todd (UCD).
1.30-2.30 Lunch (light sandwich lunch is provided to all participants)
2.30-4.15 Constitutional futures: prospects for the next 20 years
Chair: Melanie Hoewer, UCD IBIS
• ‘Constitutional design after Brexit’, Christopher McCrudden (QUB)
Further Perspectives: John Coakley (QUB/UCD), Paul Gillespie (UCD), Ben Tonra (UCD)
4.15-4.30 Tea and Coffee
4.30-5.20 Roundtable Panel Constitutional pasts, presents and futures
Chair: Ruth Taillon, CCBS
John O’Brennan (NUIM), Alasdair McDonnell, Gladys Ganiel (QUB)
5.30 Launch of archive by Tánaiste & Minister of Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney T.D. Welcome and Introduction by Dr Mark Rogers, Deputy President, University College Dublin
Followed by reception