The Royal Irish Academy/Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann champions research. We identify and recognise Ireland’s world class researchers. We support scholarship and promote awareness of how science and the humanities enrich our lives and benefit society. We believe that good research needs to be promoted, sustained and communicated. The Academy is run by a Council of its members. Membership is by election and considered the highest academic honour in Ireland.

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Discourse Series | The future of the EU: Bigger and Better?


Thursday, May 23, 2024, 18:00 - 19:30


19 Dawson Street, Dublin 2


Free (in-person): booking is essential

Join us for a conversation between Mairead McGuinness (EU Commissioner, 2020-24) and broadcaster Olivia O’Leary MRIA.

We live in turbulent times. The future feels less certain, war has returned to the European continent and the face of democracy is changing. In these troubled times, the European Union is grappling with its place in the world, security and defence, climate ambition and competitiveness. Enlargement is back on the agenda. Can the EU grow beyond 27 member states, how and when? Will the same rules work for a larger EU & as we move towards elections to the European Parliament can the centre hold?

Mairead McGuinness is the European Commissioner for financial services, financial stability and Capital Markets Union. Before joining the Commission in October 2020, Ms McGuinness was First Vice-President of the European Parliament. She served as an MEP from Ireland for 16 years, and was a Vice-President of the Parliament since 2014.

Olivia O’Leary MRIA is a journalist, broadcaster, public commentator and writer of international standing. Her work praised for its perceptiveness, literary skill and humour makes an exceptional contribution to Irish society. O'Brien Press have published two volumes of her radio columns for RTÉ Drivetime: Politicians and Other Animals', 'Party Animals'. She was elected as a Member of the Royal Irish Academy in 2019.

Royal Irish Academy Discourse Series

The Royal Irish Academy’s discourses are the oldest and most renowned series of talks in Ireland. The first discourses were presented in 1786. Historically, Academy discourses were the occasion reserved for the most distinguished academics to first reveal and discuss their research in public. Continuing in this tradition, the Discourse Series brings international experts to the Academy to discuss important contemporary issues in front of a live audience. Past discourses are available to watch back on

Access requirements

Have you got any access requirements that we can assist you with, so that you can fully engage with our event? Please let us know by contacting our access officer in advance of the event, by email:

Tabhair tacaíocht do thodhchaí an léinn in Éirinn

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