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'The Idea of a Republic: Freedom and Politics'


Wednesday, June 8, 2016, 18:00


Academy House, 19 Dawson Street, Dublin 2


Free admission booking required

This is the fourth in a series of six events themed around the constitution.

Chair: Professor Maeve Cooke MRIA, School of Philosophy, UCD


  • Professor Richard Bourke, Department of History, Queen Mary University of London
  • Dr Mark Patrick Hederman, Abbot, Glenstal Abbey
  • Dr Iseult Honohan MRIA, School of Politics and International Relations, UCD
  • Dr Nerys Williams, poet and academic, School of English, UCD

The Preamble to Bunreacht na hÉireann asserts a connection between concern for the common good and the dignity and freedom of each individual. It can be argued that this connection is the distinctive mark of the republican model of politics, impacting on the republican idea of citizenship and law. However, in the contemporary neo-liberal world, which emphasizes freedom as individual opportunity, freedom and the common good seem to be incompatible. Is this really the case? Must we choose between them? Or, can we find new ways of making sense of the republican idea that we flourish as individuals only when all of us flourish within the framework of a legally regulated, political association.

Two bursaries of €50.00 each are available to post-graduate students. To make an application for a bursary contact Maeve Cooke MRIA,at Include a CV and up to 500 words outlining your reasons for wishing to attend the conversation, and how your attendance would assist with your studies. 

The complete Constitutional Conversations series consists of:

1. Constitutions, referendums and the family 2 March 2016, 14:00, Royal Irish Academy
2. Reviewing constitutions: the role of constitutional conventions   28 April 2016, 15:00, Royal Irish Academy
3.1 Constitutions and these islands: beyond Brexit: Part I-Dublin   6 May 2016, 10:30, Royal Irish Academy
3.2 Constitutions and these islands: beyond Brexit: Part II-Belfast    15 September 2016, Queen's University Belfast
4. The idea of a republic: freedom and politics  8 June 2016, 18:00, Royal Irish Academy
5. Digital citizenship 30 June 2016, 14:00, Royal Irish Academy
6. Commemorations and the constitution   September 2016, Royal Irish Academy


The series is organised by the RIA's Ethical, Political, Legal and Philosophical Studies Committee with sponsorship from Mason Hayes & Curran.


Tabhair tacaíocht do thodhchaí an léinn in Éirinn

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