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'Church of Ireland: Disestablishment and beyond'


Thursday, February 27, 2020, 13:15 - 18:00


Academy House, 19 Dawson Street, Dublin 2


Full Price: €15 Concession (student, retired, unemployed): €10 Members: email

This half-day conference is produced in partnership with the Church of Ireland as part of the Church’s National Programme commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Disestablishment of the Church of Ireland. 

Registration with refreshments is at 13:15, with the conference commencing at 13:50. There will be a wine reception following the closing of the conference at 18:00.


The conference will commence with an introduction to and discussion of the concepts of ‘Establishment’ and ‘Disestablishment’ and the transition between the two, to contextualise the subject and the subsequent panel discussions.

Consequences: the first hundred years, 1869–1969

While the legislative act of Disestablishment was an event, the process of adapting the newly Disestablished Church to the social, political and cultural changes of late 19th century Ireland was much more complex. Panel two’s discussion of the hundred years between 1869–1969 will include themes such as the Church of Ireland and politics; church life, organisations and worship; cross-border factors, church-state relations; contributions to Irish life; the ecumenical landscape; and the Church of Ireland and the wider world. 

Challenges: since 1969

Panel three will focus on the church-state interface since 1969 and looking to the future, both North and South, with particular emphasis on the contributions and challenges of the Church of Ireland. The discussion will cover themes such as education; the roles of church and state and how they relate to each other; health; and secularisation.

Click here to download the progamme.

Panel chairs

  • Professor James Kelly MRIA (DCU)
  • Ms Áine Lawlor
  • Revd Trevor Sargent


  • Senator Ivana Bacik
  • Dr Marie Coleman (Queen’s University Belfast)
  • Professor Vincent Comerford (Maynooth University)
  • Dr Ian d’Alton (Trinity College Dublin)
  • Professor Alan Ford (The University of Nottingham)
  • Professor Jacqueline Hill, MRIA (Maynooth University)
  • Revd Professor Anne Lodge (Dublin City University)
  • Dr Martin Mansergh, MRIA
  • Dr Miriam Moffitt (St Patrick’s College, Maynooth)
  • Dr Andrew Pierce (Trinity College Dublin)

Steering Committee

  • Andrew Power (Chair), Vice-chair of RIA Ethical, Political, Legal and Philosophical Studies Committee
  • Daniel Faas, RIA Social Sciences Committee
  • Raymond Gillespie, MRIA
  • Susan Hood, Church of Ireland RCB Library
  • Caoimhe Leppard, Office of the Archbishop of Dublin
  • Philip McKinley, DCU Chaplain
  • Pauline McNamara, RIA Programme Manager
  • Ida Milne, RIA Historical Studies Committee
  • Dáithí Ó Corráin, RIA Historical Studies Committee

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