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Confessions of a disappointed Irish unificationist


Thursday, November 25, 2021, 18:00 - 19:30




€5 (Members contact

Paul Bew MRIA faces up to the polarising impact of Brexit and more surprisingly the recent historical commemorations north and south in this Academy Discourse, sponsored by Mason Hayes & Curran LLP.

About the Discourse

Lord Bew comes from a family of mixed heritage with a Cork born mother and a Belfast born father. He served for long spells as a member of an all-ireland party and all-ireland bodies. His talk faces up to the polarising impact of Brexit and more surprisingly the recent historical commemorations north and south. He argues that the mutual willingness to compromise which is at the heart of the Good Friday Agreement is under serious and destabilising threat.


Lord Bew (Paul) is Emeritus Professor of Irish Politics at Queen’s University Belfast.  He studied for his BA and PhD at Pembroke College, Cambridge 1968-1974. His academic research has focussed on Irish history and politics.  Among his most recent books are Ireland: The Politics of Enmity 1789-2006 (Oxford University Press, 2007); The Making and Remaking of the Good Friday Agreement, (Liffey Press, 2007) and A New Life of Charles Stewart Parnell (Gill and Macmillan 2011).   

Lord Bew is also a frequent commentator on Northern Irish politics in Irish and British media.  He has previously acted as historical advisor to the Bloody Sunday Tribunals, served as an informal advisor to David Trimble and made extensive contributions to the Good Friday Agreement process.  In February 2007, he was appointed as a life peer to the House of Lords where he sits as an Independent crossbencher.  He is currently Chair of the House of Lords Appointments Commission and also of the Northern Ireland Centenary Historical Advisory Panel. 

Lord Bew is a Member of the Irish Royal Academy and an honorary Fellow of Pembroke College, Cambridge.

Our respondent for this Discourse will be Jennifer Todd MRIA, Emeritus Professor, School of Politics and International Relations, UCD and Research Director, Institute for British-Irish Studies.

Image Roger Harris, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The 2021/22 Discourse Series is sponsored by Mason, Hayes & Curran LLP.

Tabhair tacaíocht do thodhchaí an léinn in Éirinn

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