Looking Ahead: Beyond the Troubles and Brexit, to Protecting the Peace
October 30, 2019
Northern Ireland Peace on the Eve of Brexit: Resilience & Reconciliation Through Art & Storytelling
An exploration featuring music, film, and discussions, supported by a two-week art installation examining conflict and cooperation during the Troubles and since.
The third and final program co-hosted by NYU Washington, DC and the Irish Network DC featured an evening discussion and stories about life in Northern Ireland, the peace process and Brexit.
Guest speakers for the evening included Margery Myers, Widow of Robert P.Myers, Jr. (US Consul General Aug. 1986 - April 1989); Aideen Gilmore, formerly with Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ) in Belfast; Shane Greer, a businessman and investor based in D.C. who currently owns the firm Campaigns & Elections and is a trustee of Integrated AlumNI, a non-profit that promotes integrated education in Northern Ireland; and Brian Cahalane, currently First Secretary with the Embassy of Ireland in Washington, D.C., and previously the Deputy Joint Secretary for the British-Irish Secretariat and before that the Deputy Political Director for Northern Ireland Issues, all with the Department of Foreign Affairs of Ireland.
The keynote speaker was the Irish Ambassador to the United States, Daniel Mulhall, who talked about the role of the arts in Ireland, Peace Process and what Brexit may bring.
The 30-year social, religious, tribal, and economic conflict known as the Troubles came to a formal end with the Good Friday Agreement of April 1998, but now Brexit threatens that fragile peace. Through film, music, art, storytelling and special guests, NYU Washington, DC and the Irish Network DC explored the complex progress of healing a divided society. A visual art exhibit showcased art about the conflict and its legacy and ran from October 16-30, 2019. All events were at New York University’s Constance Milstein and Family Global Academic Center located in downtown D.C.
Please note that this event may have been filmed and/or photographed.
Daniel Mulhall took up duty as Ireland's 18th Ambassador to the United States in August 2017. He was born and brought up in Waterford and undertook his undergraduate and post-graduate studies at University College Cork where he specialised in modern Irish history.
Ambassador Mulhall joined the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1978 and had his early diplomatic assignments in New Delhi, Vienna (OSCE), Brussels (European Union) and Edinburgh where he was Ireland's first Consul General, 1998-2001. He served as Ireland's Ambassador to Malaysia (2001-05), where he was also accredited to Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. In 2005, he was conferred with an Honorary Fellowship by the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland for his work in connection with the Asian tsunami. From 2009 to 2013, he was Ireland's Ambassador to Germany.
Before coming to Washington, he served as Ireland's Ambassador in London (2013-17). During his time in Britain, he was a regular speaker on political, literary and historical topics at Universities all over the country, including at Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Durham, King's College London and the London School of Economics. He also spoke at the Oxford Literary Festival, the Newbury Festival, the Liverpool Literary Festival and the Edinburgh International Book Festival. He was a regular speaker at the University of Liverpool's Institute of Irish Studies and is an Honorary Fellow at the Institute. Before departing for Washington, he was made a Freeman of the City of London in recognition of his work as Ambassador.
During his diplomatic career, Ambassador Mulhall has also held a number of positions at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, including as Director-General for European Affairs, 2005-2009. He also served as a member of the Secretariat of the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation (1994-95) which was set up in 1994 in order to promote political dialogue between different political traditions in Ireland. From 1994-98, he was the Department's Press Counsellor and in that capacity was part of the Irish Government's delegation at the time of the Good Friday Agreement 1998.
Ambassador Mulhall maintains a keen interest in Irish history and literature. He is the author of A New Day Dawning: A Portrait of Ireland in 1900 (Cork, 1999) and co-editor of The Shaping of Modern Ireland: A Centenary Assessment (Dublin, 2016) and has made numerous contributions to books, newspapers and journals published in Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and Britain.
A keen advocate of public diplomacy, Ambassador Mulhall makes regular use of social media in order to provide information on the work of the Embassy, to highlight Ireland’s achievements and to engage with Irish communities and those with an interest in Ireland. During his time in Washington, he will provide daily updates on Twitter @DanMulhall and through regular blogs to be posted on the Embassy's website.
Daniel Mulhall is married to Greta and they have a daughter and a son.
Brian Cahalane, Irish Foreign Service Officer
Brian Cahalane has been an Irish Foreign Service Officer since 1992 and in addition to the Embassy in Washington, D.C. where he has served for four years, he has served at Ireland’s Missions to the UN in New York and Geneva as well as at the Permanent Representation to the EU in Brussels. He worked on Northern Ireland issues in Belfast and in Dublin, when he travelled extensively to Belfast, Derry and elsewhere. In other roles at HQ, he worked with the Irish Parliament as Adviser to the Foreign Affairs and European Affairs Committees, and in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on Development, UN, Conflict Resolution and International Terrorism issues.
Shane Greer, Owner, Campaigns & Elections
Shane Greer is a businessman and investor based in Washington, D.C. He currently owns Campaigns & Elections, an international trade media business that serves the political campaign industry. Greer attended Northern Ireland's first planned integrated school, Lagan College, and is a trustee of Integrated AlumNI, a non-profit that promotes integrated education.
Aideen Gilmore, Acting Head of Training, Technical Assistance & Networking, International Budget Partnership (IBP)
Aideen Gilmore is the acting Head of Training, Technical Assistance & Networking team’s in the International Budget Partnership (IBP). In this role she leads IBP’s efforts to build the capacity of civil society organizations around the world to perform analysis of and advocacy on public finance and fiscal justice issues. Prior to joining IBP, Aideen was an independent consultant conducting research, policy analysis, evaluation and strategic support on issues of human rights, equality and justice for a range of international and domestic civil society organizations. Aideen was previously Deputy Director of the Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ) – a leading human rights nongovernmental organization in Northern Ireland – where she was responsible for leading and developing the organization’s policy and advocacy strategy. Aideen also previously worked in the Human Rights Unit of the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin. She graduated with a BA (Hons) in Government and Law in 1996 and an MA in Administrative and Legal Studies in 1997, both from the University of Ulster.
Margery Myers, former Family Physician
Margery Myers is the widow of Robert P Myers, Jr who was US Consul General from 1986-1989. She was a Family Physician and while in Northern Ireland (on a 6 month sabbatical) made regular visits to Americans hospitalized at the Royal Victoria Hospital. The most famous patient was Matthew Broderick; the longest staying was horsewoman and artist from NY who survived 2 months in the ICU after a terrible accident.