Brian McLoghlin, Chairman and David O'Brien, CEO, Limerick Civic Trust at St Mary's Cathedral, Limerick

Brian McLoghlin, Chairman and David O’Brien, CEO, Limerick Civic Trust at St Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick

Limerick Civic Trust has announced details of its 2016 Autumn Lecture Series which will take place in the unique setting of St Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick.

Sponsored by UL’s Kemmy Business School with support from the Limerick City & County Council, the six-part series of public lectures will be delivered by internationally renowned commentators and thought leaders in their field. The opening lecture on 7 September will be given by Quentin Peel of the Financial Times. He will be followed by historian and cultural critic Angus Mitchell, professor John O’Brennan, artist Robert Ballagh, Colm O’Gorman of Amnesty International and Dr Ed Walsh (see speaker biographies below).

The central theme for the lectures is ‘Peripherality and Centrality in Ireland and Europe’. Each lecture will commence at 7.30pm and will be moderated by Dr Michele O’Dwyer of Kemmy Business School, University of Limerick. Tickets cost €12 per lecture – concession and bundle tickets are also available.

David O’Brien, CEO of Limerick Civic Trust, commented:

“We are delighted with the calibre of speakers we are bringing to Kings Island, Limerick. There is no doubt that this Lecture Series will be inspiring and, inevitably, thought-provoking. We are also delighted to have the support of the Kemmy Business School. We hope that our lecture series will help educate and inspire our community.”


Wednesday 7 September

Quentin Peel, Chatham House and Financial Times
Brexit – The Inglorious Revolution!

Thursday 15 September

Angus Mitchell, historian and cultural critic
Commemoration: Why Bother?

Thursday 22 September

Professor John O’Brennan, Maynooth University
Crisis in the Neighbourhood: EU engagement with Russia and Turkey toward 2020

Thursday 29 September

Robert Ballagh, artist, painter and designer
Doppelgänger Provincialism: A compulsion to imitate rather than originate

Wednesday 5 October

Colm O’Gorman, Amnesty Ireland
So who can we trust? – Public discourse in a rapidly changing Ireland

Thursday 6 October

Enjoy a performance by Irish Chamber Orchestra

Thursday 13 October

Dr Edward Walsh, founding president of UL, principal of Oakhampton Consultants
Making Ireland great again!


Lecture time: 7.30pm – 9pm
Venue: St Mary’s Cathedral, Kings Island, Limerick
Moderator: Dr Michele O’Dwyer, Kemmy Business School, University of Limerick
General Admission €12 / Concessions €8 per lecture
General Admission €60 for the series / Concessions €36 for the series
After lecture supper at No.1 Pery Square with guest speaker: €40p/p

Bookings: or Email:
Tickets will also be available on the door

About the Speakers:

Quentin Peel

After a long career at the FT, Quentin Peel is an authority on many aspects of international relations, globalisation, economic development and the media. He has been an eye-witness reporter on the dramas unfolding on the international stage over the past four decades. He excels at relating politics and economics, with a bit of history and geography, to explain the tensions at work, and has interviewed many of the leading players, including Mikhail Gorbachev, Angela Merkel, Jacques Delors, Nelson Mandela and Kofi Annan.

He was a foreign correspondent for the FT in Johannesburg, Brussels, Moscow, Bonn and Berlin, and is now an associate fellow at Chatham House in London, the leading UK think tank for international affairs. Quentin’s wife is from Nenagh and the Peel family has spent their holidays in Tipperary seeking solace and inspiration for more than 30 years.

Angus Mitchell

Angus Mitchell is a historian and cultural critic. After an initial career in journalism reporting on film and media affairs in Spain and Brazil, he moved to Ireland where he has resided since 2000. Since then he has researched and published widely on a network of pacifists, anti-colonial activists and radical dissenters in the decades leading up to the outbreak of war in 1914.

In 2005 he was conferred with his PhD from the University of Limerick and since then he has lectured in the US and Ireland. His three edited volumes The Amazon Journal of Roger Casement (Lilliput, 1997), Sir Roger Casement’s Heart of Darkness (2003) and One Bold Deed of Open Treason (2016) have been instrumental in the current commemorative interest in Roger Casement’s place in the intellectual build-up to the 1916 Rising.

Beyond history, he works actively on questions to do with climate change and corporate responsibility. He lives in Limerick.

Professor John O’Brennan

John O’Brennan is from Foynes in County Limerick and is Jean Monnet Professor of European Integration at Maynooth University and Director of the Maynooth Centre for European and Eurasian Studies. He was previously a lecturer in politics at the University of Limerick and a research fellow at the EU Institute for Security Studies, Paris. He specialises in the external relations of the European Union, and, in particular, EU enlargement policy.

His work has appeared in leading academic journals such as the Cambridge Review of International Affairs, the European Foreign Affairs Review, Journal of European Integeation and many others. He has published two books on EU enlargement and is currently working on The EU and the Western Balkans: from stabilisation to integration. (Routledge, 2017). He also contributes regularly to national and international media discussion about the European Union.

Robert Ballagh

Robert Ballagh has been painting professionally since his first exhibition in Dublin in 1969. Ballagh’s work as a painter is represented in many important collections including the National Gallery of Ireland, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the Crawford Municipal Gallery, Cork, the Dublin City Gallery the Hugh Lane, the Ulster Museum and the Albrecht Dürer House, Nuremberg. Major survey exhibitions of his work have taken place in Lund, Warsaw, Moscow, and Sofia. In 2006 a career retrospective was staged in the RHA Gallery, Dublin.

Robert Ballagh has been an active campaigner for artists’ rights. He was the founding Chairperson of the Association of Artists in Ireland. In 1991 Robert Ballagh was elected chairperson of the national organizing committee for the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the 1916 rising. Also for 10 years, he chaired the national executive of the Irish National Congress a non-party political organization, working for peace, unity and justice in Ireland.

He is currently president of the Ireland Institute, a centre for historical and cultural studies and in 2000, he was one of the founders of the organization Le Chéile – artists against racism in Ireland. He is a fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science.
Robert Ballagh has been awarded an honorary doctorate in philosophy by the Dublin Institute of Technology and an honorary doctorate of literature by University College Dublin.

In 2016 Robert Ballagh received a special award from the Lord Mayor of Dublin in recognition of his decades of work as a leading visual artist and his major contribution, as an active citizen, to Dublin and to Ireland.

Colm O’Gorman

A native of County Wexford, Colm O’Gorman is the Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland.

He is the founder and former Director of One in Four, the national non-governmental organisation that supports women and men who have experienced sexual violence.

In this role Colm was instrumental in the establishment of the Ferns Inquiry, the first state investigation into clerical sexual abuse. During this time, Colm made a number of documentary films, including the BAFTA award-winning  A Family Affair (2000), Suing the Pope (2002) and Sex Crimes and The Vatican which he presented for BBC Panorama in 2006. Prior to his role with One in Four Colm worked as a psychotherapist in his own practice in London.

Colm has also served as a member of Seanad Éireann, having been appointed as a Senator in May 2007. He is a regular media commentator & contributor, essayist and the author of a best-selling memoir. Colm was one of the lead campaigners in the recent Marriage Equality Referendum in 2015.

Colm has also had significant involvement in the education sector. He was instrumental in the establishment of Gorey Educate Together National School, the first multi-denominational school to be opened in County Wexford. He served as chairperson of the board of management at the school for more than seven years.

Dr Ed Walsh

Edward M Walsh is the founding president of the University of Limerick, the first new university established by the Republic of Ireland: a post from which he retired in l998, after a 28-year term.

Dr Walsh has served as founding chairman of the Irish Council for Science Technology and Innovation, the National Technological Park, the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, and the National Self–Portrait Collection of Ireland.  He has also served as chairman of the Conference of Heads of Irish Universities and of Shannon Development. He chairs the advisory board of Barrington’s Hospital and serves on the boards of a number of other organisations.

Dr Walsh is a Freeman of the City of Limerick, a Member of the New York Academy of Science and the Royal Irish Academy, a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and an honorary member of the Royal Hibernian Academy of Arts.  He holds honorary doctorates from five universities.

Born in Cork in 1939, Dr Walsh is a graduate of the National University of Ireland and holds Masters and Doctorate qualifications in nuclear and electrical engineering from Iowa State University, where he was an Associate of the US Atomic Energy Commission Laboratory. He is a chartered engineer, a registered silversmith, an enthusiastic yachtsman and plays the violin, piano and clarinet badly.
His memoir, Upstart: Friends, Foes and Founding a University, was published by The Collins Press in 2012.

He is married with four children.