The 37th annual MacGill Summer School gets underway in Glenties today.

This year’s summer school will take place against a background of political uncertainty in Ireland -North and South - and international instability and turbulence.

High on the agenda will be, not unexpectedly, Brexit, with growing anxiety that the negotiations between Britain and the European Union will create a difficult situation for Ireland, North and South.

Serious economic and political challenges will have to be confronted and dealt with skilfully, imaginatively and effectively by political leaders and all institutions of both jurisdictions. 

The MacGill School will also focus on the fallout from Brexit but not without taking account of the broader picture of the state of the European Union itself and what its future shape and direction should be and what role Ireland, as the only English-speaking member state, can play in its future development.

MacGill will kick off on this evening with the 17th annual John Hume Lecture, delivered by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney TD.

On Monday, a session entitled, Brexit, The Certainties, The Uncertainties and The Unknown? will have an expert panel of speakers whose contributions will be followed by a forum open to the public. 

On that afternoon, an open forum for the public will also follow the address by the EU Commissioner for the Security Union, Sir Julian King, on a topic that is crucially important to all of us across Europe: security from terrorism be it attacks on the lives of citizens or, in the form of cyber attacks,  on our socio/economic and political institutions.

However, Brexit and Europe is only part of a broad agenda for this year’s MacGill School which will include, as usual, reform of the country’s institutions and the absolute need for longer-term planning, better governance and making our institutions fit for purpose.

More than fifty contributors from Ireland and abroad, will assemble in Glenties for what is now generally recognised as one of our most important and relevant national fora.

The full programme and more information is available on our website http://www.macgillsummerschool.com.

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