News & Events


The Ulster Covenant and Contemporary Ireland

Linen Hall Library, Belfast
Saturday, 22 September 2012










From l-r: Rev Brian Kennaway, Prof John Coakley, Dr Margaret O'Callaghan
Lord Trimble, Prof Graham Walker, Dr Brian Feeney, Sir George Quigley
Dr Paula Devine


Organised jointly by the Irish Association and IBIS, this conference explored the meaning of the Ulster Covenant for broader political life in the island of Ireland. The morning session addressed the historical background to the Covenant and looked at its political significance, concluding with a round-table discussion of the role of the Covenant in the twentieth century. The afternoon session examined the implications of political, social, demographic and attitudinal change for the values expressed in the Covenant in the early twenty-first century.

Joint Chairs: Rev Brian Kennaway and Sir George Quigley

Panel Speakers: Prof John Coakley (University College Dublin), Ed Curran OBE, Dr Paula Devine (Queen's University Belfast), Dr Brian Feeney (Irish News), Michael McDowell SC, Dr Margaret O'Callaghan (Queen's University Belfast), Lord Trimble of Lisnagarvey, Prof Graham Walker (Queen's University Belfast). 

For the conference programme click here

For panel bios click here

Papers and Presentations  
John Coakley The Ulster Covenant - Presentation
Ed Curran The Ulster Covenant then and now
Paula Devine Protestants and Identity: the legacy of the Ulster Covenant
Brian Feeney The Ulster Covenant: A contemporary perspective
Michael McDowell The Ulster Covenant from a republican and nationalist perspective
Margaret O'Callaghan               Democratisation and polarisation in Ireland: the Covenant and the Third Home Rule Bill

IBIS is grateful to the Dept of Foreign Affairs and Trade for their support of this conference