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Former Irish President to Speak at St Mary's

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Prof Mary McAleese, former President of Ireland and Distinguished Professor of Irish Studies at St Mary’s University, Twickenham will take part in a discussion event at the University this evening. This event is part of the British Association of Irish Studies’ (BAIS) annual conference which St Mary’s is hosting from the 4th to 5th September. The theme of this year’s conference is Ireland: Agents of Social Transformation and keynote speakers include Prof McAleese, Prof Patrick Lonergan from University College Galway and Dr Linda Connolly from University College Cork. Prof McAleese will be interviewed by Prof Mary Hickman, Research Fellow at St Mary’s University, and will discuss her time as President as well as some of the changes she has witnessed in Ireland over the past thirty years. This will be the first time Prof McAleese speaks at St Mary’s since it was announced that she will join as a Distinguished Professor in Irish Studies. She will take up this new role in January 2016. Director of the Centre for Irish Studies at St Mary’s Prof Lance Pettitt said, ‘”I am delighted to welcome Dr McAleese to St Mary’s. The BAIS conference is an important forum to discuss major issues facing Ireland in the 21st century and I look forward to Mary’s contribution to this debate’. The event has been sponsored by the Irish Embassy in the United Kingdom and the BAIS. About the Centre for Irish Studies The St Mary’s Centre for Irish Studies offers London’s only MA in Irish Studies. Prof Mary McAleese is joining St Mary’s as a Distinguished Visiting Professor in 2015/16 and other Faculty staff include: Prof Mary Hickman, Prof Shaun Richards, Prof Lance Pettitt, Drs Keith Hopper, Ivan Gibbons, Michelle Paull and Richard Mills. Research and teaching is interdisciplinary with strengths in and across the disciplines of history, sociology, literature, film and cultural theory relating to Ireland and its diaspora. About British Association for Irish Studies The British Association for Irish Studies is a charitable organisation that was established in 1985. Its aim is to encourage and support Irish cultural activities, and the study of Ireland and Irish culture, in Britain. The role of the BAIS is to promote knowledge and understanding of a) Ireland and the relations between the peoples of the two islands; b) the experience of the Irish in Britain and their contribution to British society. The Association has sought to achieve its goals at both university and school level and it has also worked with Irish community groups.
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