CONFERENCE | Troubles, Tragedy & Trauma 3


Troubles, Tragedy & Trauma 3: The Future of Unionism in Northern Ireland

Friday 2 February 2018, 7.30pm

The third in our annual series of public events examining the legacy of the Northern Ireland troubles is entitled "The Future of Unionism in Northern Ireland".

Since the Good Friday Agreement nearly twenty years ago the nature of Ulster Unionism has changed out of all recognition. The previous dominance of the Ulster Unionist party which governed Northern Ireland for fifty years up until 1972 has now been totally usurped by the populist Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) which not only now holds the balance of power at Westminster but up until the current political impasse has been running Stormont together with Sinn Fein for the past decade.

Now is a crucial time to re-assess the current prospects and possible futures for Unionism in Northern Ireland. Brexit, the collapse of power-sharing, renewed demands for Irish reunification and the ongoing tortuous relationship with both Dublin and London make this event highly relevant and topical.

Our panel will be chaired by Susan McKay and the panel will include:

Linda Ervine

Linda Ervine (sister of the late David Ervine) has the unlikely responsibility of being the first Irish Language Officer based in a loyalist area. She was introduced to the language through a cross community taster session in East Belfast Mission, a Methodist Church on the Newtownards Road. When she began learning Irish in 2011, no one would have conceived of the idea of an Irish language centre in the heart of east Belfast. Today Linda oversees 13 Irish language class, dance, music and Welsh classes, which bring together people from all parts of Belfast.

In 2013 Linda received the Roll of Honour in the Aisling Award for her work promoting the Irish language. In 2015 she received the Community Relations Council (CRC) Civic Leadership Award for her commitment to Turas, an Irish Language project at East Belfast Mission.

Mike Nesbitt

Mike Nesbitt was leader of the Ulster Unionist Party from 2012 to 2017. He is a former journalist and presenter on both BBC Northern Ireland and UTV. He is regarded as being on the politically liberal wing of Ulster Unionism.

Sam McBride

Sam McBride is political editor of the Belfast Newsletter, having joined the paper in 2007 after beginning his career at the Belfast Telegraph. He is also Northern Ireland political editor for the ‘I’ newspaper.He is a regular presence on radio and television, giving analysis of events which impact on Northern Irish politics.As well as covering developments at Stormont and Westminster, Sam has reported from Afghanistan, Washington, London and Strasbourg.

Susan McKay

Susan McKay is a well known journalist, commentator and author from Derry.  She is writing a book about the Irish border. She currently contributes to the New York Times, London Review of Books, the Irish Times and RTE, BBC and TV3. Her  books include « Bear in Mind These Dead » (Faber, 2007) and « Northern Protestants - An Unsettled People » (Blackstaff, 2000). 

TICKETS | £15 full £10 conc.

DOORS | 7.00pm

VENUE | The Irish Cultural Centre, 5 Black's Road, Hammersmith, W6 9DT