The Siege of Queen’s University, October 1971

Adam McGibbon is a writer, campaigner, and a former vice president for welfare at QUB Students Union. Last year, the old Queen’s University Students’ Union building – with its decades of history – was pulled down. Few know that in 1971, 50 years ago this week, it was the site of a police and army siege, an incident which made headlines across the UK and Ireland – and involved a future British Prime Minister. BBC Rewind (login required) has preserved …

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Lecture – Rory Montgomery: ‘The Good Friday Agreement and a United Ireland’

The former Irish ambassador to the EU, Rory Montgomery, delivered his inaugural lecture as honorary professor of practice at the QUB Mitchell Institute on Tuesday evening. His topic – The Good Friday Agreement and a United Ireland – had a contemporary feel as the civic conversation intensifies around whether to and how to hold border polls. The 45 minute lecture was followed by half an hour of questions from the audience moderated by Professor Christopher McCrudden.  While Belfast Agreement …

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Michel Barnier speaking about #Brexit and the EU at QUB this evening (video + speech)

Making his third visit to Northern Ireland in the role of EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier addressed a packed audience in Queen’s University Belfast’s Riddel Hall this evening. Watch back the video of his lecture and read extracts from his speech.

Paraphrasing what I heard: the UK can no longer dip its hand into the EU sweetie jar as those treats are only for the 27 members. Anyone hoping for a softer edge to Brexit may think again.

GE2019: Post-Election Analysis and Implications for Brexit…

Free Event: Tuesday 17 December at 12.30pm Bell Lecture Theatre, Main Campus, Queen’s University Belfast  Why not come along for some post-election dissection with a side of Brexit analysis thrown in! Boris Johnson’s call for a general election was finally heard, and as we all know by now, UK voters are off to the polls on the 12th December for what commentators are calling the most important election in a generation! Join us at Queen’s University on the 17th December …

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Northern Ireland Social Science Festival launches programme…

Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University are again coming together to launch a packed programme of talks, workshops, plays and interactive activities that showcase the range and quality of social science research being carried out in Northern Ireland. The Northern Ireland ESRC Festival of Social Science kicks off across Northern Ireland in various venues from 2 – 9 November 2019. The UK-wide Festival of Social Science is run by the Economic and Social Research Council, and aims to open up …

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George Hamilton: it will be the failure of our generation if we do not reinvigorate our efforts

With only seven and a half weeks left of his five year term as PSNI Chief Constable, George Hamilton delivered a lecture at Queen’s University this evening to “help signpost the next steps for policing with the community”. He called out those “across the political spectrum … [who] have too often defaulted to the blame game … finding it easier to blame the police without taking any responsibility for the context in which police are being asked to operate”. Hamilton …

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Review of Guy Beiner’s “Forgetful Remembrance: Social Forgetting and Vernacular Historiography of a Rebellion in Ulster”

“This is the past and it has to stay in the past. We don’t want to see any more of it.” Forgetful Remembrance: Social Forgetting and Vernacular Historiography of a Rebellion in Ulster, Guy Beiner, Oxford University Press, 2018. Over the weekend the PSNI were called to manage an incident with a car bomb within the Walls of Derry. The car was parked in Bishop’s Street, just by the courthouse and directly across the road from the Masonic Centre that …

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Should Queen’s University break its link with The Presbyterian Union Theological College?

There has been a public backlash against the perceived anti-LGBTQ policies of the Presbyterian Church. Many people have left the church over it, and many more are considering their position. The writer Tony Macaulay and his wife Leslie have left the church after more than 50 years of membership, and decades of inspiring service. Tony was a youth worker for the Presbyterian Church on a violent interface during some of the most dangerous years of the Troubles. Their daughter is …

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Mary Lou McDonald: Intergovernmental Conference needed, not a shadow Assembly that gives “a veneer of accountability to direct rule”

Speaking at QUB this evening, Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald once again dismissed the idea of a transitional Assembly during the ongoing political stalemate, saying that it would give “a veneer of accountability to direct rule”. Instead, she said the British Irish Intergovernmental Conference should be convened to “produce … a pathway to bring forward the legislation and resources to secure these rights and implement the agreements”.

Leo Varadkar: “we need to build more bridges and fewer borders”

LEO VARADKAR delivered a robust but polite lecture at Queen’s University Belfast this morning, his first public engagement in Northern Ireland in his new role as Taoiseach. The artfully crafted speech quoted local poets and Winston Churchill as well as ending with a positive story that echoed something he’d recently heard Jeffrey Donaldson say in Dublin. This was not a speech that intended to be divisive. It offered a partial policy framework, but very little in the way of absolute red lines or dogmatic solutions. However, they were definitely not the words of a political pushover.

A tribute to Patrick Johnston – Vice-Chancellor of Queens University

There was palpable shock and genuine grief among the staff of Queens on Sunday evening following announcement of the death of the Vice-Chancellor, Paddy Johnston. A top flight academic and brilliant administrator had died suddenly in his prime when he had so much more to give. We were in the same year at St Columb’s College, Derry during the first half of the 1970s. He being a day boy and I being a boarder, and being in different classes of …

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Queen’s Hosts Interactive Showcase ‘Global Thinking Locally’ at Belfast City Hall tomorrow

  Queen’s University Belfast will be hosting an interactive showcase event at Belfast City Hall to demonstrate the impact the University has on the community in Belfast and across the globe. The showcase will take place on Tuesday, 30 May 2017 from 10am – 2.30pm in the Great Hall at Belfast City Hall. There will be over 30 interactive exhibitions from a range of Queen’s world-leading experts and researchers showcasing their work under the themes of Future Cities, Healthy Citizens, …

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Ancient Greek and Roman History: Lessons for Northern Ireland society

Recent comments by Queen’s University Belfast Vice Chancellor Patrick Johnston about the possible value of studying ancient history have sparked a fascinating debate about the relevance of historical scholarship for addressing issues in contemporary Northern Ireland society. The particular time period mentioned in the VC’s interview with the Belfast Telegraph was the 6th Century. We would suggest that delving back even further in the mists of time to that other 6th Century – the 6th Century BC – is a …

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Fossil Free QUB stage a sit in to raise the issue of Fossil Fuel divestment

SIT INS: This caught my eye last night, but over the past few weeks a group called Fossil Free QUB have staged a number of protests about the issue of the university investing in Fossil Fuels. However, last night the group have occupied the Administration Building on the campus and have vowed now to leave until the university acts on this issue.