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Taoiseach to address high profile cross-border conference on Thursday

Posted By:
Foyle Port

28th Sep 2022

Taoiseach Micheál Martin will address the Centre for Cross Border Studies’ highly anticipated 23rd Annual Conference this Thursday, 29th September, at the Crowne Plaza Dundalk.

With Foyle Port as its headline sponsor, the Conference will focus on Commitment, Resilience and Perseverance: New challenges and approaches to cross-border cooperation, mobility, and relations, exploring crucial issues across two days, bringing together government officials, policy experts and leaders of civic society and academia.

The Taoiseach will deliver a keynote speech focused on his Government’s commitment to work with all communities on the island to build consensus around a shared future, underpinned by the Good Friday Agreement.

Other speakers include:

  • British Ambassador to Ireland, Paul Johnston.
  • Chief Executive of South Tyrone Empowerment Programme, Bernadette McAliskey.
  • Director of the Office of the First Minister of Wales, Desmond Clifford.
  • Alliance Party Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Sorcha Eastwood MLA.
  • Ulster Unionist Party Policy Officer, Lauren Kerr.
  • Director of Public Policy at The Wheel, Ivan Cooper.
  • Assistant General Secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, Owen Reidy.
  • Partner at Flint Global, Sam Lowe.
  • Vice President and Registrar at Dundalk Institute of Technology, Dr Sheila Flanagan.
  • Executive Dean at Dublin City University Institute of Education, Professor Anne Looney.
  • Research Fellow at Queens University Belfast, Dr Lisa Claire Whitten.
  • President of the EU-UK Follow-up Committee of the EESC, Jack O’Connor.


A business breakfast and three panels focused on cooperation, mobility and relations will also take place with a dinner later that evening that will have Brian Rowan (author and former BBC correspondent) as a guest speaker. A technical workshop focused on practical issues affecting cross-border and all-island organisations will be held on 30 September.

Taoiseach, Micheál Martin said:

“The interconnected nature of communities on our island has come into sharp focus over the last few years. Whether it is healthcare, transportation or infrastructure, there are real benefits to working together to address shared challenges and opportunities. I am very much looking forward to attending the Centre for Cross Border Studies’ Annual Conference, and to engaging on their theme of new challenges and approaches to cross-border cooperation, and on the importance of working with all communities on this island to build consensus around a shared future, underpinned by the Good Friday Agreement.”

Director of the Centre for Cross Border Studies, Dr Anthony Soares said:


“We are very much looking forward to our first in-person Annual Conference since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. The last two years have shown how the success of these islands is interdependent and based on mutual understanding, respect, and co-operation on issues of shared concern.

“Our Annual Conference is an opportunity for policy-makers and decision-makers to discuss ideas and address pertinent issues on the island of Ireland, the UK and the EU. As we approach the 25th anniversary of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement our hope is that Thursdays conference will serve as a starting point for the restoration of mutual dialogue, based on the ethos of the Agreement, to solve the problems surrounding the current political crises in our institutions.

“The Centre encourages anyone interested in taking part in this conversation to attend our Annual Conference to gain a deeper understanding of our rooted interdependence and need for co-operation on a variety of fronts.”