The Future of Anglo-Irish Relations

IIEA26th May 20213min
Marking the IIEA’s 30th Anniversary, we are delighted to host a panel discussion exploring the future of Anglo-Irish relations, north-south and east-west.


The political, economic and social disruption caused by Brexit brought a renewed focus to the Good Friday Agreement and to Anglo-Irish relations.  This year, relationships between Dublin, London and Belfast have once again come under strain, as the complexities regarding the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol became clear. At the same time heightened tensions within Northern Ireland have become a cause for concern.

Against this backdrop, the IIEA gathers a panel of politicians and experts, moderated by Journalist and Broadcaster, Dearbhail McDonald, to share their perspectives on the future of Anglo-Irish relations in the short-to-medium term and to look further ahead to consider what relations may look like 30 years from now.


About the Speakers:

  • Matt Carthy is a Sinn Féin TD for Cavan-Monaghan and serves as the party’s Spokesperson on Agriculture. He sits on both the Oireachtas Agricultural and the Public Accounts Committees. He previously served as an MEP for the Midlands-Northwest Constituency from 2014 to 2020. Deputy Carthy previously chaired Sinn Féin’s Uniting Ireland project group.
  • Dr Katy Hayward is Professor of Political Sociology at Queen’s University Belfast and a Senior Fellow of the UK in a Changing Europe think-tank. An internationally recognised expert on Brexit and Northern Ireland/Ireland, particularly with respect to the Irish border, she is also an Eisenhower Fellow (2019) and a Fellow in the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice at Queen’s University.
  • The Rt Hon Julian Smith served as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland from July 2019 to February 2020. Described as the “most successful Secretary for Northern Ireland in over a decade”, during his 8-month tenure, power-sharing was restored and a Brexit agreement avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland was reached. Mr. Smith has been Conservative MP for Skipton and Ripon since 2010.
  • Claire Sugden is an Independent MLA for East Londonderry, a seat she has held since 2014. An independent Unionist, she served as Minister for Justice of Northern Ireland from May 2016 to March 2017. Prior to becoming an MLA, she served on Coleraine Borough Council from 2013 to 2014. She received her BA in Politics and her MA in Irish Politics from Queen’s University Belfast.
  • Dearbhail McDonald is an award-winning Journalist, Author and Broadcaster. She previously presented ‘Sunday with Dearbhail’ on BBC Radio Ulster and served as Group Business Editor of Independent News and Media. She is an Eisenhower Fellow and holds an LL.B from Trinity College Dublin and an MA in Journalism from Dublin City University.