Brendan Halligan saluted a new book written by IIEA Senior Fellow Tony Brown yesterday at the Institute of International and European Affairs in Dublin. The launch of Vision and Reality – A History of 25 Years of the Institute of International and European Affairs was launched to coincide with the Annual General Meeting of the Institute, and was received with huge enthusiasm by Institute members and attendees at the event.
Halligan praised the book itself for its broad vision: that of capturing the history and development of the Institute in one comprehensive tome. Its seven chapters take us from the origins of the organisation through its actual founding, the nuts and bolts of its development and implementation, the progression of its concept of scholarship, dialogue and activism, the exploration of the many issues it has addressed, and its embracing of the new issues like Climate Change and the digital world.
He noted that “Vision and Reality” is commendable not only for its meticulous attention to detail, but its fine writing style, which allows the reader to enjoy and fully appreciate the depth and breadth of its subject. (more…)
Marian Finucane: … but first … a political story of particular importance to women. This week, for the first time, an elected representative of one of the three main political parties went on record as supporting the introduction of abortion into this country. The politician is Labour Euro MP Brendan Halligan, and he took the step when he voted in the European Parliament’s Debate on Women in Strasbourg on Tuesday. His action is likely to cause him problems within his own party and is something bound to come up at the Euro elections in June. But this was only one amendment in a debate on women that was far-ranging and in the main constructive. Brendan Halligan, you are hot off the plane from Strasbourg having been at the Debate on Women of the European Parliament. How would you describe what took place there?
Brendan Halligan: Well, I described it in a speech as a very historic day for the European Parliament, it was the first time that I think any parliament anywhere in Europe has given an entire day – it was a very special session – to a debate on the situation of women. What the Parliament was debating was in fact a 550-page report that I have here on the table in front of me, which literally examined the situation of women in every aspect of life, within every country. It is to the credit of the European Parliament that it has done something that all the other parliaments have lacked the courage to do an do. I would suggest that the 550-page report exceeds anything that has been done by any research institute, sociological university or whatever. The debate itself is really saying that women are discriminated against in a whole variety of ways in this society, and that this must be ended, and it called on the ten member states to act in unison to take corrective measures. (more…)
A new version of Capital City Dublin 1974-75, a film by Brendan Halligan and Jim Mulkerns, will have a special advance-launch screening as part of Ireland’s Culture Night, on 16 September, 2016.
The film is a new DVD version of a previously unreleased short film made just over forty years ago, when Dublin looked more like a post-war European city in 1946 than a nineteen-seventies European capital. As Secretary of the Irish Labour Party in 1969, Brendan Halligan had originally commissioned independent film maker Jim Mulkerns to film the city as part of footage to be used for party political broadcasts. After filming more material for another party political broadcast in 1973, following which Labour came into power in the National Coalition Government, they worked together to produce a documentary. The idea was to show it to various public authorities with the idea of letting the images speak for themselves and hopefully prompt action.
For many years the film existed in silent celluloid only, under the preservation care of the Irish Film Archive. Then, on the film’s fortieth Anniversary, the idea of a creating a new version of the film came about. Sunniva O’Flynn and Raelene Casey of the Irish Film Archive facilitated conversion of a digital copy of Capital City Dublin 1974-75 for Scáthán, Brendan Halligan’s own publications and media imprint. Design and technical production on the project came from Jim Mulkerns’s daughter Helena, whose company Cyberscribe created the 2016 titles and look.
Next came a new original soundtrack from Dublin musician Josh Johnston. Johnston, who had previously worked with the Irish Film Archive as a live accompanist for screenings of his Grandfather Denis’s film, Guests of the Nation, was struck by the feel of the silent footage, and used the same “live” accompaniment technique to create the new Capital City soundtrack. It lends a haunting new aspect to the film.
With a launch and select distribution of the DVD to take place in the coming months, this special screening for Culture Night, 16 September 2016, will take place at Dublin’s Unitarian Church on Stephen’s Green at 10pm.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I’m very glad to be here with you this evening. This has been a turbulent and interesting few weeks for everyone with an interest in Irish or European affairs. It has been especially interesting for those of us with a strong interest in both! Tonight we are honouring Brendan Halligan and his immense contribution to Irish and European public life.
Brendan Halligan is a giant of modern Ireland. Founder and Chairman of the Institute of International and European Affairs, Ireland’s number 1 think tank. One of Ireland’s foremost public intellectuals. A former MEP, Senator, TD and General Secretary of the Labour Party. An economist. An expert on ancient Irish language and culture. An advocate for the transition to a green energy future. An environmentalist. A keen student of the rise of China. A Chevalier of the Legion d’Honneur – the highest civilian honour in France. A great raconteur, a lover of Sancerre and most importantly of all – a Southsider and a great supporter of the Dubs!
In some ways, the timing of this event is very appropriate. The chaos arising from the UK referendum has really brought home how important it is that we talk about Europe and we understand the European project, for we are all, as Brendan realised before many, Europeans. (more…)
On 19 May, prior to the historic British vote on 23 June 2016, the IIEA held a timely conference in the AVIVA stadium which explored the implications of BREXIT for both the UK and Ireland.
The event was attended by a range of experts and sponsored by law firm McCann Fitzgerald, and for more information you check this link.
Brendan Halligan’s contribution to the event can be heard as a podcast posted on the IIEA website, at this link
On Tuesday, 19 April 2016, Brendan Halligan was conferred with France’s highest civilian Honour: l’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur. To see the full gallery of photos of the event, click here.
Economist, politician and academic, Brendan Halligan has extensive experience as an activist in the European arena. He is the founder and current Chairman of the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA) a leading European think tank on European and International issues. He was appointed as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from 1983 until 1984, where he specialised in economic affairs and energy policy.
In a letter confirming the award, French Secretary of State for European Affairs Harlem Désir noted that the President of the French Republic had granted the distinction of Chevalier to honour “the remarkable merit” of Mr Halligan’s personal and professional achievements. It continued that the award is also in recognition of “50 years of exemplary contribution to the European debate in Ireland,” noting Mr Haligan’s invaluable, lifelong and multi-faceted devotion to the European ideal on political, intellectual and activist levels.
It was this time around twenty years ago, with Robert Emmet’s 200th anniversary coming up, that I began to wonder, like many Irish people, about the death and burial of that singular Irish historical figure. The conundrum of the patriot’s last speech from the dock is rivalled only by the mystery of his final resting place. There are various theories, and while personal investigations, interviews with historians and even Emmet’s ancestors were fascinating, they were inconclusive. My research produced a series of illustrations that I was planning to use in a study of the subject, and while the study was never in fact completed, I would like to present them today to commemorate the birth of one of Ireland’s most remarkable rebels: Robert Emmet.