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Tribute to Brendan Halligan on 80th Birthday

At the Annual General Meeting  of IIEA Brussels, 12th July 2016, Commissioner Phil Hogan gave a speech to mark 80th Birthday of Brendan Halligan, Founder and Chairman of the Institute for International and European Affairs.
See transcript below, with photo from the birthday celebration at IIEA, Dublin 6th July, 2016:


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.

07-Brendan-with-medalBrendan 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…)

A Tribute to Justin Keating

A Tribute to Justin Keating by Brendan HalliganJustin Keating:  a tribute

By Brendan Halligan

A tribute to one of Ireland’s best known figures, Justin Keating.

Keating was a key figure in the new Labour Party created by Brendan Corish in the 1960s and served as Minister for Industry and Commerce in the National Coalition Government from 1973–77.

This tribute was written shortly after Justin’s death on 31 December, 2009:

“Justin Keating was a key figure in the new Labour Party created by Brendan Corish in the 1960s and served as Minister for Industry and Commerce in the National Coalition Government from 1973–77. A brilliant communicator, he was one of the best-known figures in public life for over four decades and was widely respected for the depth and breadth of his intellect.

Born in 1930 to Seán Keating, one of the most notable painters of his day, and May Walsh, a woman of strong republican beliefs, he was reared in the humanist tradition and attended secondary school in Sandford Park before studying Veterinary Science at UCD and University College London. He excelled as a Vzet and eventually became Dean of the Veterinary Science faculty in UCD and, towards the end of his career, the first Professor of Equine Science in the University of Limerick. A research scientist of note, he primarily regarded himself as a scientific rationalist and had the personality to go with it. Cool, rational and patient in debate, his forensic skills in assembling and deconstructing an argument were legendary and equipped him for the roles of teacher and politician.

He was one of a rare breed, an intellectual who took part in public life; not only that, but rose to become the Minister responsible for economic policy.

He came to public notice when he took leave of absence from TCD in 1965 to become Head of Agricultural Broadcasting in RTÉ, then beginning to find its feet as the national broadcaster. He devised and fronted “Telefís Feirme”, an agricultural education programme that became one of the most popular TV series due to his skills as a communicator. Within a year he had become a household name throughout the country and was one of the first TV personalities.” …