2024 Event Speakers

Alison Martin

Alison Martin is a writer and historian from Belfast. She completed a degree in Modern History and Theology at Queen’s University Belfast in 2011 and

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John Downing

John Downing writes about politics for the Irish Independent and is a regular contributor to Raidió na Gaeltachta and other broadcast outlets. Over the years he

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Professor Jane Suiter

Jane Suiter is Professor in the School of Communications, her research focus is on the information environment in the public sphere and in particular on scaling up  deliberation and tackling disinformation. Jane

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Paul Cunningham

Paul Cunningham is the Political Correspondent for RTÉ and previously held the posts of Europe Correspondent, based in Brussels, and Environment Correspondent. He has reported

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Greg Ballard

After a 23-year career in the U.S. Marine Corps and retiring as a lieutenant colonel, Gregory A. Ballard returned home to Indianapolis in 2001. In

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Dr Brian Murphy

Dr Brian Murphy is a director of the Kennedy Summer School. He earned his doctorate in Modern Irish History from the School of History and

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Hugh O’Connell

Hugh O’Connell is political editor for The Sunday Times in Ireland. He joined in April 2024 having spent more than a decade reporting and writing

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Eamonn Hore

Eamonn Hore studied Civil Engineering at University College Dublin graduating with a B.E. in 1979. He then studied Computers for Engineers at Trinity College Dublin

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Lise Hand

Lise Hand is a print journalist, broadcaster and regular contributor to current affairs programmes on national TV and radio, including Prime Time, The Week in

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Dr Kim Osborne

For more than 25 years, Dr. Kimberly Osborne has been a trusted coach, mentor, and advisor to U.S. and foreign governments, multinational corporations, international NGOs,

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Peadar Tóibín

Peadar Tóibín has been a TD for the Meath West since 2011. He is the founder and leader of Aontú, a 32-county party, that received

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Paul Reynolds

Paul Reynolds has been the RTÉ Crime Correspondent for almost thirty years.  He reports on all aspects of national and international crime, from the activities of local

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Dr. Laura Barberena

President, VIVA Politics, LLC Dr. Laura Barberena (Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin, USA) is a communications consultant and researcher specializing in political communications

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Larry Donnelly

Larry Donnelly is a Boston born and educated attorney who holds both American and Irish passports.  Larry relocated to his ancestral Ireland to take up

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Stephen Collins

Stephen Collins is a political columnist with the Irish Times and was previously political editor of the newspaper for a decade. He was educated at

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Jim Roche

Jim Roche is PRO of the Irish Anti-War Movement and founding member of the Irish Neutrality League. He is a registered architect. He is a

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Professor Philip McGowan

Philip McGowan is Professor of American Literature at Queen’s University Belfast and Former President of the European Association for American Studies (2016-24). An Executive Board

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Sarah Carey

Sarah Carey is a columnist, broadcaster and Communications Consultant. She writes for The Irish Independent each Saturday and has previously written for The Sunday Times

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Frank McNally

Frank McNally is a newspaper reporter and columnist. Born in County Monaghan, near the Irish Border, he moved to Dublin in his late teens, working

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Pádraic Ó hUiginn

Pádraic Ó hUiginn leads the development of a climate action and sustainability centre of excellence in the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI), a government

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Alison O’Connor

Alison O’Connor is a journalist, broadcaster and author. She writes a weekly column for The Sunday Times. As a current affairs commentator she appears regularly

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Ken Murray

Multi award-winning journalist Ken Murray covers the island of Ireland for Euronews TV. A political and parliamentary correspondent in Dáil Eireann for 17 years, he

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Elaine Loughlin

Elaine Loughlin is Political Editor with the Irish Examiner having joined the paper in 2015. She has covered politics both in Ireland and abroad, reporting

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Seán Connick

Sean Connick is the current Chief Executive Officer of the John F Kennedy Trust, where he leads the daily operation of one of Irelands premier

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Dr Catherine Norton

Dr. Catherine Norton is a Consultant Neuropsychologist and Chartered Member of the Psychological Society of Ireland. She has worked in the Irish health care system

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Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel is the southern correspondent for The Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent and other MediaHuis titles. A graduate of DIT-Rathmines & DIT Aungier

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Aidan Tierney

Galway native Aidan Tierney, aka “Tierney Talks” has become renowned in recent years for his well-known impersonations of famous personalities from the Sporting, Political and

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Dr Mark Henry

Dr. Mark Henry is the author of the best-selling book In Fact: An Optimist’s Guide to Ireland at 100 – the first to take an unapologetically positive approach

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Simon Coveney

Simon Coveney TD is a former Tánaiste (2017-2020), and most recently before stepping down from Cabinet – Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment. He has

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Marie Louise O’Donnell

Marie Louise O Donnell is an educator, broadcaster, writer and former senator.  In her early career she was head of Drama at Carysfort Teacher Training College.

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Eileen Dunne

Dubliner Eileen Dunne has been involved with the Kennedy Summer School for a number of years now. A recent retiree, she spent 42 years working

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Dr Liam Kennedy

Liam Kennedy is Professor of American Studies and Director of the Clinton Institute for American Studies at University College Dublin. He is the author/editor of

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Felix M. Larkin

Felix M. Larkin is a former academic director of the Parnell Summer School, and a co-founder and former chairman of the Newspaper and Periodical History Forum of Ireland.

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Greg Swenson

Greg Swenson is a founding partner of Brigg Macadam Ltd, an emerging market investment banking firm in London. He has over twenty years of banking,

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Senator Malcolm Byrne

Malcolm Byrne has been a Senator since April, 2020 and serves as Fianna Fáil’s Spokesperson on Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science. From

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Jackie King

Jackie King is Exective Director of Ibec Global, working to create more opportunities for Irish businesses, strengthen our competitiveness and expand our international reach, profile

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Dr Matthew Jebb

Matthew Jebb undertook his primary degree and D.Phil at Oxford University. His Ph.D. looked at the taxonomy and tuber morphology of the rubiaceous ant-plants. Following

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Sinead McSweeney

A native of Midleton, Co. Cork, Sinéad studied law at University College Cork and qualified as a barrister in 1993. She began her working life

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Emma DeSouza

Emma DeSouza is a civic innovation specialist, peacebuilder, and writer. She changed UK law in a high-profile human rights court case in relation to the

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David McCullagh

David McCullagh is a journalist with RTÉ. After 12 years as Political Correspondent, he became a presenter on Prime Time in 2013.

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Sean O’Rourke

Born in Portlaoise, Seán O’Rourke is one of Ireland’s best known journalists in print and broadcasting. Educated at Coláiste Iognáid and the University of Galway,

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Eamon Dunphy

As a former professional and international soccer player Eamon was capped 23 times for Ireland. He has been a writer and broadcaster for over 40

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Gráinne Ní Aodha

Gráinne Ní Aodha is a news reporter with the news wire agency PA Media, and covers politics, the courts and diplomatic visits. She previously worked

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Mandy Johnston

Ms. Johnston runs her own public affairs and management company Blue Yard.  She is the presenter of a weekly show called Taking Stock on Newstalk

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Todd Brothers

Since first taking to the stage in St Michaels Theatre with New Ross CBS production of Joseph, Todd has taken roles in numerous productions all

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Nicola Tallant

Nicola Tallant is the host of the award winning Crime World podcast which has recently celebrated 30 million downloads. She has authored five books including

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Dr Ciara Kelly

Dr Ciara Kelly co-presents Newstalk Breakfast weekday mornings from 7-9 on Newstalk FM. A lively mix of news, current affairs and topical conversation. It is

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Dr. Aisling McEvoy

Dr. Aisling McEvoy is Head of Enterprise Partnerships at Science Foundation Ireland (SFI). SFI’s industry partnership programmes provide an opportunity for industry to collaborate directly

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Shane Coleman

Shane Coleman is the presenter of Newstalk’s flagship Breakfast programme. He is a former Political Editor of the station and previously presented The Sunday Show on Newstalk

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Dr. Ciarán Seoighe

Deputy Director General Dr Ciarán Seoighe joined SFI as Deputy Director General in January 2018.  In his role, Ciarán is responsible for Organisational Strategy, Corporate

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Ian O’Doherty

Ian O’Doherty is currently a columnist with the Irish Independent and a regular contributor to UK publications such as The Spectator and Spiked. He is

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Dr James O’Keefe

Dr. James O’Keefe graduated from St. John’s University with his Bachelor of Science degree in 1979. He began his career in law enforcement as a

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Fiona Fitzsimons

Fiona is a co-founder of Eneclann (founded 1996), and the Irish Family History Centre at EPIC (founded 2016). Since 1996 she has led the Eneclann

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Ambassador Paul Johnston

Photographer: Paul Sherwood paul@sherwood.ie; 087 230 9096 www.sherwood.ie The British Ambassador to Ireland H.E. Paul Johnston, pictured at The Ambassadors Residence, Dublin. October 2020 The

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Enda Kenny

Enda Kenny was Taoiseach from 2011 to 2017. In 2002 he was appointed leader of Fine Gael and became Taoiseach in 2011. He was re-elected

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Bryan Dobson

Bryan Dobson is a former RTE journalist and news presenter who retired in May of this year from the national public service broadcaster. During 37

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Maura Butler

Maura Butler BA (Legal Science), LL. B, MSc IT in Education is a non-practicing solicitor with 35 years post qualification experience in a combination of

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