St. John’s Irish Society to Host Discussion on Peace and Reconciliation Efforts in Northern Ireland

Irish Society of St. John's University logo
November 9, 2021

The Irish Society at St. John’s University will remotely host two guest speakers from Belfast, Northern Ireland, on the topic of peace and reconciliation efforts in Northern Ireland during its meeting scheduled for Monday, November 15, at 2 p.m. (ET). Speakers include Michael Flanigan, a civil rights attorney and Irish-language activist, and Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, Publisher of The Irish Echo in America. 

The discussion and Q&A session moderated by Brian Browne, Assistant Vice President, Office of Government Relations, and Executive Director, Office of University Relations, St. John’s University, features Sarah P. Cullivan, President of the University’s student organization, the Irish Society.

Michael Flanigan headshot
Michael Flanigan

Mr. Flanigan is a Belfast solicitor active in the ongoing quest for peace, justice, and reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the implementation of the Stormont House Agreement. This agreement aims to bring long-divided communities closer together and to advance several issues that remain unresolved by the varying political parties in Northern Ireland. 

Mr. Flanigan represents the widow of Fran O’Toole, the lead vocalist of The Miami Showband, who, along with two of his bandmates, was killed on July 31, 1975, in County Down, Northern Ireland. The incident, considered to be one of the worst atrocities of the Northern Ireland conflict known as “The Troubles,” is examined in the remastered documentary The Miami Showband Massacre, now available on Netflix. 

Máirtín Ó Muilleoir headshot
Máirtín Ó Muilleoir

Mr. Ó Muilleoir is the former Lord Mayor of Belfast and has been involved in journalism, politics, and business for more than four decades. He is the author of several books in Irish and English, and has served in politics for Sinn Féin both on the Belfast City Council and in the power-sharing Executive at Stormont Castle. As Cofounder of events company Aisling Events, he hosts a range of transatlantic conferences, including the Big Irish Campfire, the New York-New Belfast conference, and the Belfast International Homecoming.

All are welcome to join the online discussion.