On 17 August 2023, Professor John O' Brennan chaired a session of the prestigious MacGill Summer School in Glenties, Donegal.
The session focused on the future of the European Union, with guest speakers Tony Connolly (Europe editor, RTE Television), Professor Brigid Laffan (European University Institute) and Mairead McGuinness (European Commissioner). The event attracted an audience of more than 300 people.
For more see the website of the summer school: https://www.macgillsummerschool.com
Professor John O' Brennan
published a new opinion piece for The Irish Examiner
on 17 May 2023, analysing Europe's changing security landscape and where Ireland fits into this landscape. He argued that Ireland's policy of military neutrality is outdated and should be jettisoned. He contributed to a number of public discussions on this topic.
Professor John O' Brennan delivered a lecture in Sofia hosted by the Irish Embassy in Bulgaria at European Union House on 19 January. The lecture covered Ireland's experience of 50 years of membership of the EU and the lessons that might be derived from the Irish participation in European integration. The lecture was attended by a number of Sofia-based ambassadors, EU officials and faculty and students from Sofia University.
John delivered a second lecture on the future of EU Enlargement policy at Sofia University on 20 January. This was part of a series of events organised with Sofia University, which is a partner with the Maynooth Centre for European and Eurasian Studies in the Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence (2020-2023).
While in Sofia, John also gave an interview to Bulgarian National Radio. The transcript can be read here.
Professor John O' Brennan engaged with a number of media outlets over the Christmas and New Year period. On 30 December, John published an opinion piece in The Irish Examiner (with Dr. Mary C. Murphy of UCC), reflecting on Ireland's 50 year anniversary of EU membership and argued that much more effort needed to go into 'Communicating Europe' to the Irish public in the years ahead: https://www.irishexaminer.com/opinion/commentanalysis/arid-41037701.html
John also appeared on the Newstalk programme, Talking History, on 1 January 2023 to reflect on the lessons learned from Ireland's experience of 50 years of European integration: https://link.goloudplayer.com/s/pGfstkr92G5W
On 5 January 2023 John appeared on The Hard Shoulder on Newstalk, to talk about the European Parliament's role in the European Union and how Irish MEPs contributed to the EU over five decades of membership.
Professor John O Brennan delivered a number of keynote lectures in the latter part of 2022, focusing on Ireland's experience of EU membership. On 9 November, he delivered an address at Bucharest University, Romania in an event organised by the Irish Embassy in Romania. Later that day he addressed the Euro Atlantic Resilience Centre at the Palace of Parliament in Bucharest on the future of EU Enlargement policy. John also met with colleagues at Bucharest University to discuss new partnership agreements with Maynooth University:
Photos via Irish Embassy of Romania, Bucharest Twitter account @IrishEmbBuch
On Monday 21 November, John was part of a Maynooth University team which participated in a public roundtable on Irish-German relations within the EU at Marburg University, Germany in conjunction with the Irish Consulate-General in Frankfurt. The Maynooth team was led by Professor Mark Maguire, Dean of Social Science, and also included Professor Hana Cervinkova of the Department of Anthropology, Dr. Brid Quinn, University of Limerick and Francis Jacobs, former head of the European Parliament office in Ireland: https://twitter.com/IRLinFrankfurt/status/1595046262671560704
Photos via The Consulate General of Ireland, Frankfurt Twitter account @IRLinFrankfurt
John also delivered an address on Ireland and Europe on 2 December at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, in the United States and participated in a panel at the American Conference for Irish Studies on 3-4 December on the theme of Ireland and borders: https://acis2022.uga.edu/programme/
Finally, on Tuesday 13 December, John delivered the keynote lecture at the conference organised by the EU Academy at Dublin City University on the theme 'Ireland and the European Union 1973-2023: from the margins to the centre of Europe? https://mobile.twitter.com/euacademy_dcu/status/1602350374576349186
In this episode of the National Centre for Research Methods podcast, host Catherine McDonald talks to Professor Jane Gray about researching social change over time. Jane is the programme leader for the Irish Qualitative Data Archive and played a key role in the development of the Digital Repository of Ireland and her research looks at families, households and social change: https://www.ncrm.ac.uk/resources/podcasts/?id=jane-gray recorded 29/11/2022
Professor John O Brennan
addressed the 'Ireland and the EU at 50'
conference on 27 October in Dublin. The conference was one of the flagship events in the Department of Foreign Affairs' programme reflecting on Ireland's 50 years of membership of the European Union. The conference brought together all of Ireland's European-based ambassadors and senior diplomats and was addressed by An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, the European Commissioner for Financial Services, Mairead McGuinness, and the French Minister for European Affairs, Laurence Boone. John's contribution was on the rule of law in the EU and the extent to which it matters for governance of the Single Market.
Dr Barry Colfer (Director of Research, Irish Institute of European and International Affairs) and Prof John O' Brennan and have just published the 'Ireland' chapter in the annual (2022) Bertelsmann Stiftung Sustainable Governance Indicators (SGI). The study compares and contrasts the performance of 41 countries in implementing sustainable governance measures. The Irish report can be found here: https://www.sgi-network.org/2022/Ireland/Key_Challenges
Are the far right a threat to Irish democracy? writes Dr Barry Cannon and Joseph Munnelly for RTE Brainstorm.
Opinion: research finds that civil society strategies are needed to help prevent any future far right growth in Ireland.
Read the full article here, originally published on 26 August 2022 via RTE Brainstorm.
"Shifts in attitudes and improvements in fertility treatment have driven many of the changes. Technology has opened up the possibility of parenthood to more people, says Gray. “Our families have changed accordingly and become much more flexible as a result."
Jane Gray is a Sociology Professor at NUI Maynooth (NUIM) and co-author of Family Rhythms: The Changing Textures of Family Life in Ireland, a book that charts the evolution of Irish families from the early 20th century to the current day, which is featured in this Irish Examiner Piece on the changing paths to parenthood in Ireland, published 3 May 2022.
"As Ukraine endures the agony of a brutal assault by Russian forces, the world is beginning to confront the cost of misreading Vladimir Putin ‑ his character, his intentions, his obsessions, his risk calculus and his worldview."
Professor John O'Brennan of Maynooth University Sociology Department writes about Vladimir Putin in 'This is who he is" for Dublin Review of Books: This Is Who He Is - DRB, March 2022.
Maynooth Sociology PhD Student, Oleg Chupryna, recently published a number of articles on the current crisis in Ukraine and the legacy of Revolutions in Ukraine:
- In the piece which was published by the RTE Brainstorm, Oleg examines the root causes of the current Ukraine crisis and suggestions about the most effective approaches to dealing with that. Published on 2 February 2022.
- Published on 26 January 2022 by Spain's online media diariosigloxxi.com - Orange Revolution in Spanish is aimed at the Spanish speaking readership.
- In the article published by the Canadian online media the Geopolitical Monitor, Oleg gives an assessment of the recent dramatic events in Kazakhstan. Published on 26 January 2022. Spanish version also available via diariosigloxxi.
- Published on 24 January 2022 by The Eurasia Review. The piece is dedicated to the 17th anniversary of the successful conclusion of Ukraine’s second revolution in the last thirty years – the Orange Revolution, which played a key role in the country’s democratization.
- Ukraine: Will Zelenskiy’s Presidency Last the Full Term? – OpEd, 29 December 2021 via Eurasia Review. An assessment of Ukraine’s Zelenskiy presidency in the middle of his cadency. Two and a half years ago a complete novice in politics, comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy won the presidential race in Ukraine with the overwhelming 73 per cent votes in his favour beating the seasoned politician incumbent president Poroshenko. Now it's time to analyse his achievements and failures halfway through his presidential term.
- The Euromaidan Revolution, the popular rebellion that shook European geopolitics, 21 December 2021. This article is aimed at the Spanish speaking readership and is written in Spanish. It is Oleg's first publication in the Spanish language and is published by Spain's digital media platform diariosigloxxi.com. Oleg gives an overview of Ukraine's Euromaidan Revolution. It could be said that the said revolution was one of the crucial events in contemporary European political history that triggered many processes in current international politics. The current tensions between the West and Russia have been one of those processes.
- Without stronger support from the West, Ukraine will continue to live under the threat of invasion, 10 December 2021 . In this article published on The London School of Economics and Politics website, Oleg examines the Euromaidan Revolution and it's legacy which is now under threat given recent Russia's military build-up along Ukraine's border, and the Kremlin's rhetoric suggesting that a full-scale military offensive is now on the cards, and a potential invasion may be taking place early next year.
- To the eighth anniversary of the beginning of the Ukrainian Euromaidan: how was it?, 22 November 2021. The piece by Oleg about the Euromaidan Revolution in Ukrain was published by Kasparov.ru media platform in Russian is aimed at the Russian speaking readership and is written in Russian.
- Ukraine’s Revolution on Granite: A Prelude to Independence published by Geopolitical Monitor on 1 November 2021. Oleg assesses the student Revolution on Granite in Ukraine, an important historic event little known to the international community, the thirty-first anniversary of which was recently marked. Arguably, it was one of the crucial events which triggered many processes in contemporary history, such as Ukraine's independence, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the geopolitical consequences of that.
- Assessing Ukraine’s future thirty years after its independence published on 15 October 2021 in multi-disciplinary London School of Economics and Politics blog, assessing Ukraine’s origins, national identity & perspectives thirty years after its independence.
Oleg is currently undertaking a PhD study in the Sociology Department at Maynooth University, supervised by Professor John O'Brennan and Dr Barry Cannon. Oleg is also a member of Maynooth University Centre for European and Euraisan Studies.
STOPFARRIGHT is an Irish Research Council funded project, led by Dr Barry Cannon of the Department of Sociology at Maynooth University in association with Crosscare. The project aims to promote discussion and debate between academics and civil society groups on how best to counter-strategise against the growth of the far right in Ireland. As part of its activities, STOPFARRIGHT held a series of online seminars with leading Irish and International academics and civil society members working on the theme of resisting the Far Right:
Mary P. Corcoran joined Ian Robertson, psychologist & Kenneth Pearce, philosopher to discuss the question “Even if a higher power didn't exist, would humans create one?” on RTE Radio 1’s The Leap of Faith, on Friday, 10 December. Listen back here.
Care Provision: A Feminist Economist's Perspective took place via Teams on 15 November 2021. This online seminar was hosted by The CareVisions research project, Institute for Social Science in the 21st Century at University College Cork.
Abstract: Care provision builds on personal commitments and social obligations, but as a result, is often taken for granted. How can we make a case for more generous public support and more equitable sharing of care responsibilities? A feminist economic perspective provides a helpful vocabulary for answering this question.
Discussant: Professor Mary Murphy, Department of Sociology, Maynooth University
Speaker: Professor Nancy Folbre, Director of the Program on Gender and Care Work at the Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Professor Mary Corcoran chaired a Government panel discussion hosted by Kildare County Council with support from the Department of Local Government, Environment and Heritage on Wednesday, 13 October 2021. The event was directed in particular at Transition Year students around Kildare to encourage them to consider careers in politics and public service.
The event featured six high profile panellists: Cllr. Naoise O’Cearuil, Cllr. Chris Pender and Cllr. Angela Feeney all of Kildare County Council alongside, Celina Barrett, Chief Fire Officer, Kildare CoCo, Sonya Kavanagh, Interim Chief Executive, Kildare CoCo and Alison Crowzer, entrepreneur, investor and chair of Women for Election.
Interestingly, three councillors on the panel are all Maynooth University graduates: Cllr. Naoise O’Cearuil studied Politics; Cllr. Chris Pender studied Community Work; and Cllr. Angela Feeney holds a doctorate in Education.
Watch the full event back (https://vimeo.com/601060039#) and see pictures below:
The hit Netflix series, Squid Game, is the latest in a growing global engagement with Korean popular and commercial culture.
Read the full article here by Dr Rebecca King O'Riain published via RTE Brainstorm on 11 October 2021, on why the show is so popular.
In the run-up to the EU-Western Balkans Summit Meeting
on 6 October, 2021, Professor John O' Brennan
gave an interview to Sarajevo-based N1 television in Bosnia. assessing what was at stake in the Summit Meeting and evaluating the significant problems exhibited by the EU enlargement process.
In this Royal Irish Academy ARINS (Analysis and Research: Ireland North and South) blogpost, Professor Mary Murphy discusses a new welfare imaginary for the island of Ireland and how our society can collaborate to imagine a better welfare state across issues of social security, poverty and inequality, north and south.
Read the full blogpost here, published on 13 September 2021.
In light of the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, ‘food apartheid’ has come under the spotlight. Food justice movements are expanding, and re-politicizing hunger in poor communities across US cities and beyond. Embedded structural and racialized inequalities are being exposed and challenged. Professor Mary P. Corcoran illuminates the extent of community-based activism around food justice in New Haven, CT in her research paper Beyond ‘food apartheid’: Civil society and the politicization of hunger in New Haven, Connecticut, published 9 June 2021.
Watch and listen to Professor Corcoran explain the key points of her paper in this video published on ScienceSocieties, YouTube:
Professors Seán Ó Riain and Mary Murphy took part in a webinar with SIPTU on "Low Pay Republic: Combatting Low Pay in the Irish Labour Market". They discussed low pay and the suite of labour market and enterprise-level policies which are required to tackle Ireland’s low pay epidemic.
Articles published in the Irish Times and The Irish Examiner discuss the The National Women's Council (NWC) of Ireland's new Increasing Gender Balance on Boards: The Case for Legislative Gender Quotas in Ireland report, authored by Dr Pauline Cullen of the Sociology Department at Maynooth University. The NWC's report highlights that women remain significantly underrepresented in boardrooms of Irish companies, and in senior leadership roles. Furthermore, they are facing a very slow pace of change, as well as evidence of stagnation and regression. The NWC has called for mandatory gender quotas to apply to corporate boards.
Read the articles here:
The Irish Times published on Thursday, 24 June 2021
The Irish Examiner published on Thursday, 24 June 2021
Dr Rebecca King O'Riain (Department of Sociology, Maynooth University) writes in the Irish Independent Opinion section about the many challenges faced by our resilient students during the pandemic.
Read the full article here.
Published in the Irish Independent on Friday, 30 April 2021
Professor Mary P Murphy of the Sociology Department at Maynooth University, recently published a new blog titled, 'Build Forward Public: The Case For A Post Pandemic Housing Imaginary', on PublicPolicy.ie:
"A huge fault line exposed during the pandemic is Ireland’s globalised political economy model in which the country opened up to the market large parts of society, including housing, health, and pensions. For example, 80% of nursing home accommodation and 70% of childcare places are provided through the market (Murphy, 2020). Conversely, Irish pandemic responses are severely limited by poor capacity in public services in housing, health, nursing homes, creches, education and special needs. The pandemic offers an opportunity to revalue the concept of ‘public’."
Read the full blog here which was published on Wednesday, 24 March 2021 in PublicPolicy.ie, UCD Geary Institute for Public Policy
In the Irish Times, Dr Pauline Cullen discusses how gender-based violence was ‘propelled’ onto the agenda by a large number of submissions to the Citizens Assembly ahead of its discussion of gender equality.
Read the full article here which was published on 13 March 2021.
"There are lots of moving parts with this disease which makes it difficult to capture through compiling raw numbers or generating statistical scenarios. To date, there have been multiple revisions made of statistical projections on Covid's trajectory. While there is lots of information out there, it may not translate straightforwardly into knowledge.
We can be forgiven if we have started to suffer from 'numerical fatigue'. Numbers tell us something, but they do not tell us everything."
Full article available here: https://www.rte.ie/brainstorm/2021/0303/1200578-covid-19-numerical-fatigue/
Article by Professor Mary Corcoran, Department of Sociology, Maynooth University. Published in RTE Brainstorm, Wednesday, 3 March 2021.
“The Irish Buddhist: the Forgotten Monk who Faced Down the British Empire”, a new book by Laurence Cox (Maynooth University, Sociology Department), Brian Bocking and Alicia Turner (Oxford University Press, 2020), tells the life of Dublin-born sailor, hobo, Buddhist monk and anti-colonial activist Laurence Carroll / U Dhammaloka. Dhammaloka had at least 5 pseudonyms, covered up 25 years of his life, was tried for sedition, put under police surveillance, faked his death and eventually disappeared.
Watch Laurence discuss this book in the video below, at an event for UCD’s Asia Pacific Research Network, held on 18 Februay 2021:
The authors of the book did multiple online events throughout the past year including at Princeton Fund for Irish Studies, Melbourne Irish Studies, Lausanne South Asian Studies, Mahidol University Religious Studies (Thailand), Shan State Buddhist University (Burma), EPIC the Irish Emigration Museum, UCC Study of Religions and Maynooth’s IFUT trade union.
Listen back to This is Where We Live - The Vienna Model: Housing for the 21st Century on Dublin City FM's Podcast with Professor Mary Murphy, Maynooth University Department of Sociology. July 2019.
Why do we always hear the argument that we need to be more like the Nordic Countries? Well probably because they match the direction of their economies to meet the needs of their societies. Professors Mary Murphy & Seán Ó Riain discuss the ways we can adopt those systems on to our market based economy on the Reboot Republic Podcast via Tortoise Shack. Originally published on 15 June 2018.