A one day symposium to be held in conjunction with School of History and Anthropology,
Queen’s University Belfast, 3 September 2010.
Download the Registration Form [word doc]
Conference venue: Seminar room 1, Institute of Irish Studies, 53-67 University Road
Shared by Anglicans, Presbyterians and Catholics alike, liberalism was a pervasive and diverse
political outlook in nineteenth-century Ireland. Thanks, however, to the ultimate dominance of
nationalist and unionist party politics, liberals are often viewed as the losers in this period of Irish
history and Irish liberalism is frequently overlooked as little more than a non sequitur. It is the
aim of this one day symposium to facilitate a positive reassessment of nineteenth-century Irish
liberalism. It is hoped that it will provide the basis for a more nuanced understanding of Irish
liberalism within the broader contexts of nineteenth-century Irish and British social, economic,
cultural and political life; and will shed new light on the traditions Irish liberalism sprang from,
the diverse nature of its development and the factors that determined its prevalence and
subsequent demise as a political force in Ireland’s long nineteenth century.
It should also be noted that the organisers hope, in the long term, to publish the
proceedings of the symposium.
Institute of Irish Studies, Queen’s University Belfast, 3 September 2010
9:00-9:30 Arrival and Welcome
9:30-10:30 Dr Eugenio Biagini (Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge University): ‘Competing visions: Liberalisms in 19th-century Ireland’
Dr Robert Whan (QUB): ‘Sir John Newport (1756–1843): an Irish Liberal Protestant in the “age of reform”’
Dr Jonathan Wright (Trinity College Dublin): ‘“Good Orangemen as William would have approved”: William Drennan, the “natural leaders” and real Whig politics in late-Georgian Belfast’
Dr Claire Allen (QUB): ‘Public dining and liberal politics in post-Union Belfast’
Dr Elizabeth Heggs (NUI Maynooth): 'Liberalism and local politics in Waterford, c.1800-40'
Dr Andrew Holmes (QUB): ‘Presbyterian religion and liberal politics in nineteenth-century Ulster’
Aidan Enright (QUB): ‘Land, Loyalty, and reform: Catholic liberals in nineteenth-century Irish and British politics’
Dr Colin Reid (NUI Maynooth): ‘“The difficulty of governing Ireland lies entirely in our own minds”: Liberal political thought, morality and the Irish question, 1860-80’
Coffee 3:30 – 4.00
4.00-4:45 Roundtable discussion chaired by Professor Peter Gray (QUB), Dr Eugenio Biagini (Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge University), Professor R. V. Comerford (NUI Maynooth), and Professor Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh (NUI Galway).
4:45–5:00 Closing remarks Professor Peter Gray (QUB)
6:30 Conference Dinner