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Vice-Chancellor welcomes Labour Leader, Sir Keir Starmer, to Queen’s

President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ian Greer, today welcomed the Leader of the Labour Party to Queen’s University.

 (l-r): Professor Nola- Hewitt Dundas, Pro Vice-Chancellor of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at Queen's University; Sir Keir Starmer, Leader of the Labour Party of the United Kingdom; Professor Ian Greer, President and Vice-Chancellor of Queen's University; and Mr Ryan Feeney, Acting Vice-President Strategic Engagement and External Affairs.

Welcoming Sir Keir Starmer to Queen’s, Professor Ian Greer said: “Sir Keir Starmer’s visit is timely as we are in the midst of significant political challenges here in Northern Ireland so we are privileged that he chose Queen’s as a venue to deliver such an important speech.”

In his opening address the Vice-Chancellor continued, “We are fast approaching the 25th anniversary of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement. Queen’s will mark this important milestone with a major international conference over three days in April. A conference that will not only look back but also look forward envisioning the future of opportunity for Northern Ireland. We hope that Keir will be able to join us on that occasion.”

In his speech at Queen’s University, the Labour Leader talked about how the principles learnt from the success of the Good Friday Agreement can be used to end the current political stalemate in Northern Ireland.

Sir Keir Starmer said: “The anniversary this year should be a true celebration – people deserve that. History was made here, hard-won. But to respect that history, people also deserve action on the issues which currently hold Northern Ireland back. For politics to do its job and give people the chance to look forward with hope. There is a small window of opportunity before April – we’ve got to use the anniversary to fix minds. Get the country and its political process moving forward again. Deliver for the people of Northern Ireland.”

He spoke also of his fondness for Northern Ireland and for Queen’s, saying: “This is a special place. A first-class university for research, technology and innovation, business and health. An institution that has always been rooted in its communities here in Belfast and in Northern Ireland, but which also enjoys a huge global reach.”

To view Professor Ian Greer’s speech in full click here.

To view Sir Keir Starmer’s speech in full click here.

To view the video recording in full click here.


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