Seminar on 1918 General Election

The Seminar on the 1918 General Election took place on Saturday 15 December 2018 at Wynn’s Hotel, Middle Abbey St., Dublin. This was a full day seminar.

The speakers were Bertie Ahern, John Bruton, Dr. Elaine Callinan, Prof Brian Walker, Prof. Frank BarryProf Michael Laffan, Dermot MeleadyDr. Joseph Quinn.

Chairman: Mr. Felix Larkin. The Seminar was opened by Mr. Seán O’Fearghail, Ceann Comhairle of Dáil Éireann (Ireland’s Lower House of Parliament).

Videos of the seminar are available at YouTube. You can also view our previous videos there. Speeches and presentations on other topics are also available on our YouTube Channel, and on Soundcloud.

The recent RTÉ programme, Election ’18 will also be of interest. Available until Sunday 13 January 2019.

Seminar on the 1918 General Election, chaired by Felix Larkin

Debate on the battle of the Somme at Irish embassy

Interesting debate on commemorating the battle of the Somme with comments on how commemorations were much more inclusive for 1916.

Ireland – 1916 and Beyond: The Somme

Jeffrey Donaldson MP, Andrew Murrison MP and Dr Catriona Pennell speak about the significance of the battle of the Somme in an event at the Irish Embassy in London on Tuesday 14 June.


Commonwealth Day in Dublin 2013

Read Bruce Arnold on why we should celebrate Commonwealth Day in Dublin on 11 March 2013 in the Royal Irish Academy. Come and hear Mary Kenny speak about Ireland and the Commonwealth. €10.00 entrance fee to cover light lunch.

> Read Bruce Arnold’s Article in the Irish Independent

Monday 11th March 2013 is Commonwealth Day, which in Dublin was marked by a gathering in the Royal Irish Academy, Dawson street hosted by the Reform Group. The meeting was addressed by Mary Kenny, the well known author, journalist and columnist. The Reform Group promotes closer relationships with the Commonwealth which includes near neighbours Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Malta, Cyprus and South Africa, among its 54 members. It is estimated that 21 million Irish people reside in the various Commonwealth countries. Reform believes that eventual membership of this entity would bring harmony to this island and contribute to trading, cultural and sporting links worldwide.

Commonwealth Day Dublin 2011

Marking Commonwealth Day 14th March 2011.

The Commonwealth is not a topic discussed very much in the media or among the chattering classes since the parting of the ways in 1949. Profound changes occurred since then … we are partners with the UK in the EU for many years; Ireland has been closely involved with her neighbour in the NI peace process and we share many common interests in cultural, sporting and commercial matters.

There are 54 countries (32 of them republics) in the Commonwealth. Recently South Africa, Mozambique and Rwanda have been accepted as members. They all share policies such as democracy, independent judicatures and universal human rights. All are equal in the Commonwealth.

From 1922 onwards this country was to the fore developing and advancing the Commonwealth idea. Eamon de Valera himself regretted the breach in 1949 introduced by the John A. Costello Inter Party government.

Nowadays thousands of our fellow citizens live and work in Britain many in senior and professional jobs. Many young Irish women were employed as nurses by the new National Health Service from its inception in 1950. There are 21 million people of Irish descent living in Commonwealth countries. Most townlands and streets here have stories of emigrants in Britain, Australia and Canada. Now more than ever we need strong trading and commercial ties with like minded countries. Since 1949 the grouping is styled merely as the Commonwealth. Its symbolic head is Queen Elizabeth II; when a vacancy occurs it will be filled from among the member states.

The Reform Group is a non-denominational, non-party body advocating these developments. Founded in Dublin in 1998, it is a small informal grouping discussing matters mainly on the internet. To date no political party has shown much interest in the subject; up North, the Alliance Party and the Loyalists are supportive.

There will be a lunch reception in the Royal Irish Academy, Dawson Street, Dublin 2 today on Monday 14th March 2011 to mark Commonwealth Day. As honorary guest Dr Cyrus Rustomjee, Director of the Economic Division, Commonwealth Secretariat, London will address the benefits of membership. Dr Rustomjee is from South Africa and is familiar with the economic advantages of returning (as his country did when Nelson Mandela became president). Mr Eamon Delaney, well known writer and columnist will also speak.

The Reform Group published the book ‘Ireland and the Commonwealth: Towards Membership’ in 2010. It contains articles by writers such as Mary Kenny, Roy Garland and John-Paul McCarthy dealing with the stirring history of this period and with personalities like Eamon de Valera, Seán McBride and Clement Atlee.

The topic is a contentious one among many but it is fair to say that membership would benefit the country north and south, spreading goodwill throughout the island and would be heartily welcomed by our exiles abroad.

Senator David Norris helps with Dublin launch of “Ireland and the Commonwealth”

Here are a selection of photos from the Dublin launch of Reform’s new book: Ireland and the Commonwealth: Towards Membership.

Senator David Norris helped launch the book. Also present at the launch were Northern Ireland commentator Roy Garland, along with Rob Bury from the Reform Group and a number of other invited guests.

The Belfast Telegraph have published an article covering the Dublin launch of the new book.

Left to right: Roy Garland, Senator David Norris and Philip Grimason

Rob Bury reads to invited guests from ‘Ireland and the Commonwealth’

Roy Garland addresses guests at the launch

Guests, including Senator David Norris, listen to Roy Garland’s address