🔴 LIVE: The Good Friday Agreement and the EU after 25 years

📅 14.00 Irish Time (15.00 Berlin Time) | Thursday, 23 March 2023 | Click the play button above to begin the stream.

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Minister Peter Burke T.D., Minister of State for European Affairs and Defence

Peter Burke is Minister of State for European Affairs and Defence, having previously served as Minister of State for Local Government and Planning.

Before being appointed to the Government, Peter sat on the Oireachtas Finance and Public Accounts Committees and has been a frequent media commentator on tax and financial issues.

He was born in Mullingar, Ireland and attended the National University of Ireland, Galway where he studied Commerce.  He is a Chartered Accountant by profession with ten years’ of experience in the private sector.  Peter served as a Councillor on Westmeath County Council from 2007 until he was elected to the Dáil in 2016.  He is married to Olivia and they have two young sons, Leo and Ted.


Rory Montgomery, Former Second Secretary General at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Former Permanent Representative and involved in the Good Friday Agreement negotiations.

Rory Montgomery recently retired from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. From April 2009 until September 2013, Rory Montgomery was Ireland’s Permanent Representative to the European Union.

He was involved in the ratification and implementation of the Lisbon Treaty, the response to the euro area crisis, and the planning and running of the 2013 Irish Presidency, during which he chaired Coreper 2. From September 2013 until August 2014 he was Ambassador to France (with a secondary accreditation to Monaco). From August 2014 to October 2016 he was Second Secretary General, Department of the Taoiseach, with responsibility for EU affairs. In October 2016 he returned to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as Second Secretary General and Director General of the European Union Division, with particular responsibility for the EU-UK negotiations.

He graduated from Trinity (1981), where he was a Scholar and Gold Medallist in History. He later obtained an MBA. Rory Montgomery sits on the Board of Directors for EM Ireland.

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Caitriona Mullan, Cross Border Co-operation Specialist, Association of European Border Regions and Council of Europe Centre of Expertise

An independent specialist and facilitator of governance and corporate leadership for collaborative and transboundary working, Caitriona’s work ranges across the EU and beyond its external borders. Her current work combines active research planning and delivery activities with an extensive practitioner experience of organisational and corporate development environments ranging over two decades.

She is currently the ICLRD facilitator for the North West Strategic Growth Partnership, and also provides advisory and facilitation support to a range of established and emerging cross-border institutional partnerships on the island of Ireland. In December 2022 she was also appointed as Senior Research Associate with the Centre for Cross Border Studies, and was formerly Chair of the International Centre for Local and Regional Development.

Additionally, Caitriona holds expert roles with the Council of Europe’s Centre of Expertise for Good Governance (including recent work in the Western Balkans and Armenia) and with the Association of European Border Regions (AEBR – est. 1971), one of the longest-standing NGOs in Europe.

Caitriona is a native of Derry/Londonderry, a graduate from Trinity College Dublin and a mother.

Matthias - KAS

Matthias Barner, Director, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung UK & Ireland

Mr Barner became Director of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) London office in October 2020. Prior to his arrival, he was Resident Representative of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung for the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic.

Previously he was the Press Spokesperson at KAS headquarters in Germany and Director of the KAS Media Programme South East Europe based in Sofia. Before joining KAS, Matthias Barner spent ten years with the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in Berlin, serving from 2006-2009 as the Party Spokesperson.

Matthias Barner studied Political Science, Public Law and Italian Literature at the Universities of Bonn and Bologna. He graduated in 1994.

Noelle O Connell, CEO, European Movement Ireland

Moderator: Noelle O Connell, CEO European Movement Ireland

Noelle O Connell was appointed CEO of European Movement Ireland in 2011, Ireland’s longest established Not-for-Profit membership organisation connecting Ireland and Europe. She was also elected a Vice President of European Movement International (encompassing European Movement councils in 34 countries and 38 international associations).

Prior to this, Noelle worked in business development, public affairs, member relations in a variety of sectors and for different bodies including CIF, ICOS, IITD. She has also worked in the third level sector and has managed significant national and international funding projects (e.g. Interreg, Skillnets, Erasmus+, Europe for Citizens etc.)

A former Director on the Board of Skillnets, Noelle is a voluntary Director of the board of Alliance Française Irlande, and in 2017 was name a Knight of the National Order of Merit awarded by the French President. In 2019, she was appointed an International Leadership Fellow of Society of Leadership Fellows, St. George’s House, Windsor Castle.  A member of the Institute of Directors and an Associate Specialist with the IPA, she was shortlisted for the Newstalk WMB Social Entrepreneur of the Year and is a Fellow of the Irish Institute of Training and Development.

She holds a BA Hons from University College Cork, a DEUF Diploma from Université de Jean Moulin, Lyon II France, and a MSc in International Relations from the University of Edinburgh, and speaks Irish, French and Spanish.

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