6pm- 8th June 2016 ‘The Idea of a Republic: Freedom and Politics @ Royal Irish Academy


This is the fourth in a series of six events themed around the constitution. Royal Irish Academy, Dawson St. Dublin

Chair: Professor Maeve Cooke MRIA, School of Philosophy, UCD


Professor Richard Bourke, Department of History, Queen Mary University of London
Dr Mark Patrick Hederman, Abbot, Glenstal Abbey
Dr Iseult Honohan MRIA, School of Politics and International Relations, UCD
Dr Nerys Williams, poet and academic, School of English, UCD

The Preamble to Bunreacht na hEireann asserts a connection between concern for the common good and the dignity and freedom of each individual. It can be argued that this connection is the distinctive mark of the republican model of politics, impacting on the republican idea of citizenship and law. But in the contemporary neo-liberal world, which emphasizes freedom as individual opportunity, freedom and the common good seem to be incompatible. Is this really the case? Must we choose between them? Or, can we find new ways of making sense of the republican idea that we flourish as individuals only when all of us flourish within the framework of a legally regulated, political association.