Monday, 2 April 2012

First Minister Peter Robinson

Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson is to travel to Dublin later to deliver a lecture on Irish unionism.It is the first in a series focusing on a number of centenaries being commemorated over the next four years.

Mr Robinson is expected to talk about the legacy of Edward Carson and the history of Irish unionism as well as his own personal political journey. The Irish minister for foreign affairs said it was "particularly fitting" that Mr Robinson delivered the address."His participation is a testament to the importance both the Irish government and the Northern Ireland Executive attach to a joint approach to commemorative activities" said Eamon Gilmore.

"The lecture will take place in Iveagh House, only a few hundred feet from Carson's birthplace on Harcourt Street."We should not forget that Carson was a Dubliner, that he was a fellow student of Oscar Wilde in Trinity College Dublin, and that he first made his reputation practising at the Irish Bar."Neither should we forget the rich political tradition of southern unionism, which both Carson and Lord Iveagh in their separate ways, represent. "This lecture, and future commemorative events, will provide valuable opportunities to look again at these often overlooked aspects of our shared history". The coming weeks see three significant events: the first mass demonstration against Home Rule at Balmoral on 9 April, the introduction of the Third Home Rule Bill on 11 April, and the sinking of the Titanic on 15 April.