What were the books that opened minds, bridged divides or inspired new possibilities amongst Loyalist and Republican political prisoners?
Tuesday 13 March, 19.00 - 20.30
This panel event draws on a unique Open University Oral History Archive researching the educational life-journeys of former political prisoners, Open University staff and prison education staff in Northern Ireland’s prisons from 1972-2000. Come and listen to our panel, comprised of Open University staff and ex-political prisoners, discuss the books that inspired change.
John D’Arcy: National Director, The Open University
Panel members include:
Billy Hutchinson: an Open University graduate and Loyalist ex-prisoner who studied with The Open University while in the Compounds in the Maze Long Kesh prison. Billy is currently leader of the Progressive Unionist Party (PUP) and a Belfast City Councillor.
Jennifer McCann: an Open University graduate and former Republican prisoner who studied with The Open University during her time in Armagh and Maghaberry prisons. Jennifer was MLA for West Belfast until 2016 and is currently working for Relatives for Justice.
Séanna Walsh: an Open University graduate and former Republican prisoner who studied with The Open University during his time in the H-Blocks in Maze Long Kesh prison. Seanna is currently a Belfast City Councillor, political activist and Legacy and Outreach worker for Coiste na n-Iarchimí.
Gabi Kent: Lecturer in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at The Open University. Gabi is a member of The Open University in Ireland Oral History project team and will be leading the discussion around the panel’s chosen texts.
A separate tour of Crumlin Road Gaol will be taking place at 8.45pm. Please note that this is not part of this event but if you would like the opportunity to join the tour, you must make payment to Crumlin Road Gaol on arrival, before the event takes place. Booking is based on a first-come-first-served basis. For more information please contact Laura.Dowie@open.ac.uk.
This event is now sold out. Please email Ireland-Events@open.ac.uk to be added to a reserve list.
Wednesday 14th March, 19.00 - 20.30
With the UK exiting the European Union on 29th March 2019, we can now explore the real implications and possibilities of ‘Brexit’.
Drawing on research and interviews with stakeholders across four nations in the UK and Ireland, The Open University’s very own Brexit-focused panel of academics will touch upon the potential political and economic issues for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Thursday 15 March, 19.00 - 20.30
Grab a ‘cuppa’ and join The Open University’s Reading Communities Project for a shared reading group workshop, Reading in Conflict.
Using carefully selected extracts of literary works, written in times of struggle throughout the twentieth century, our team will discuss themes of conflict that emerge throughout the texts.
Friday 16 March, 18.00 - 19.30
What does it mean to welcome new people into a community?
This Open University panel event sheds light on some of the challenges that migrants and refugees face, including their crossing, when they arrive to already established communities – in Europe and Northern Ireland specifically. This event will begin with a screening of The Crossing – An Erica Starling Production for True North BBC One NI. There will then be the chance to put your question to a panel of academics and practitioners on how the host society can take responsibility for facilitating migrants’ and refugees’ settlement and protection.
Chair: Professor Simon Lee, Professor of Law, The Open University and Emeritus Professor of Jurisprudence, Queen’s University Belfast
Panel members: Dr Neil Graffin, Lecturer in International Law, The Open University; Dr Sara de Jong, Research Fellow, Citizenship and Governance Strategic Research Area, The Open University; Justin Kouame, Northern Ireland Community of Refugees and Asylum Seekers (NICRAS); Jude Bennett, Co-Founder and CEO of Refugee Rescue.
Explore our qualifications and courses by requesting one of our prospectuses today.
Wednesday, April 25, 2018 -
Dungiven Library, 107 Main Street, Dungiven, BT47 4LE
Thursday, April 26, 2018 -
Bangor Carnegie Library, Hamilton Rd, Bangor, BT20 4LH
Saturday, April 28, 2018 -
Portadown Library, 24 - 26 Church Street, Portadown, BT62 3LQ