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Wednesday 18 May saw St John’s host Daniel Mulhall, the 14th Irish Ambassador to Great Britain for an exceptional talk on the state of Anglo-Irish affairs and the centenary of the Easter Rising.
Over 100 pupils, parents and friends of the School gathered in the Old Chapel to hear the Ambassador discuss topics such as the Northern Ireland peace process, future cooperation, and the Easter Rising of 1916 that paved the way towards Irish independence. He gave an excellent overview of the complexities of the Anglo-Irish relationship and how in recent years mistrust has turned to collaboration.
The Ambassador was questioned about American influences on British-Irish relations, and his views on the possibility of a Brexit. The Ambassador stressed his hope that Britain would stay in the EU, given the strong economic financial and cultural ties which currently exist. He stressed the importance of the European community as a body for international cooperation. Other questions touched on important aspects and turning points in Irish history.
The Headmaster commented: “It was a real privilege to be able to welcome Ambassador Mulhall to St John’s. He gave a most interesting talk which has provoked discussion and debate. His visit has most certainly been a highlight of the year thus far.”
Head of Politics at St John’s Julian Thomas added: “Ambassador Mulhall’s talk was greatly anticipated and he did not disappoint. It was fascinating to hear the Ambassador’s views on the EU referendum and I was impressed by the diplomatic and insightful way he answered questions. It was without a doubt a thoroughly rewarding night for pupils and staff.”
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