Mary Hendriksen | January 12, 2021
On Monday (Jan. 11), the Royal Irish Academy and the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies at the University of Notre Dame’s Keough School of Global Affairs are launching the ARINS Project, an initiative that brings together leading experts from Ireland and abroad to consider the most challenging policy issues now being debated throughout the island of Ireland.
ARINS, or Analysing and Researching Ireland North and South, is being launched against the backdrop of Brexit, the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union, which took full effect on Jan. 1. Brexit has created both a sense of urgency and opportunity regarding relationships within Ireland and between the Irish Republic and the United Kingdom.
Research questions to be explored as part of the ARINS Project range from constitutional and institutional issues to options for economic, fiscal and social policy. Relations within Northern Ireland, across the island of Ireland, and between Ireland and Britain will all be assessed.
“While the issue of a future referendum on the constitutional position of Ireland has been raised, holding a referendum in the absence of prior research and informed debate on the options and their consequences would be most unfortunate,” said Gerry McKenna, senior vice president of the Royal Irish Academy, an all-Ireland, leading body of experts in the sciences and humanities. “The academy recognizes the sensitivities around the very process of conducting such research, but also believes that the need to ensure that all eventualities are anticipated and researched, and that ensuing debate is informed and comprehensive, takes primacy.”
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