Killarney to host major economic conference

Dr William Sheehan, Conference Organiser; Prof Ursula Kilkelly, Dean of Law at UCC and Micheál Martin, TD, Fianna Fáil leader pictured at the launch of the inaugural Killarney Economic Conference.
Picture: Daragh McSweeney

PLANS for a major new conference focusing on the prevailing political and economic issues and their impact on Ireland, the UK and the European Union have been revealed.

The Killarney Economic Conference will take place in in the County Kerry town on January 12 and 13 next and, in its inaugural year, it will focus on Brexit, the challenges it poses for business, the legal issues that will arise, how it will shape future politics and the impact it will have on daily life.

The conference is poised to become an important annual dialogue involving economic, civic and political leaders from Britain and Ireland.

The line-up of speakers in the inaugural year includes Prof Ursula Kilkelly, Dean of Law at UCC and Fianna Fail leader Micheál Martin, TD, who today launched the event along with one of the conference organisers, Dr William Sheehan.

Dr Sheehan, a military historian, author and lecturer and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the Higher Education Academy, said the idea of the conference is to establish an annual forum at which senior management of civic and business organisations can meet, network and share and debate ideas and best practice.

In addition, they will have the opportunity to listen to and question some of the leading political, academic and business leaders in Britain and Ireland.

“The conference is aimed at helping company directors and senior management understand how Britain and Ireland are evolving socially and economically and how to tailor the strategy of their organisations accordingly,” Dr Sheehan said.

“While our first conference is focused on Brexit, our goal is to develop an annual event that will continue to connect political, civic and business interests across Britain and Ireland in the years to come,’ he added.

The Brehon: conference venue

The conference will open with a discussion on the legal implications of Brexit led by Dr Georges Baur, the Assistant Secretary General of the European Free Trade Association, Prof Gavin Barrett, Professor for European Constitutional and Economic Law at UCD and Prof Catherine Barnard, Professor in European Union Law and Employment Law at the University of Cambridge.

A discussion on how Brexit will shape future politics will be led by Deputy Micheál Martin, TD, and Simon Kingston, conference organiser and a member of the executive committee of the British-Irish Association.

The impact on business will be discussed by Mr Mark Kennedy, Managing Partner of Mazars Ireland, Prof Philip O’Regan, Dean of the Kemmy Business school at UL and independent financial analyst David Clarke.

Other key discussions will include the social and personal impacts of Brexit will be addressed by Prof Ursula Kilkelly, Dean of Law at UCC, Matthew O’Toole, the former Chief Press Officer at Number 10 Downing Street and Sinn Fein TD David Cullinane.

The Killarney Economic Conference is in partnership with Killarney Convention Centre, The Brehon and The Irish Times. It is taking place on January 12 and 13, 2018 at The Brehon, Killarney.

There will be a gala dinner at The Brehon on Friday, January 12 and the conference takes place on Saturday, January 13. The combined gala dinner and full day conference tickets costs €350. The full day conference ticket costs €300 and the gala dinner costs just €80.

Discounts are available for students, NGOs and public sector employees on request. For more information or to book your ticket visit To book Christmas advertising call 087-2229761 or email [email protected]