Irish civil rights leader Bernadette McAliskey, former PUP press officer Sophie Long, columnist and editor of ‘Repeal the 8th’ Una Mulally and writer, broadcaster Paul Gosling join moderator, journalist and writer Susan McKay, to consider the state of the place, in our State of the Nation panel.

Is Brexit the catalyst for a fundamental shift in national identity in the island of Ireland?

Northern Ireland is in the eye of the political storm; this tiny region and its irreconcilable border has both the UK and EU over a barrel in the Brexit process.

Is the tipping point in population demographics for support of a United Ireland (or, in Sinn Fein’s words, a “New Ireland”) in the north is almost upon us?  This demographic shift is not just a case of nationalists equalling and then outnumbering unionists, in the vein of traditional orange vs green tribalism. It includes a new kind of voter– secular, liberal, internationalist andpro EU inhabitants of the North, many of whom have spent time away and for whom Brexit has cemented a determination to break away from a crumbling UK. Young people across the country are more liberal, and pro EU.

Is a New Irelandpossible, or desirable? What would it mean culturally (especially for unionists) economically, psychologically? Could the South afford it and do they genuinely want the North?

What does the Irish border now mean, for the people of the north and south? What would a border along the Irish Sea mean for Unionists in NI?  We look at the arguments from a historical, political, cultural and economic point of view and look to the future of the island of Ireland.

ULSTER MUSEUM 3PM – FRIDAY 13th JUNE