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Home > Events

Wednesday, 3rd November 2021

ESU Evelyn Wrench lecture and dinner with guest speaker Mary McAleese

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We are delighted to welcome Professor Mary McAleese, former President of Ireland, as the speaker at this year’s Wrench Lecture, which will take place at Dartmouth House. In her talk, entitled ‘An Uncomfortable State of Affairs’, Professor McAleese will begin with a look at Evelyn Wrench’s Irish roots, his reactions to the Easter Rising, and his lifelong belief in the importance of understanding the other person’s point of view, before sharing her reflections on the Good Friday Agreement, and also on what is being lost as a result of Britain no longer being alongside Ireland in the EU.

Dr Mary McAleese is currently Chancellor of Trinity College Dublin and Professor of Children, Law and Religion in the University of Glasgow. She was President of Ireland from 1997 until 2011, the first president to come from Northern Ireland where her family experienced first-hand the sectarian violence of The Troubles. The theme of her presidency was ‘Building Bridges’ and her work for peace and reconciliation culminated in the historic state visit to Ireland by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II in May 2011. On retiring from office she returned to full-time study at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome obtaining a licentiate and doctorate in Canon Law. In 2019 she was awarded the Alfons Auer Ethics Award of the Faculty of Catholic Theology at the University of Tübingen. She is the author of Reconciled Being: Love in Chaos (1997), Building Bridges (2011), Collegiality in the Code of Canon Law (2014), Children’s’ Rights in Canon Law (2019) and Here’s the Story: a Memoir (2020).

This annual lecture series celebrates global understanding through dialogue and the values and purpose of our founder Sir Evelyn Wrench. It takes place at Dartmouth House, our historic home in Mayfair.

18:30 Reception with a welcome glass of wine

19:00 Lecture given by Dr Mary McAleese

19.20 Q&A with Dr Mary McAleese led by the Chair of the English-Speaking Union, Miles Young

20:00 Two-course dinner

This celebratory evening is in support of the ESU’s education programmes. Every ticket sold will help the English-Speaking Union in its work to give young people the speaking and listening skills and cultural understanding they need to thrive.

Online bookings can be made here or by calling +44 (0)20 7529 1579


Wednesday, 3rd November 2021
Event Category:

Ticket Prices

Member Ticket price
£100 (£55 young members)
Non-Member Ticket price


The English-Speaking Union
37 Charles Street
London, England W1J 5ED United Kingdom
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