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Sunday, April 18, 1999 Published at 00:07 GMT 01:07 UK


Think-tank targets NI peace

University College Dublin will research British-Irish relationships

University College Dublin is setting up an academic think-tank to support the political structures proposed by last year's Good Friday Agreement.

The Search for Peace
Despite the uncertainty over the future of the Northern Ireland peace process, the university's President, Art Cosgrove, promised that the Institute for British-Irish Studies would provide a research back-up for whatever agreement is achieved.

The institute will research the evolving relationships between Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Britain, in the context of the peace settlement's proposals for cross-border bodies.

[ image: Art Cosgrove says the institute will research conflict resolution worldwide]
Art Cosgrove says the institute will research conflict resolution worldwide
"Whatever lessons can be learned from the study of conflict worldwide will be made available to those who can profit from them," said Dr Cosgrove.

The university will work alongside academics from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, creating what Dr Cosgrove described as a "powerful and unprecedented combination of intellectual talent which holds much promise for the future development of British-Irish relations".

It is intended that the institute will examine topics such as national identity, the place of countries and regions within the European Union, constitutional change within Britain and Ireland and conflict management.

Dr Cosgrove says that the institute promises to be of "major national and international significance in the evolving history of these islands".

"It is still not fully clear how the Good Friday institutions will operate, but it is undoubtedly the case that precedents from elsewhere and viable options for the future need to be explored fully."

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