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Political Studies Association of Ireland



Irish Studies in International Affairs  

Irish Studies in International Affairs is seeking annual reviewers for the Foreign Relations of Ireland in 2020. These annual reviews are an influential feature of the journal and an invaluable chronicle of Ireland in the world.

Please submit CV (2 pages most included last 5 publications) to by 1th of March

For more information, please contact

Dr Mervyn O’Driscoll
Head of School
School of History
University College Cork


Next lecture in the UCC-Defence Forces Lecture Series:

‘The Freedom of the Seas versus the Constraints of the Land – Delivering Maritime Security on the Fault-Line in Between’, Captain Brian FitzGerald, Officer Commanding Naval Operations Command & 2IC Irish Naval Service, Thursday 25th February 2021, 18.30-20.00 (Irish/UK time).

The next lecture in the UCC-Defence Forces Lecture Series will be on ‘The Freedom of the Seas versus the Constraints of the Land – Delivering Maritime Security on the Fault-Line in Between’ by Captain Brian Fitzgerald, Second in Command, Irish Naval Service. The lecture will take place on-line on Thurs 25th February, 6.30-8.00 (Irish/UK time) via this link. (Earlier versions of this communication indicated 24th February, which was incorrect – apologies).

The seas and the oceans are shared spaces where the legal regime is underpinned by freedoms.  ‘Flag State freedoms’ describes the freedoms enjoyed by ships.  The jurisdiction of the flag State and its associated freedoms are pre-eminent on the High Seas but diminish as one approaches the coast from where a corresponding counter-eminence of coastal State jurisdiction ascends.  A perpetual and evolving tension exists at this interface and beyond where the maritime legal regime based on freedoms meets with the terrestrial legal regime based on sovereignty and property rights.  This lecture aims to explore the extent to which the freedoms of the seas are being eroded.  This matters because the source of the tension surrounds humankind’s use of the seas, resulting in legal and extra-legal activity that threatens stability.  This tension is set to increase for the foreseeable future underpinning the growing importance of maritime security and most especially for this island nation.

Captain (NS) Brian Fitzgerald has served for over 37 years in the Irish Naval Service including two periods as a ship’s Captain. In 2017 he completed a successful deployment to the Mediterranean Sea as part of Europe’s response to the humanitarian crisis taking place there rescuing extraordinary numbers of migrants.  Brian has participated in some of the biggest drug interdiction operations in the history of Europe and coordinated the at sea search operation following the loss of the IRCG helicopter ‘Rescue 116’ in 2017.  He is currently the second in command of Ireland’s Naval Service.  Brian holds Masters degrees in Marine and Maritime Law (UCC) and Leadership, Management and Defence Studies (NUIM), a primary honours degree in Civil Law (UCC) and a diploma in Public Relations (PRII) in addition to his Naval qualifications.  Brian is a qualified and practising workplace and family law Mediator and is a Board Member of the Irish International Charity ‘GOAL-Global’.

The UCC-Defence Forces Lecture Series aims to contribute to informed public debate on contemporary global security challenges, how such problems may impact on Ireland and how Ireland can contribute to addressing regional and global security threats. The lecture series is jointly organised by the Defence Forces and UCC’s Colleges of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences and Business and Law.

Lecture details:

  • ‘The Freedom of the Seas versus the Constraints of the Land – Delivering Maritime Security on the Fault-Line in Between’
  • Captain Brian Fitzgerald, Second in Command, Irish Naval Service
  • On-line via this link (- no registration or log-in is required, but we kindly request that you go to link shortly before the start time of 18.30).
  • The lecture will also be recorded so that people may view it later if they wish.