One of Ireland’s principal historians, Marianne Elliott OBE, will be sharing her knowledge and experience at Luton Irish Forum on Thursday 14th November (7-9pm) in a talk entitled ‘Religion and cultural identity in Northern Ireland’.

The struggle between Catholic and Protestant has shaped Irish history since the Reformation, with tragic consequences up to the present day. But how do Catholics and Protestants in Ireland see each other? And how do they view their own communities and what these communities stand for?

Tracing the history of religious identities in Ireland over the last three centuries, Marianne Elliott argues that these two questions are inextricably linked and that the identity of both Catholics and Protestants is shaped by the way that each community views the other.

Cutting through the layers of myths, lies, and half-truths that make up the vision that Catholics and Protestants have of each other, she looks at how mutual religious stereotypes were developed over the centuries, how they were perpetuated and entrenched, and how they have defined modern identities and shaped Ireland’s historical destiny, from the independence struggle and partition to The Troubles of the last four decades.
A Q&A session will follow the talk. This free event is open to everyone, but advance booking is essential. Doors open at 6.30pm and there is limited free parking onsite with lots more space in adjacent public car park.

Tom Scanlon, Chair of Luton Irish Forum said, “We’re looking forward to welcoming people to what promises to be another illuminating and thought-provoking evening of discussion and recollection.”

To reserve your place, book via Eventbrite or at Luton Irish Forum, 102 Hitchin Road, Luton, LU2 0ES, email or phone 01582 720 447.
For further information on the services of Luton Irish Forum, go to


Editors Notes:
Marianne Elliott was born and brought up in Northern Ireland. She is Professor Emerita at Liverpool University, where she was Director of the Institute of Irish Studies 1997-2015, where her expertise inspired major research and teaching programmes on Ireland, conflict and reconciliation. She has published a number of acclaimed books, most notably a biography of Wolfe Tone, father of Irish republican nationalism and The Catholics of Ulster. A History. She served on the international Opsahl Peace Commission in Northern Ireland (1993) and co-wrote its report. She has maintained an active interest in the Northern Ireland peace process and its lessons for other conflicts.

Prominent Irish historian to give talk in Luton