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History of ICEL

The Irish Centre for European Law is based in Trinity College Dublin.  It was founded in1988 by Senator Mary Robinson S.C. (as she then was) who served as the Centre's first Director prior to becoming President of Ireland.

Mary Robinson (at right) Founder and first Director of the ICEL at an early Centre Conference.
Mary Robinson at ICEL Conference

Subsequent Directors are Mr Alex Schuster B.L., Judge Anthony M. Collins of the General Court of the European Union, Dr Cathryn Costello B.L., Mr Noel Travers S.C., Mr Andrew Beck B.L., Mr Jonathan Tomkin B.L.,  Mr Nathy Dunleavy B.L.  The current Director is Gary Fitzgerald B.L.

In the Centre’s inaugural publication, Senator Mary Robinson S.C., wrote:-

“The Irish Centre for European Law at Trinity College Dublin has been formed to provide a specialist response to the enormous challenge of the Community’s Internal Market programme. To meet this challenge the Centre has created a unique linkage between legal practitioners, academic lawyers and representatives of the wide range of sectors affected by European Law.”

The Centre has been associated with the School of Law at Trinity College Dublin since foundation. It maintains strong links with other educational organisations such as the Academy of European Law (ERA) in Trier, Germany. Legal expertise from Northern Ireland is represented on the Board and in the Centre’s membership.

View a list of the founding Board Members of the Centre.

Read the address of Mary McAleese, President of Ireland at the Centre's 20th Anniversary Conference, which places the Centre in its historical context.

Read Mary Robinson’s original memorandum to practitioners in which she stressed the importance of European Law to Irish Lawyers.

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