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International Colloquium : 90 year diplomatic relations Ireland-Germany - 14. November


A very special event awaits us on 14 November with a truly fantastic line-up (please see below). As we are commemorating and reflecting upon 90 years of Irish-German diplomatic relations we will be able to look at the highlights and changes over the last years by listening to current and former Irish and German ambassadors who have been at the centre of events. Furthermore we will bring the discussion into the here and now – and not only in terms of Irish-German relations but also with regard to diplomacy in Europe in times of Brexit.

The event is free of charge but booking via Eventbrite is essential (only limited space available!).



90th Anniversary of the Establishment of Irish-German Diplomatic Relations
Part 2, University of Limerick


International Colloquium: On the Role of Bilateral Diplomatic Relations


Date and Venue

14 November 2019, University of Limerick, Glucksman Library, Appellate Court room


3pm - 4.15pm

Prof. Des Fitzgerald, President, UL – Opening of the Colloquium

Dr Gisela Holfter, Centre for Irish-German Studies, UL – Introductory Remarks


Reflections on diplomatic experiences in Germany and Ireland (Chair: Prof. Eda Sagarra, TCD):

Seán Ó hUiginn (Irish Ambassador to Germany – 2002 - 2006)

David Donoghue (Irish Ambassador to Germany – 2006 - 2009)

Dr Eckhard Lübkemeier (German Ambassador to Ireland – 2011 - 2014)

Michael Collins (Irish Ambassador to Germany – 2013 - 2019)

Deike Potzel (German Ambassador to Ireland since 2017)


4.45pm – 6.00pm

Roundtable discussion: On the role of bilateral diplomatic relations within the EU in times of Brexit
(Chair: Prof. Joachim Fischer, Centre for European Studies, UL):

Niall Burgess (Secretary General, Dept of Foreign Affairs & Trade) 
Dr Helmut Freudenschuss (Austrian Ambassador to Ireland)
Deike Potzel (German Ambassador to Ireland)

Dr Nicholas O’Brien (Irish Ambassador to Germany)

Louis-José Touron (Swiss Ambassador to Ireland)


Followed by Reception, hosted by School of Law, UL



Opening of the Gottschalk German-Irish book collection by H.E. Deike Potzel - 2.30pm


Ongoing Exhibition, Glucksman Library: “The Children of Operation Shamrock”


Subsequent event:

GSAI annual conference 15/16 November, taking place at Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, please register here


Lecture Dr Eckhard Lübkemeier,Europe and the World, 15 November 2019, 9am CG059



Space for the colloquium is limited! Please register:



Supported by the School of Law, DAAD, the FAHSS, the FAHSS Teaching Fund and the Communicating Europe Initiative



Dr Gisela Holfter

Senior Lecturer in German

Director, Centre for Irish-German Studies

School of Modern Languages and Applied Linguistics

University of Limerick


Phone: +353-61-202395



Recent book publications:

(with Horst Dickel): An Irish Sanctuary - German-speaking Refugees in Ireland 1933-1945, Berlin/Boston: de Gruyter 2017 (paperback 2018), 451 pp

(with Deirdre Byrnes, Jean E. Conacher) (eds): Reflections on Reunification and on the Legacy of GDR Literature, Leiden: Brill 2018, 234 pp

(with Bettina Migge) (eds): Ireland in the European Eye, Dublin: Royal Irish Academy 2019, 511 pp

(with Godela Weiss-Sussex) (eds): Wandern und Plaudern mit Fontane – Literarische Begegnungen mit der Mark Brandenburg heute, Berlin: Quintus 2019, 192 pp

(with D. Byrnes, J.E. Conacher) (eds) Perceptions and Perspectives - Exploring Connections between Ireland and the GDR, Trier: WVT 2019, 226 pp