On this page, you will find all of our media appearances to discuss our work, whether at select committees, on the radio, or on television. You will also find any blogs and op-eds we have written.

PI at PSA Annual Conference 2021

The Political Studies Association’s annual conference kicks off on Monday 29th March. Intended to be held in Belfast, the event will be conducted entirely online in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Performing Identities will be presenting two papers over the coming days; very handily, both will be happening in the same session!

Clare Rice will be presenting a solo piece of research examining the implementations of identity and governance provisions agreed in Northern Ireland’s ‘New Decade, New Approach’ deal one year on.

The second will be a joint presentation from Clare Rice, Megan Armstrong and Ben Warwick, outlining some key findings from interviews completed in Northern Ireland on the theme of identity and Brexit.

For those attending the conference, these will be happening in Panel 919 on Wednesday 31st March (9am-10.30am).

Explainer: Article 16 of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland

In light of the challenges that have been seen with the Northern Ireland Protocol since it came into force on 1st January 2021, there have been calls for the UK Government to use Article 16 of the Protocol as a means to solving these issues.

The UK Government has been reluctant to take this step. But in the face of mounting pressure on the UK Government to use it, and increased discussion about it, the complexity of Article 16 has come under close scrutiny.

But what is Article 16, how does it work, and what does it mean?

PI’s Clare Rice prepared an explainer on this for UK in a Changing Europe. This concise guide is available to read in full here: https://ukandeu.ac.uk/explainers/article-16-of-the-northern-ireland-protocol/

PI Panel at UACES 2020

The Performing Identities will (virtually) come together on Monday 7th September to lead a panel discussion at the UACES Virtual Conference 2020.

Initially planned to be happening in Belfast, the full conference has now moved to an online platform in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

We have planned a panel on the theme of Brexit and Northern Ireland, in which each member will outline some key aspects of the work being done within the Performing Identities project.

This will include the presentation of initial findings from interview-based research in Northern Ireland, and overviews of several forthcoming papers not yet in the public domain.

Central to our plans for the session is to provide a forum for informal discussion – on the work of the team, but also more generally on the topics being covered.

As a ‘non-traditional panel’ at the UACES conference, we had ambitious plans for this session in Belfast. While now proceeding in a virtual format, this remains a session not to be missed for anyone interested in Brexit and its impact in Northern Ireland!


Unfortunately, this panel is only open to registered participants of the conference, but we will be tweeting updates on the day from our account – @performidentity


Blog: Implementing the NI Protocol

Following the publication of the UK’s Command Paper on the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement’s Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland, our team prepared several pieces of analysis.

Aoife O’Donoghue prepared an article for the DCU Brexit Institute Blog – ‘The UK’s Approach to Implementing the Northern Ireland Protocol‘ – which highlighted absences of detail in the document, reaching a conclusion that ‘this is unlikely to be the basis on which the EU will accept the implementation of the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol.’

Colin Murray, also writing for the DCU Brexit Institute Blog, highlights ambiguities between the UK’s position and the commitments already signed up to in the Withdrawal Agreement. In Front-Foot Negotiations: The UK’s Proposed Implementation of the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol it is argued that the document exposes the UK’s weak position in the discussions, and that rather than bravado, a more realistic approach is necessitated.

Clare Rice prepared an article for The UK in a Changing Europe – ‘A road to nowhere? The UK’s approach to implementing the NI Protocol.’ This piece explored the potential intent behind the position the UK outlined on implementing the NI Protocol. It suggests the Command Paper indicates that Northern Ireland will likely become collateral damage as a consequence of political ambitions beyond its control.


For further analysis and immediate responses to developments as they happen, check out our Twitter – @performidentity


General Election 2019 Coverage and Analysis

The PI team have been busy in the lead up to the General Election and in the days since, offering insight and analysis across a range of platforms.

Professor O’Donoghue has appeared on BFM Radio Malaysia and Today FM (Ireland).

Clare Rice has been involved in BBC coverage, appearing on Inside Politics, Sunday Politics, Good Morning Ulster, Evening Extra, Newsline, Newsnight, and the BBC News Channel.

Follow us on Twitter (@performidentity) for all the latest updates and links to catch up on our analyses!

Prof O’Donoghue on BBC Breakfast


Prof Aoife O’Donoghue was on the BBC Breakfast couch on the 31st August explaining why prorogation of Parliament will so limit the room for manoeuvre of those opposed to the UK Governments plans. She discussed the prospects of the various legal challenges to prorogation as well as the Parliamentary processes that might result.

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Common Travel Area Memorandum of Understanding: a Brexit consolation prize?

Colin Murray writes for the LSE Brexit Blog… ‘With the end of Theresa May’s premiership the Withdrawal Agreement she had concluded with the EU receded out of her reach, in a “here’s-what-you-could-have-won” game-show moment. But what does she take home? What international agreement can be set against her three-year tenure in Downing Street? The Common Travel Area Memorandum of Understanding, concluded in May 2018, could be cast as her solitary “set-of-steak-knives” consolation prize’.

Read the whole blog here.