Solidarity and Struggle: Affirming Equality, Civil Society and Democracy

Wednesday, September 11, 2024 - 10:00 to 16:30
TSI 2.10, Maynooth North Campus

Join a range of civil society, non-government organisations and community groups to reflect on current threats to democracy and equality and discuss strategies to move on.

On Sept 11 2024 10am-4.30pm a deliberative event will be take place in Maynooth University and offer space to enable exploration and sharing   of  actions, analysis and strategies with a view to  affirming solidarity, equality, democracy and civil society. It takes place  in the new Technology Society and Innovation building (2.10), in Maynooth’s North Campus, there is free car parking , disability access, ISL and a range of refreshments throughout the day. Join a range of civil society, non-government organisations and community groups to reflect on current pressures in civil society, democracy and equality and discuss strategies to move on.

Over the past decade,  since austerity and particularly over the last years many in civil society are experiencing a pressured civil space in their  work for equality and social cohesion.  Post the 2024 referendum and local and European elections Maynooth University are working with civil society to provide a  facilitated space to discuss current realities in and  pressures or tensions to civil society, the challenges people are experiencing and the strategies that can enable civil society most effectively.  

We recognise experiences are different for different groups / organisations/ communities –  there are internal as well as external tensions in peoples work, and  different experiences and analysis frames different expectations.  People also work in local, national and international contexts. However there is common ground in the realities people are experiencing and in how  people could benefit from the opportunity to analyse the situation, to explore the challenges,  hear from each other about resilient actions on the ground,  reflect on experiences and discuss responses and strategies.

Internal pressures include  frantic busyness,  low morale,  fragmentation and working in silos.  Some of the external pressures  or experiences include working with new forms of social media, issues of state regulation and power from above, new forms of organising,  delegitimating and weaponisation of civil society,  targeting of   LGBTQI +,   race and  women’s equality,  and a more violent society.

Venue TSI 2.10, Maynooth North Campus, free car parking , disability access.

  • Coffee and Registration 9.30am:  Conference 10am - 4.35pm 
  • Facilitated by Burren Art College
  • ISL interpretation will be provided
  • A contribution to travel and care cost can be provided on request, please email
  • A light vegetarian/vegan lunch and teas/coffees are provided.
  • Free Wifi.   
  • Please note the  registration system is not  ‘first come first served’ but seeks to ensure delegates are representative across  groups. We will use positive action to enable wide representation across different groups in a context where numbers are limited.
  • Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and creating a safe and welcoming environment is an organisational priority for this conference and underpins the planning and co-ordination of the event.

Registration is free here. 
Funded by the St Stephens Green Trust,  Community Foundation Ireland, Departments of Applied Social Studies and Sociology, with support and assistance from the National Women’s Council of Ireland, Maynooth Social Sciences Institute  and facilitated by the Burren Art College.