March 28, 2018
NORTH ADAMS, MASS. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) announces that Boston Globe columnist, foreign correspondent, and author Kevin Cullen will present “The Good Friday Agreement 20 Years On: Whatever You Say, Say Nothing,” at this year’s Conflict Prevention and Resolution lecture, to be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 17, in Murdock Hall’s Sammer Dennis Room (218), on the MCLA campus.

This event, which is made possible by a generous gift from the Boschen Peace and International Understanding Fund, is free and open to the public.

Cullen’s reporting in Ireland will form the basis for his analysis of the prospects for the peace process and reconciliation, as this April marks the 20th anniversary of the historic 1998 Good Friday Agreement that brought an end to “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland.

Between 1969 and 1998, approximately 3,000 people were killed in a struggle that centered on whether Northern Ireland should remain part of the United Kingdom. The 1998 peace agreement was a negotiated settlement between the Protestant and Catholic communities in Northern Ireland, along with representatives from the British and Irish governments.

“Twenty years later, the Good Friday Agreement warrants our attention partly as a model to follow for other societies wracked by civil conflict, and partly because of the moment in which we currently find ourselves, where the uncertainty surrounding the UK’s departure from the European Union could revive old tensions within Northern Ireland,” said Dr. David Cupery, assistant professor of political science.

A columnist at the Boston Globe, Cullen previously was a local, national and foreign correspondent, which included serving as bureau chief in Dublin, Ireland, where he covered the conflict in Northern Ireland for more than 30 years.

The only staff reporter for an American newspaper to cover the Irish peace process full-time in the year leading up to the Good Friday Agreement, Cullen was the recipient of the Overseas Press Club of America’s citation of excellence in interpretive reporting for his coverage of Northern Ireland.

In 1998 Cullen was appointed the Globe’s London bureau chief and European correspondent, and spent much of the next three years in the Balkans, covering the war in the former Yugoslavia.

Cullen has been a part of the Globe’s Spotlight Team, and shared in the Pulitzer Prize in Public Service in 2003 for exposing the cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. In 2014, he won the Mike Royko Award as best columnist chosen by the American Society of Newspaper Editors.

He is the only two-time winner of ASNE’s Batten Medal for writing about the marginalized. Co-author of the New York Times bestseller, “Whitey Bulger,” Cullen was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has been a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, concentrating on international human rights law.

The Conflict Prevention and Resolution Speaker Series, which began in 2014, seeks to provide the MCLA community with a forum to better understand sources of world conflicts and explore paths to resolve them. The series was established through the Peace and International Understanding Fund, an endowment created by Al Boschen, a longtime Berkshire County resident who was passionate about world peace and international communication.

For more information about “The Good Friday Agreement 20 Years On: Whatever You Say, Say Nothing,” contact Cupery at (413) 662-5493.

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) is the Commonwealth's public liberal arts college and a campus of the Massachusetts state university system. MCLA promotes excellence in learning and teaching, innovative scholarship, intellectual creativity, public service, applied knowledge, and active and responsible citizenship. MCLA graduates are prepared to be practical problem solvers and engaged, resilient global citizens.

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