The next Plenary Session of the Forum will be held on Friday 15 December 1995 [11.00am -1.00pm]

Three of the five studies commissioned by the Forum Sub-Committee on Obstacles in the South to Reconcilation will be presented to the Forum:

The experience of the Protestant and Jewish populations in the South since 1922 by Professor Terence Brown, Trinity College,Dublin

In relation to the Protestant Population, Professor Brown believes that his survey consolidates the tentative analysis of an earlier commentator [Kurt Bowen in the 1970's] that Protestants have been integrated into society in the South rather than asimilated by it and that cooperative relations between the distinct religious communities have developed in church, educational and civic life. This study is complemented by the demographic survey of Prof. Jerry Sexton and Mr. Richard O'Leary [see below]. Regarding the Jewish Community, Prof. Brown notes that emigration is probably the key factor in the decline in numbers, but that despite this and a tendency to inhabit a segregated world, Jews have played a significant role in Irish public life.

An analysis of Influences affectiong the Decline in the Population of the Minority Communities in the Republic of Ireland, Prof. Jerry Sexton [ESRI] and Mr. Richard O'Leary [Nuffield College, Oxford]

The Sexton / O'Leary study is a substantive piece of new research which examines demographic trends in the minority, mainly Protestant, populations and their causes. The study examines demographic trends as well as the influence of migration and the incidence of mixed marraiges. It also analyses the decline of the Jewish population after 1946.

The historical role of the Catholic Church in the Republic of Ireland, 1922-1995, Prof. Dermot Keogh, UCC and the Institute of Irish Studies, QUB.

Prof. Keogh's study, largely based on primary source material, provides a close examination of the relationship between the Catholic Church and State since 1922 against the background of current difficulties within the Church and the consequent "major crediblity problem for the Irish hierarchy". The study identifies a number of themes and offers an overview of of the role of the Catholic Church in Irish Society to the present day.

The Chairperson of the Forum, Judge Catherine McGuinness, commenting on these studies, said:

" I am very pleased that these three studies are to be presented to the Forum on Friday. They provide new research and probing analysis into areas which are central to the work of the Forum for Peace and Reconcilation and to the wider peace process and are worthy of close examination. We look forward to the formal publication of these studies, together with the studies of Prof. Brice Dickson and Dr. Arthur Aughey, in the New Year."

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