Ireland for CERN campaign launch

31 January 2014

The official launch of the Ireland for CERN campaign took place in the Science Gallery on January 30th.

Ireland for CERN is a student-led campaign lobbying the government for Irish membership of CERN. It is supported by the Institute of Physics in Ireland. The particle physics laboratory on the Swiss-French border is home to the Large Hadron Collider where the Higgs Boson was discovered in 2012.

Sean Kelly, MEP, with Ireland for CERN campaign organisers
Photo credit: Shane Conneely
Sean Kelly, MEP, with Ireland for CERN campaign organisers

 

The launch featured a series of rapid-fire, talks, given by a diverse range of campaign supporters, including Sean Kelly, MEP, UCD particle physicist, Ronan McNulty and Diarmaid MacMathúna of  creative media company, Agtel. The speakers made a number of key points outlining the benefits of CERN membership which included the significant economic return by way of contracts to member countries, access to the cutting edge research facilities and the teaching and training programmes at CERN. Speakers also commented on the scale of the international collaboration at CERN with 21 member states, with an additional 4 associate members/candidates for membership as well as observer states and 37 non-members states with cooperation agreements.

Ronan McNulty, UCD, speaking at the launch
Photo credit: Maximilian Grimmeiss
Ronan McNulty, UCD, speaking at the launch

 

Ronan McNulty noted that Ireland could obtain associate membership status for a little over €1M per annum and could expect to see around a third of that returned through industry contracts.

Sean Kelly, MEP with Sheila Gilheany, IOPI and Diarmaid Mac Mathúna, Agtel
Photo credit: Maximilian Grimmeiss
Sean Kelly, MEP with Sheila Gilheany, IOPI and Diarmaid Mac Mathúna, Agtel

 

Following the launch, Minister of State for Research and Innovation Sean Sherlock announced he had asked the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation officials “to carry out a review of Ireland’s international engagement on research and innovation, in particular the costs and benefits of membership of international research organisations including CERN”.

For more information on the Ireland for CERN campaign see www.irelandforcern.org