December 9, 2010

The Future of Public Sector Cross Border Co-operation in a Difficult Financial Climate

Wellington Park Hotel, Belfast
Thursday 9 December 2010
10.00am – 1.00pm

The North South Research Forum, which meets twice a year, offers an opportunity for academics and other professional researchers, public officials, funders, policy makers and other interested parties to meet in a semi-formal setting to discuss research, policy and practice of particular relevance to the border region and/or the promotion of cross border co-operation.

The third North South Research Forum meeting was held in the Wellington Park Hotel, Belfast on 9 December 2010 with the theme The Future of Public Sector Cross Border Co-operation in a Difficult Financial Climate with speakers:

  • Mr Victor Hewitt, Director of the Economic Research Institute of Northern Ireland (ERINI)
  • Mr Pat McArdle, Irish Times Columnist and former Ulster Bank Chief Economist
  • Mr Andy Pollak, Director, Centre for Cross Border Studies
  • and chaired by Mr Shaun Henry, Director Managing Authority, Special EU Programmes Body

This initiative is funded under the EU Interreg IVA Programme.  Presentations by the keynote speakers will be followed by opportunities for discussion and informal networking.

For further details contact Eimear Donnelly (, Centre for Cross Border Studies, 39 Abbey Street, Armagh BT61 7EB.

About the speakers

Pat McArdle, economist and Irish Times columnist, retired from the position of Chief Economist with Ulster Bank in May 2009.  His work for Ulster Bank focused on research and commentary on key economic trends and forecasts for the benefit of the bank, the business community and consumers across the island of Ireland. During his tenure at Ulster Bank, he was a director of RBS Asset Management (Dublin) Ltd and a Trustee of the Ulster Bank Pension Fund. He has represented Ireland internationally at the IMF, the OECD and the EBF and was heavily involved in the introduction of the Euro. Prior to his role at Ulster Bank, Pat was Chief Economist at NCB Stockbrokers and he also served as a public servant in the Department of Finance and the European Commission. He holds an MA in econometrics from UCD, is a Qualified Financial Advisor and a Fellow of the Institute of Bankers, a Fellow of the Institute of Bankers, and a Member of the Foundation for Fiscal Studies and the Financial Regulator’s Consultative Industry Panel.  He has recently completed a Diploma in Corporate Governance in UCD and is a director of a number of companies.


Victor Hewitt is the Director of the Economic Research Institute of Northern Ireland (ERINI), which was created early in 2004 through a merger of the Northern Ireland Economic Council (NIEC) and the Northern Ireland Economic Research Centre (NIERC). As Director of ERINI Mr Hewitt is responsible for managing a broad research agenda including work on the role of innovation and technical change in promoting economic development. Mr Hewitt was born in Northern Ireland and educated at The Queen’s University of Belfast and the University of Manchester. Up until 1988 he taught economics and conducted research on regional modelling and fiscal issues at Queen’s before becoming the Director of the NIEC. In 1991 Mr Hewitt joined the Northern Ireland Civil Service as Chief Economist and Head of Profession. He worked in the Department of Finance and Personnel with responsibility for European Programmes and later public expenditure planning and liaison with HM Treasury. Mr Hewitt has also worked in the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment which is responsible for economic development policy in Northern Ireland. While there he was responsible for the department’s research strategy.

Shaun Henry has been working with the SEUPB since 2002. During the programme period 2000-2006 he was the Director of the Peace and Reconciliation Programme (PEACE II) and the INTERREG IIIA Programme. Shaun was seconded to the Ministry for Regional Development in Romania for the period 2007-2009, to advise on the implementation of EU structural funds. Following his return to Belfast in 2009,  Shaun has been appointed as the Director of the Managing Authority for the PEACE III and INTERREG IVA Programmes.  Prior to his employment with the Special EU Programmes Body Shaun worked in the Rural Development Council, Northern Ireland and before that he had the experience of working in East Africa – two years with Ireland Aid under the Department of Foreign Affairs Ireland and five years with Concern Worldwide. Shaun has a Degree in Agriculture, Masters in Forestry and an MBA in Business Administration.

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