As part of the Falkland Islands' 40th anniversary year of events in the UK, a delegation from Falkland House visited Belfast and Northern Ireland.
They took the opportunity to meet Northern Ireland MLA and Falklands submariner veteran Dr. Steve Aiken OBE at Stormont, the Northern Ireland Assembly building and hold a short service of remembrance and wreath laying at the Falklands Memorial at
the Palace Barracks, where a new Falklands flag was presented to Albert Owen MBE.
In the evening a lecture was held with the Royal Geographical Society at Queen’s University Belfast entitled, ‘The Falkland Islands and forty years of progress: environment and science’. Queen's university has a long academic relation with the Falkland Islands.
The lecture was chaired by Dr Jim McAdam (Biologist, Queen’s), with speakers Dr. Alastair Pinkerton (Geopolitics, Royal Holloway), Tara Pelembe (SAERI) and Hannah McPhee (Junior Ambassador).
Dr Al Pinkerton explained how the Falkland Islands has taken an increasingly prominent role in telling its own story. Tara Pelembe told SAERI’s story and how it was branching out across the world with world class scientific research, whilst Hannah McPhee discussed what it was like to be an Islander and her priorities for the Islands in the future.
The lecture was well attended by students, veterans, former FIG employees and others who had lived in the Falklands or had a strong interest in the Islands.
Falkland Islands Representative Richard Hyslop said, “It was great to be in Northern Ireland for a series of events to mark the Liberation of the Falkland Islands. It was important that we were able to pay our respects to those from Northern Ireland who gave their lives in the War.
“The visit also provided an opportunity to engage with member of the Northern Ireland Assembly and I hope we will be able to build on this going forward. I was delighted that so many people came to our event at Queen’s University, to hear a variety of talks on the modern Falkland Islands and the progress that has been made in diplomacy, science, and the environment over the last 40 years.”