Slándáil 2020: National Security Summit Ireland will officially launch on the 25th September in the Westbury Hotel. Our launch event is entitled “The protection of democratic institutions in the age of disinformation”. The event will see short presentations by Dr Jane Suiter, Mr. Damien Collins MP and Mr. Ben Nimmo. After their presentations the speakers will be joined by The Hon. Mr. Justice John L. Murray, Ms. Liz Carolan and a representative from the Dáil for a panel discussion. The panel will discuss the influence of disinformation on recent elections in the US, UK and Europe, their concerns for the future of democratic institutions and actions required to safeguard our democracy.

The Westbury Hotel, Balfe Street, Dublin 2, D02 CH66

0900: Buffet breakfast for guests
0930: Opening remarks
0945: Speaker presentations
1030: Discussion panel followed by Q&A
1130: Finish

The speakers/panellists are;

The Hon. Mr Justice John Murray

Mr. Justice Murray is a (retired) Senior Ordinary Member of the Supreme Court of Ireland having completed a seven year term of office as Chief Justice of Ireland, the highest judicial office in the State, from 2007-2011. Mr Justice Murray is a former Attorney General of Ireland having occupied the role from August-December 1982 and again from 1987-1991 and is a former judge of the Court of Justice of the European Union on which he served for a period of eight years from 1991-1999. Moreover, from 1997-2000, Mr Justice Murray also held a Visiting Professorship in Law at the Université de Louvain, Belgium and is a former Chairperson of both the Anti-Fraud Committee of the European Central Bank and the Ad hoc Ethical Committee of the European Commission. Mr Justice Murray is currently a Member of the Council of State, Chairman of the Advisory Panel of Experts on Candidates for election, as Judge to the European Court of Human Rights, Chancellor of the University of Limerick and Chairman of the University’s Governing Authority.

Liz Carolan

Liz Carolan is the Executive Director of Digital Action, a new project working to counter digital threats to democracy. In 2018 she set up and ran the Transparent Referendum Initiative, a project to enable scrutiny of online activity during the Irish referendum on the 8th Amendment. She has spent the last 10 years working on governance, transparency and data issues, at the Institute for Government, the Africa Governance Initiative and Open Data Institute.

Mr Damien Collins MP.

Damian has served as the Conservative MP for Folkestone and Hythe since 2010.
In October 2016 he was elected by the House of Commons as Chairman of the Culture, Media and Sport select committee, having previously served as a member of the committee. In this role he led the committee’s inquiries into disinformation and fake news. During the Coalition government Damian served between 2014-15 as Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to then Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond.

From 2012 to 2014 he was PPS to the then Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Theresa Villiers.

He graduated in Modern History from St Benet’s Hall, University of Oxford in 1996, and in 1995 was also President of the Oxford University Conservative Association. Damian’s career before politics was in the advertising and communications industries.

Dr Jane Suiter

Jane is Director of the Institute for Future Media and Journalism at DCU and an Associate Professor in the School of Communications at Dublin City University. Jane’s expertise lies mainly in the area of the public sphere; and in particular participation and political engagement; including direct democracy and other modes of engaging the public in decision-making processes; such as citizens’ assemblies and journalism.

She is co-PI on the Irish Citizen Assembly (2016-2018) and the Irish Constitutional Convention (2012-2014) and a founder member of We the Citizens (2011), Ireland’s first deliberative experiment.
She is currently PI of a Marie Curie ETN JOLT on harnessing technology for journalism, PI of PROVENANCE a H2020 project tackling disinformation in the social sphere and PI of the Reuters Digital News Report (Ireland).

Jane is a Visiting Fellow at the Reuters Institute, Oxford University, communication chair of COST ISI308 examining populist political communication and is on the Standing Committee of the ECPR standing group on Democratic Innovations.  Jane is a frequent contributor to broadcast and print media, has given evidence at parliamentary committees and is a former journalist having worked as Economics Editor at The Irish Times and for other media such as the FT Group and AP Dow Jones.


Mr. Ben Nimmo

Ben has recently been appointed the Director of Investigations at Graphika Inc. Graphika is a SAAS and managed services company that provides both cutting-edge technologies to create large-scale maps of social media landscapes and in-depth analysis on digital marketing and
disinformation & analysis.

Prior to this Ben was a non-resident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab. He is an analyst of defense and international security, specializing in patterns and trends on disinformation and hybrid warfare. From 1999 to 2011 he worked as a writer and journalist throughout Europe, including five years in Brussels covering EU and NATO issues for Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa. In 2011 he joined the NATO press office. His duties covered fields should as NATO-Russia and NATO-Ukraine relations, partnerships, deterrence, and conventional and missile defense. He is a senior fellow of the Institute for Statecraft in London, an associate scholar of the Centre for European Policy Analysis, and is fluent in languages including French, German, Russian, and Swedish.

Deputy Eamon Ryan

Eamon was born in Dublin and raised in Dundrum and Dartry. He studied commerce in UCD before taking a job managing a marketing course in the university’s School of Business. He went on to found a cycling tourism company, Irish Cycling Safaris, in the late 1980’s and in 1996 he won the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. He then went on to serve both as a TD for Dublin South and as a Government Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.

In recent years, Eamon has worked for a European climate organisation ( and chaired the digital policy group in the Institute of International and European Affairs ( He is currently leader of the Green Party/Comhaontas Glas ( and a member of the International Grand Committee on Disinformation and Fake News.

Mr. Kieran Cuddihy (Event MC)

A native of Kilkenny, Kieran trained and qualified as a solicitor before moving into journalism. Having spent a number of years working as a reporter across the schedule in Newstalk, in 2017 he began presenting his own show every Sunday morning. Since November last year, Kieran has been co-presenting the Breakfast show with Shane Coleman. The Breakfast show is a current affairs show that is opinion led and driven by listener interaction.