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Belfast Speakeasy

January 26 at 6:30 pm - 10:00 pm GMT


A Free Speech Union Speakeasy, in association with the Battle of Ideas Festival.

DATE: Friday 26th January, 2024

TIME: Doors and bar open 6.30pm. Panel with Q & A, 7pm until 8.30pm, followed by social. Ends 10pm.

VENUE: Drawing Office One and Pavilion Bar, Titanic Hotel, 8 Queens Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland, BT3 9DT.

TICKETS: £6 for FSU members, £10 for non-members, £3 for students.

Join us for the Free Speech Union’s first Northern Ireland Speakeasy. On Friday 26th January we’ll be hosting a stellar panel to consider The State of Free Speech in Northern Ireland, covering everything from hate speech to press freedom, from the attempted silencing of women’s rights campaigners to digital censorship and compelled speech. Organised in association with the Battle of Ideas festival, the evening is your chance to hear from great speakers, to get your voice heard on free speech issues and to meet other free speech enthusiasts.


Toby Young, general secretary of the Free Speech Union.

Stella O’Malley, psychotherapist and writer.

David Quinn, journalist and commentator, founder of The Iona Institute.

Jeffrey Dudgeon, politician, campaigner and author.

Ella Whelan, journalist and author, co-convenor the Battle of Ideas festival.

Simon Chambers, solicitor in the ‘TERFed Out’ case and ‘Sara Morrison vs Belfast Film Festival’.

*Andrew Doyle has had to step down due to other commitments.

Toby Young is the general secretary of the Free Speech Union, a non-partisan, mass membership public interest body that stands up for the speech rights of its members. He co-founded the West London Free School and is the author of four books, the best known of which is How to Lose Friends & Alienate People. He is an associate editor of the Spectator, where he’s written a weekly column since 1998. He also runs a blog called DailySceptic.org that has received over 40 million page views.

Stella O’Malley is a psychotherapist, writer, public speaker and parent, with many years’ experience working as a mental health professional. She has written several books, Cotton Wool Kids, Bully-Proof Kids, Fragile and What Your Teen is Trying To Tell You and co-authored the recent When Kids Say They’re Trans. Born in Dublin, Stella now lives in Co. Offaly with her husband and two children where she runs her private clinical practice.

David Quinn has been a newspaper columnist in Ireland since 1994. Currently he writes a weekly column the Sunday Independent. His column has previously appeared in the Sunday Times (Ireland), the Irish Independent and the Sunday Business Post. He frequently appears on radio and television programmes and has contributed to numerous publications overseas, including the Spectator and UnHerd. He has appeared on ‘Free Speech Nation’ with Andrew Doyle discussing free speech issues in the Republic of Ireland. He is founder and CEO of The Iona Institute.

Jeffrey Dudgeon has held office in the Northern Ireland Gay Rights Association (NIGRA) since its foundation in 1975 and has led landmark campaigns for gay rights and personal freedom. He was awarded an MBE in the 2012 Honours List for “services to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Northern Ireland.” Between 2014 and 2019 he served as an Ulster Unionist Councillor to Belfast City Council and was chair of the council’s Diversity Working Group. He has written books on Roger Casement (2002) and H. Montgomery Hyde (2018).

Ella Whelan is a journalist and author of What Women Want: Fun, Freedom and an End to Feminism. Ella is a columnist for spiked and regularly appears on TV and radio, including ‘Question Time’, ‘Today’, Times Radio, Sky News, GMB, GB News, ‘Any Questions’, ‘Moral Maze’, ‘Politics Live’, Channel 4 and others. She has written for The Critic, New Statesman, Telegraph, Sunday Times, The Economist, the Irish Times, the Sun, Spectator.

Simon Chambers has been practising as a litigation specialist and “problem solver” for nearly 25 years and is based just outside Belfast in Newtownards at Russell and Company Solicitors. Simon also practises in Family and Criminal law, conveyancing and commercial matters. He is a member of the Law Society Council. Simon is no stranger to high profile litigation, having made his name representing over 150 Northern Irish families, who successfully recovered their money after investing in fraudulent Italian property schemes run by the Calabrian mafia and the IRA, carving out an international reputation in this field. Always with his ear to the ground as to prevailing legal trends, Simon enjoys the challenge of ground-breaking cases and attracts clients from far and wide to his door. Since taking on these two gender critical cases, Simon’s interest of freedom of speech, belief and expression have been greatly heightened and he has been declared an honorary ”TERF” by his clients!

JOIN the FSU to get discounts at all events.

Members receive free speech support and discounts for live events as well as exclusive access to online content, so do consider joining the Free Speech Union.


January 26
6:30 pm - 10:00 pm GMT
Event Category:


The Free Speech Union
020 3920 7865
View Organiser Website


Titanic Hotel, Belfast
Titanic Quarter, 8 Queens Road
Belfast, Antrim BT3 9DT United Kingdom
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