Conference 30th March 2019: ‘The Future of Conscience in an Age of Intolerance’

The Iona Institute NI warmly invites you to

“The Future of Conscience in an Age of Intolerance” 


Saturday 30th March 2019


Wellington Park Hotel,

Malone Road, Belfast BT 9 6RU

10 am – 1pm (Registration opens 9.30am)

See timetable below for further details.

To book or request further information, please email ionainstituteni@gmail.com

Our Guest Speakers

Dr Helen Watt is Senior Research Fellow at the Anscombe Bioethics Centre in Oxford, United Kingdom.  Her publications include The Ethics of Pregnancy, Abortion and Childbirth and Life and Death in Healthcare Ethics, together with several edited volumes including Cooperation, Complicity and Conscience. Her research interests include reproductive ethics, action theory and issues of cooperation and conscientious objection.

Dr Helen Watt

Benedict Ó Floinn is a Senior Counsel and was called to the Bar in 1992, after reading law at Christ Church, Oxford. He has been in practice continuously as a trial advocate : predominantly in Ireland, but also overseas. He has been a prominent participant in the various debates to amend the Irish Constitution. Mr O Floinn served for several years on the Education Committee of the Kings Inns, Dublin; was a member of the expert group advising the Law Reform Commission on the Consolidation and Reform of the Courts Acts and was consultant editor of de Brúin’s Transnational Litigation. He is the author of Practice and Procedure in the Superior Courts. Mr. O Floinn has appeared in a wide range of landmark cases involving human rights and constitutional provisions, including the tracing and seizing of criminally-acquired assets for the Criminal Assets Bureau, since its establishment in 1996.


David Smyth leads on public policy for the Evangelical Alliance NI and represents them on a range of government, civic and charitable forums. A former solicitor, he is very interested in the space where faith, law, politics and culture intersect. He is husband to Judith and father to Maeve, Finn and Isaac.


Nuala O’Loan DBE has been a Member of the UK House of Lords since 2009. She was the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland from 1999-2007. She has produced more than 100 articles and other publications on law, policing, faith and other issues.  In the House of Lords, Baroness O’Loan is currently campaigning for conscience rights through her sponsorship of a parliamentary bill which seeks to protect the freedom of conscience of medical professionals, including doctors, midwives, nurses, and pharmacists.

Nuala O'Loan

Conference Timetable


Registration Opens


Talk 1 – Dr Helen Watt


Talk 2 – Mr Benedict Ó Floinn SC


Refreshment Break

(Tea/Coffee/Scones provided)


Talk 3 – Mr David Smyth


Talk 4 – Baroness Nuala O’Loan


Panel Discussion