Speakers and Guests



Over the past five centuries the world’s pre-eminent thinkers, creators and doers have spoken, debated and challenged minds, young and old, at the University Philosophical Society in Trinity College Dublin. Each year, the council extends invitations to a small number of guests around the world, inviting them to address the students and staff of the University.

Founded in 1684, the society, true to its traditions, continues to be run by undergraduates elected annually by its members, and guided by its Senior Patron, the Provost of Trinity College. Honorary members and patrons include many notable statesman, playwrights, philosophers, composers and more from around the world, including Nobel Peace Prize winners Archbishop Desmond Tutu, FW de Klerk, John Hume, David Trimble and Mohamed ElBaradei.

Recent guests and speakers have included Angela Merkel, Nancy Pelosi, Joseph Nye, John McCain, Hugh Laurie, Whoopi Goldberg, Helen Mirren, Bono, Vivienne Westwood, Oliver Stone, Al Pacino, Gore Vidal, Alex Ferguson, Jimmy Wales, Tommy Hilfiger, Stephen Fry and numerous Nobel Laureates. In centuries past, a small selection of guests and speakers have included Winston Churchill, James Joyce, Frederick Engels and Alexis de Tocqueville.

The society, of course, is privileged to have had such eminent student presidents and members as George Berkeley, Jonathan Swift, Oliver Goldsmith, Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde, John B. Yeats, Mary Robinson, and Nobel Laureates E.T.S. Walton and Samuel Beckett.

 The waiting period to be considered as a guest speaker is between one and two years. For further enquiries please email speakers@tcdphil.com