The Ireland Program was initiated five years ago through the vision of then-President Tom Girardi, and under the stewardship of Patrick McGroder, to create a prototype for international programs in addition to the Academy’s highly successful China Program. From these beginnings, The Ireland Program has grown and flourished into an officially recognized program of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers.
Due to the division of the island of Ireland into Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, there are two separate organizations of barristers (known as “Bars”). Between the two Bars, they represent the last major jurisdictions in Europe where the common law applies. The Ireland Program has built a bridge between the United States, as the world’s greatest common law jurisdiction, and the last two major common law jurisdictions in Europe.
The mission statement of the Academy’s Ireland Program includes the following ideals:
The success of the Ireland Program is directly due to the efforts of two of our IATL fellows: Paul Sreenan of Dublin, Ireland and Michael Stitt of Belfast, Northern Ireland. Paul and Michael have championed the Program since its inception, and are responsible for the selection of delegates from their respective Bars. Those delegates then travel to the United States and are matched to an Academy Fellow who hosts the delegate for approximately 7 days prior to the Academy’s annual meeting, at which the delegates and their host participate.
The Ireland Program has been marked with a number of significant metrics:
The Ireland Program has emerged as a dynamic, vibrant and substantive program; advancing the strong bond between the Academy and the respective Bar Libraries of both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.