Head shot of Louisa Barry


Louisa Barry is a native of Waterford, Ireland. Having completed her Masters in International Peace Studies in Trinity College Dublin, Louisa received her Postgraduate Diploma in Conflict and Dispute Resolution Studies (TCD). As part of her journey in Peace Studies, she successfully sat her MII-accredited mediation exam. Louisa has contributed to an EU-funded project on disability inclusion, volunteering and humanitarian aid in CBM Ireland. In 2020 she was awarded a PhD scholarship in Peace Studies, named in honour of President Bill Clinton and in collaboration with the University of Massachusetts (UMass) and Ulster University. Since September 2022, Louisa’s research has been made possible by funding from the Irish Research Council (IRC). She was awarded the Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship. Supervision and guidance are provided by two faculty members, Professor John Doyle and Dr Erika Biagini.

Project Summary

The recent electoral successes of the political ‘centre-ground’ have drawn attention to the nuances of constitutional thinking within Northern Ireland. The fall-out from Brexit and the new interconnections between Irish unity and EU membership has seen both more internal division and greater fluidity in how those in the centre view the constitutional debate. Many have changed their opinions, or are unsure of how they would vote in a border poll. The debate on a potential future referendum on a United Ireland will see campaigners working to attract this floating vote in the political ‘centre-ground’. Yet, this group has been far less researched, than either the nationalist or unionist political blocs. This research aims to conceptualise the ‘centre-ground’ in order to create a greater understanding of the particular lenses through which it would approach a constitutional referendum.