Comhlámh > First Wednesdays Conversation Series

First Wednesdays Conversation Series


For over 20 years, First Wednesdays  (#FirstWeds) series has provided a space to discuss and explore the linkages between local and global justice issues. Join the conversation!


For over 20 years, Comhlámh’s First Wednesdays (#FirstWeds) series has provided a space to discuss and explore the linkages between local and global justice issues.

At each, contributors from across the Global South and Global North come together to inform, inspire and encourage the audience to develop a deeper awareness of our interdependent world.

The sessions link to pressing themes such as climate justice, migration and democracy, with speakers offering nuanced and wide-ranging insights into how these affect people and the planet differently.

We are grateful to Maynooth University Department of International Development for their partnership in hosting the series, and to Concern Worldwide for their ongoing financial support, which enables us to offer this series to the public.

Keep an eye out on our news page for the next First Wednesdays dates and join the conversation!

First Wednesdays conversations


In case you missed it


Ecological Sustainability and Finding Ways In

The need to address the unsustainability and harm inherent in the systems we have built, becomes clearer by the day, with climate science and the precarious life conditions endured by so many telling us what we need to know. At the same time, harmful production and consumption systems have no interest in slowing down. Our dependence on them from here in Ireland can make imagining and enacting alternatives very difficult.

This First Wednesdays series provided space for those offering ways in, here on our island, and to point to the role of critical thinking, imagination and connections between people and the planet in building sustainable futures.

Watch the series below.

First Wednesdays Summer Series 2023, in partnership with Oxfam Ireland, focused on the critical issue of EU pushbacks and the breakdown of the rule of law at the European borders. It aimed to shed light on the human rights violations, law breaking, and ethical concerns associated with the EU’s pushback policies and unlawful actions towards people seeking protection.

Watch the series below.

How do we consider struggles for justice and equality? Do commonalities ‘in struggle’ exist across campaigning and activism movements, and what would it mean to consider these struggles as part of a process of ‘acts of global citizenship’ and ‘democratising democracy’?   

Our  Autumn 2022 #FirstWeds series invites you to join us in an exploration of these questions.  A diverse range of local activists and campaigners, from the island of Ireland and beyond, will join us to provide us with practical and real-world experiences to inform discussions and learning.  

The stimulus for the discussions will also come from a recent piece of engaged research carried out by Comhlámh and Dr Barry Cannon from Maynooth University (Department of Sociology).  The research engaged practitioners from the development sector in an exploration of a range of theoretical perspectives on ‘struggle’, ‘globalisation’, ‘citizenship’, ‘democratisation’ and ‘democracy’.  

Through our #FirstWeds series, as we hear directly from those currently involved in real-world struggles, we will begin to dig deeper into how we direct our thinking towards these theoretical perspectives, ensuring we remain responsive and rooted to struggles on the ground as we examine how they are aligned with ‘acts of global citizenship’ and ‘democratisation’.

Watch the series recording and register below.

#FirstWeds Spring 2022 Series holds in mind Ukrainians and people of other countries ridden by war and conflict, who have been forced to leave their homes and cross borders in search of safety.

What are some practical ways to extend support and solidarity from Ireland? And, as we extend this support and solidarity, how can we grow our understanding of the geopolitical contexts within which such calamitous events unfold? Moreover, how can we, from here in Europe, ensure a move beyond fortressed border policies and uphold our welcome to all people in need of refuge?

The series explores these questions and more. In the company of panellists from Europe’s East and beyond we want to deepen our understanding of the drivers of the conflict and migration we are witnessing, and challenge the dualities of attitudes towards refugees. We also aim (with some urgency) to consider the many ways we can be in solidarity with communities seeking refuge from war, violence and oppression in 2022, and with those supporting them on this dangerous journey.

Watch the series below.


In autumn 2021, with COP26 as a backdrop, our #FirstWeds series was dedicated to the climate crisis. In the lead-up to and throughout COP26, there was much discussion and debate about targets, policies to be enacted, commitments to be made but also a sense that more than all this is needed. Drawing in youth, elders, and community activist voices our autumn #FirstWeds series included discussions infused with clarity, honesty, and sobriety as well as direction for the kind of system-wide transformation that is needed.

Watch the series below.


Watch the #FirstWeds events held between September and November 2020 below.


Watch the #FirstWeds events held between May and July 2020 below.


#FirstWeds events are organised in partnership with the Maynooth University Department of International Development and with the financial support of Concern Worldwide for which we are most grateful.

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