THE first-ever professor of political sociology and Irish politics at Huddersfield University gave his professorial lecture on the Queensgate campus.
Belfast-born Jim McAuley, of Holmfirth, joined the university's Department of Behavioural Sciences in 1992. He is the only professor in the department.
Prof McAuley is an authority on the troubles in Northern Ireland.
The title of his lecture was taken from the song The Troubles of Erin, by folk singer Vin Garbutt.
Prof McAuley said: "He wrote the song after the first IRA ceasefire in 1994 and it perfectly captures the political optimism of that time."
Despite that optimism and the vast reduction in violence in Northern Ireland, Prof McAuley feels the road to peace is still a bumpy one.
He said: "The continued social, political and geographical separation of unionists and nationalists means many people experience lives of near-apartheid."