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MIC to establish a strong and significant national and international footprint in the developing areas of Irish Studies

Mary Immaculate College (MIC) is to establish a strong and significant national and international footprint in the developing areas of Irish Studies according to Dr. Eugene O’Brien, Director of the Institute for Irish Studies, which was launched today at the College.

According to Dr. O’Brien, Head of English Department at MIC, the aim of the Institute is to create a constellation of scholars, academics and teachers, which will establish MIC as a locus for a distinctive style of Irish Studies which is differentiated from other programmes in the area.

Expanding on this he said; “MIC has a significant profile in many areas in the arts and humanities, and this new institute will allow academics from the different disciplines to combine in a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary structure which will offer new perspectives on issues in Irish culture and society”.

Officially launching the Institute was Prof. Brian Ó Conchubhair,, from the Keough-Naughton Irish Studies Institute in the University of Notre Dame and Vice-President for the American Conference for Irish Studies who said; “It is both apt and fitting that Limerick -- a city, steeped in history, whose motto is “Cuimhnigh ar Luimneach”-- be home to a world-class institute for Irish Studies that is dedicated to not only remembering but interrogating the multifaceted, multi-layered meanings of Irishness”. Concluding, Prof. Ó Conchubhair who is also a proud alumnus of MIC said that Limerick, as a Georgian city on one of Europe’s great rivers, would prove an attractive destination for scholars from Europe, North and South America and Asia when they attend the impressive array of international conferences and symposia planned by the new Institute for Irish Studies at MIC.

Welcoming everyone to the inaugural seminar of the Institute for Irish Studies Prof. Michael A Hayes, President of MIC said; “Institutes allow us to add an extra layer to what we do in academic life.  They allow people from different disciplines with a creative and enabling space within which to engage with each other, learn from each other, and collaborate with each other to produce new knowledge about their chosen subject, in this case, Irish Studies”.
According to Prof. Hayes Ireland, as a society, and increasingly as a republic, is undergoing rapid change, and moving into unchartered territory “and it is our hope that this Institute will be a place where debate and critique of various actors in our public sphere can take place.  We hope to study the past, to interrogate the present and prepare for the future of Ireland through work in the Arts and Social Sciences”.

Speaking at the inaugural seminar were Prof. Jim Rogers, University of St. Thomas, Minnesota who spoke on ‘The Ethnic Fade that Didn’t Happen: Researching Diasporic Memoir’; Roibeard Ó Cathasaigh, MIC, whose lecture was entitled ‘Ó chéad bheatha go dara beatha an bhéaloidis: Forbairtí  i gCorca Dhuibhne; From the first to the second life of folklore: Developments in West Kerry’; Prof. Ann Fogarty, UCD, with her lecture ‘Debating the Past: The Challenges of Reading Ulysses Historically’; Dr. Maura Cronin, MIC, who spoke about ‘Broadsides and Ballads in Pre-Famine Ireland’; Dr. Carmen Kuhling, University of Limerick, whose lecture was entitled ‘The zombie in the Post- Crisis Irish Imaginary: A New Collective cultural metaphor?' and Prof. Michael Breen, MIC, with his lecture ‘Believing without belonging or conforming: Exploring the relationship between changing declining religious practice and shifting moral perspectives in the Irish data of the European Values Survey, 1981-2008’.

Future events planned by the Institute include conferences, lectures and seminars on issues of Irish culture and society. The Institute is also in the process of designing summer schools and postgraduate degrees in the area of Irish Studies.

Further information see www.mic.ul.ie/

Pictured at the launch of the Institute for Irish Studies at Mary Immaculate College recently were (l to r) Professor Brian Ó Conchubhair, University of Notre Dame and Dr Eugene O’Brien, Director of Institute for Irish Studies, MIC.


L-R: Professor Brian Ó Conchubhair and Dr Eugene O’Brien

L-R: Dr Eugene O'Brien, Professor Brian Ó Conchubhair, Professor Michael A Hayes, President of Mary Immaculate College.

Back Row l to r : Dr Eugene O’Brien, Director of Institute for Irish Studies, MIC;  Professor Michael Healy,  Vice President of Research, MIC; Professor Michael A Hayes, President of Mary Immaculate College; Jim Rogers, University of St Thomas, Minnesota and Professor Michael Breen, Dean of Arts, MIC.
Front Row l to r: Roibeard Ó Cathasaigh, MIC; Professor Anne Fogarty,  James Joyce Studies, University College Dublin and Professor Brian Ó Conchubhair, University of Notre Dame



Mary Immaculate College, South Circular Road, Limerick, Tel:+35361 204300  V94VN26

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