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Polish-Irish Encounters in the Old and New Europe - Polish Ambassador Launches Book at Mary Immaculate College, Limerick

Polish Irish Encounters

The Polish Ambassador, His Excellency Marcin Nawrot, visited Mary Immaculate College earlier this week to launch a book, entitled Polish-Irish Encounters in the Old and New Europe, edited by MIC lecturers Dr. Sabine Egger and Dr. John McDonagh. The essays in Polish-Irish Encounters in the Old and New Europe (2011) tease out significant strands that connect the two countries, including literature, visual media, politics, history and education, Examining Polish-Irish relations in their wider historical and cultural context allows for new definitions of Irish, Polish and European identities in the New Europe. Especially important in view of the challenges and opportunities that a multicultural Ireland faces after the hard landing of the Celtic Tiger, this book provides new perspectives on a substantial and vibrant cross-cultural relationship.

Speaking on its content Dr. Sabine Egger said “The cultural, political, social and economic interaction between Ireland and Poland has quite a long and complex history. This volume hopes to contribute to an emerging debate around the issues concerned by looking at alternative frameworks for understanding the relationship between the two countries”.

Continuing she said “While the topic has attracted growing interest among researchers from various disciplines in recent years, this is the first book dedicated to exploring this cultural relationship in the context of Polish migration to Ireland”.

Essays in this book include John Belchem: Patterns of Mobility: Irish and Polish Migration in Comparative Historical Perspective; Róisín Healy: Religion and Rebellion: The Catholic Church in Ireland and Poland from 1848 to 1867; Joanna Rostek: From a Polish in Dublin to Polish Dublin: Retracing Changing Migratory Patterns in Two Recent ‘Dublin Novels’ by Polish Migrants; Joanna Baumgart/Fiona Farr: Polish Teenagers’ Integration into Irish Secondary Schools: Language, Culture and Support Systems; Kinga Olszewska: Towards a Cosmopolitan Identity: ArtPolonia and the Aughnacloy Truagh European Schools Project and Simon Warren: Against Cosmopolitanism? A Theoretical Exploration of the Tensions between Irish-Speaking and Post-Nationalist Multicultural Ireland.

Also speaking at the launch was Dr. Eugene O’Brien, Head of the Department of English Language and Literature at MIC who said "One of the challenges facing the academy in the current climate is to re-imagine the relationships between Ireland and Europe in new and interesting ways. If we are to progress as a society within Europe, we must re-imagine and negotiate our position within Europe, socially, economically and culturally. This excellent book addresses an eloquent silence in terms of the relationship between Ireland and Poland, two countries from the Catholic tradition who share a troubled history. As such it is a significant achievement in that process of re-imagining the Europe of the future, and of our place in it."

Officially launching the publication the Ambassador said “Despite the changed economic climate, the Polish community in Ireland is still a substantial one. The issues discussed across a range of disciplines in this fine publication are thus of ongoing importance, also in the wider context of Polish-Irish relations”.

The President of the College, Prof. Michael A Hayes, welcomed the Ambassador to the College and congratulated all involved in the project saying “This publication is a wonderful achievement for the College as an organisation and for each individual who has contributed to it and we are especially proud of your creative collaboration, which has yielded this valuable and exciting result. I want to wish you all heartfelt congratulations on behalf of the College community”.

Prof. Michael A Hayes took the opportunity to announce the recent setting-up of the Irish Centre for Transnational Studies at MIC. The Centre, which is an interdisciplinary initiative, co-ordinated by Dr. Sabine Egger, Dr. Gillian Jein, Dr. Niall Keane and Dr. Christiane Schönfeld, aiming to attract members from different departments in both faculties and outside, will formally open next semester. A research workshop on transnational theory is planned for the occasion, to offer external researchers and those from the College community a forum for discussion.

The book launch took place as part of a transcultural evening, beginning with the Arts Faculty Seminar lecture by Dr. Joachim Fischer of the University of Limerick on “Boston or Berlin? Reflections on a Topical Controversy and the Irish World of Letters”, followed by a Mulled Wine Reception, co-hosted by the Centre of Irish-German Studies, University of Limerick and concluding with the MIC Film Club screening a selection of Polish, Irish, German and French Short Films, including “The Polish Language” (2009), “Undressing Mother” (2004), “Quais de Seine” (2007) and "Someone by Dennis O Driscoll" (2011). For further information and to purchase a copy of Polish-Irish Encounters in the Old and New Europe see:


Polish Irish Encounters

Dr. John McDonagh, Polish Ambassador His Excellency Marcin Nawrot, President of MIC Prof. Michael A Hayes and Dr. Sabine Egger pictured at the launch of Polish‐Irish Encounters in the Old and New Europe held recently at Mary Immaculate College, Limerick.

Click here to read a copy of the President's speech.


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

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