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Launch of the Trinity Centre for New Irish Studies marks new chapter in Irish studies

10 October 2018 – The Trinity Centre for New Irish Studies (CNIS) was officially launched yesterday at the Trinity Long Room Hub Arts and Humanities Research Institute by the Dean of Research, Professor Linda Doyle.

Trinity College Dublin is home to one of the largest and most diverse concentrations of Irish studies scholarship in the world, with 280 members of the Making Ireland research theme working in the area of Irish studies research.

As part of the wider work of the Making Ireland research theme, the Centre will provide an important focus for this research within Trinity across a wide range of disciplines from English and History to Genetics and Geography. The Making Ireland theme is guided by a strategic Steering Group with members from a wide range of disciplines and schools including Computer Science, Education, English, Film Studies, History, History of Art, Irish, Geography, Geology and Law.

The new Centre will also be a member of the European Federation of Associations and Centres of Irish Studies (EFACIS) and aims to develop, promote and support research through partnership and engagement with researchers in the British Isles and across Europe.

According to its Director Dr. Mark Hennessy, Trinity is well positioned to be a leader in Irish studies in the European and world context and he described it as an ‘exciting time for Irish studies.’

“Irish studies is at a crossroads because of the ongoing peace process in Northern Ireland, and the UK’s withdrawal from the EU among other developments. The priorities for Irish studies are changing and Ireland’s place in the world is also changing; this new centre will contribute to understanding these changes.”

Clockwise from bottom left: Lara Cassidy, Jim Mallory, Dan Bradley, Rowan McLaughlin, Sarah Kerr and Mark Hennessy.

Key organiser of the launch and Postdoctoral Research Fellow Dr Sarah Kerr said "it is more important now than ever to strengthen our relationships with scholars in the UK and Europe and ensure the continuation of ground-breaking, cross-border research."

The Centre sees New Irish Studies as a multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary approach to researching the island of Ireland, its global context, and its people in the north, south and the wider diaspora.

The launch of the Centre was marked by a panel discussion ‘Interdisciplinary Research on the Origins of the Irish People’. The panellists included Dr Lara Cassidy (Postdoctoral Researcher, Genetics, TCD), Prof Dan Bradley (Genetics, TCD), Dr Rowan McLaughlin (Postdoctoral Researcher, Palaeoecology, Queen’s University Belfast and Catalan Institute of Palaeoecology and Social Evolution) and Prof Jim Mallory (Professor Emeritus, Prehistoric Archaeology, Queen’s University Belfast).

The CNIS will be hosted in the Trinity Long Room Hub and its work will be closely aligned with Trinity’s Making Ireland research theme, as well as Trinity’s four other arts and humanities-led research themes.

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