Lecturer in Classics, University of Galway (Ireland)

Major funding success in medieval Irish studies

Ground-breaking research into the history and culture of medieval Ireland has recently been undergoing a huge expansion, with significant investment coming from funding agencies in Ireland and the EU for a wide variety of ground-breaking research projects.

This era is foundational for Irish culture for several reasons:

  • The introduction of literacy to Ireland facilitated, for the first time, the recording of Irish literature, historical events and intellectual life.
  • We have the earliest records of the Irish language, allowing us to trace its development in an unbroken line extending back nearly 1,400 years.
  • Ireland produced some of its most emblematic cultural artefacts, including illuminated manuscripts such as the Book of Kells.
  • Irish scholarship was among the most innovative in Europe, and Irish scholars made a major impact both in Britain and on the Continent.

The selection of recent major projects below represents a total research funding of €14.5 million (€6.1 million in 2023 alone).

This is a very partial list, focusing on projects based in (or researchers trained in) Ireland. It does not include all of the funding won by individual PhD and postdoctoral researchers, probably also worth many millions.

Funding is only one metric, of course. The real value is all of the work done in publication, teaching, outreach, etc., most of which is not externally funded.

Selected major projects

2023Dr Bernhard Bauer (University of Graz, formerly Maynooth University): ‘Glossit—Celtic and Latin glossing traditions: uncovering early medieval language contact and knowledge transfer’.ERC Consolidatorc. €2 million
2023Dr Kevin Murray, University College Cork: ‘The Disappearing Text: Memory, Place, and Gaelic Identities.’IRC Advanced Laureatec. €1 million
2023Dr Fangzhe Qiu, University College Dublin: ‘Fluid texts and scholars’ digests: (re)production of law in medieval Ireland (FLEXI)’.ERC Starting€1.5 million 
2023Prof. David Stifter, Maynooth University: ‘Tracing Diatopic Variation in a Corpus of Old Irish.’IRC Advanced Laureatec. €1 million
2023Dr Nora White, Maynooth University: ‘Early Medieval Irish Scripts on Stone – the origins and early development of Irish epigraphic culture.’SFI-IRC Pathwayc. €500,000
2023Dr Deborah Hayden and Dr Nora White, Maynooth University: ‘Ogham Palaeography + (OPal+)’.UK AHRC Impact  and Engagement Award, Maynooth University and the University of Glasgow£132,680
2022Dr Deborah Hayden, Maynooth University: ‘LEIGHEAS: Language, Education and Medical Learning in the Premodern Gaelic World.’ https://leigheas.maynoothuniversity.ie/ IRC Consolidator Laureatec. €600,000
2022Dr Máirín MacCarron, ‘University College Cork History Time for Women? Gender, chronology and historiography before AD900.’IRC Consolidator Laureatec. €600,000
2022Dr Pádraic Moran, University of Galway: ‘Global and Local Scholarship on Annotated Manuscripts.’ http://www.glossam.ie/IRC Consolidator Laureate€581,686
2022Dr Caitríona Ó Dochartaigh, University College Cork, and Dr Nioclás Mac Cathmhaoil, University of Ulster: ‘Ultonia—Cultural Dynamics in medieval Ulster and beyond: a shared inheritance’.HEA North-South Research Programme€199,991
2021Dr Tomás Ó Carragáin, University College Cork: ‘Digital Atlas of Early Irish Carved Stones (DAEICS)’.IRC COALESCE Research Fundc. €350,000
2021Dr Nicole Volmering, Trinity College Dublin: ‘Science Foundation Ireland ‘History Early Irish Hands: The Development of Writing in Early Ireland.’ http://www.earlyirishhands.ie/SFI-IRC Pathway€551,489
2021Dr Niamh Wycherley, Maynooth University: ‘Power and patronage in medieval Ireland: Clonard from the sixth to twelfth centuries’.SFI-IRC Pathwayc. €400,000
2021Prof. Katherine Forsyth, University of Glasgow and Prof. David Stifter, Maynooth University: ‘OG(H)AM: Harnessing digital technologies to transform understanding of ogham writing, from the 4th century to the 21st.’ https://ogham.glasgow.ac.uk/AHRC/IRC UK-Ireland Collaboration in the Digital Humanities Research Grantsc. €270,000 + £319,819
2019Prof. Pádraig Ó Macháin, University College Cork: ‘The materiality of the late-medieval Gaelic vernacular manuscript (1100–1600)’. https://inksandskins.org/IRC Advanced Laureatec. €1 million
2018Dr Jacopo Bisagni, University of Galway: ‘Ireland and Carolingian Brittany: Texts and Transmission’. https://ircabritt.universityofgalway.ie/IRC Consolidator Laureatec. €600,000
2018Dr Deborah Hayden, Maynooth University. ‘Medieval Irish Medicine in its North-Western European Context: A Case Study of Two Unpublished Texts.’IRC Starting Laureatec. €400,000
2018Dr Immo Warntjes, Trinity College Dublin: ‘The Irish Foundation of Carolingian Europe – the case of calendrical science (computus).’IRC Consolidator Laureate€562,528
2015Prof. David Stifter, Maynooth University: ‘Chronologicon Hibernicum – A Probabilistic Chronological Framework for Dating Early Irish Language Developments and Literature’. https://www.maynoothuniversity.ie/chronologiconhibernicumERC Consolidator€1.8 million

Cover image: detail from St Gall, MS 51, p. 2.