Explore UCD

UCD Home >

News and Events

Mícheál Ó Cléirigh Institute News

The Director of the Institute Gives Public Lecture

Professor John McCafferty gave a public lecture in the Dublin City Hall Lunchtime lecture series on 13 October 2015. The topic was Saint Anthony's College Louvain, which is sure to be of interest. The Dublin City Hall Presentation is available for download on this link.

Annual Mícheál Ó Cléirigh Prize Awarded

The Institute awarded the second annual Mícheál Ó Cléirigh Prize for the best graduate paper submitted to, and delivered at the (opens in a new window)29th Irish Conference of Medievalists. This was held July 1st - 3rd 2015 in UCD. The prize-winning paper by Margaret Smith (St Louis) was entitled 'Kinship and kingship: identity and authority in the Book of Lismore'. It was chosen from a very strong list of submissions. The award was presented before the plenary session which closed the conference and will appear in (opens in a new window)Peritia: Journal of the Medieval Academy of Ireland.

Inaugural Mícheál Ó Cléirigh Prize Awarded

The Institute inaugurated the Mícheál Ó Cléirigh Prize for the best graduate paper submitted to, and delivered at the (opens in a new window)28th Irish Conference of Medievalists. This was held July 1st - 3rd 2014 in UCD. The prize-winning paper by Emma Anderson (Glasgow) entitled 'Medieval Irish Horns: Some New Perspectives', was a conference highlight. The award was presented before the plenary session which closed the conference.

Annual Donatus Mooney Day 2014

The 7th annual Donatus Symposium centered on the Franciscans as mendicants, researchers and promoters.  Mark Empey’s paper revisited the familiar story of collaboration between the friars and Irish Protestant historians by drawing attention to Thomas Strange OFM, the guardian of the Dublin house, as a key mediator and agent.  Empey suggested that the relationship between Ware and Strange was not just one of scholarly cordiality but also one of genuine friendship.

Joe MacMahon’s talk stressed the covenantal nature of the transactions between the Irish Franciscans and their patrons over seven centuries.  His paper, in particular its attempt to track down the syndics (or agents), represents one of the very few attempts to date to see how Franciscan poverty actually played out in Ireland.

Megan Armstrong’s lecture on the Franciscans and Knights of the Holy Sepulchre was a preview of her work on the Holy Land and its influence on Counter Reformation Catholicism.  The centrality of the Custody of the Holy Land to Observant notions of their spiritual authority, particularly in a period of Protestant challenge and Turkish advance, made for very fruitful discussion following her paper. 

This was a very well-attended event in the tradition of the previous seminars.  It showed that there is huge scope for work on the friars in the late medieval and early modern period outside the more customary focus on the exile communities and well-known writers.  

Joint Seminar between the Institute and the UCD Craig Dobbin Chair of Canadian Studies

The Institute collaborated with the UCD Craig Dobbin Chair in hosting eminent historian Professor Timothy Brooks in April 2014. His paper on seventeenth-century China was very well-received and led to a lively and illuminating discussion.

Joint Seminar between the Institute and the Converting the Isles Network

The Institute collborated with the  (opens in a new window)Converting the Isles Network  to host Professor Ian Wood (University of Leeds). His seminar paper, 'What is a Mission' was the first in-depth survey of the rationale and organisation of early medieval missions across Europe.

Annual Donatus Mooney Day 2013

The Institute's annual Donatus Mooney day, held on April 19th 2013, was a great success, combining the interdisciplinary perspectives of archivists and historians. Papers ranged from Ireland to Rome and from Asia to South America.

Joint Seminar between the Institute and UCD Scoil na Gaeilge

The Institute collaborated with UCD Scoil na Gaeilge to host Dr Virginia Blankenhorn (University of Edinburgh). Her seminar  'Caointe na mban uasal: ‘Caoine Airt Uí Laoghaire’ agus ‘Cumha Ghriogair Ruaidh a Gleann Streith’ was held in the HII Building and was followed by a reception.

Reading East: Irish Sources and Resources Website Launched

Reading East: Irish Sources and Resources was launched on 22nd November 2012. The website contains a catalogue of early modern printed texts which attest to contact between Europe and the 'East'. The catalogue contains several items from the Franciscan collection.  

Monastic Ireland project awarded funds by Department of Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht and Fáilte Ireland

Medieval monastic buildings dominate many parts of the Irish landscape.  Along with medieval castles they are the largest surviving structures from medieval Ireland. Those who inhabited them - monks, canons and friars - dominate many chapters of Irish history. Augustinian, Cistercian, Dominican, Franciscan and other foundations continued to receive the support and patronage of Irish and Anglo-Norman nobles throughout the medieval period. Yet this essential narrative of sources and landscape has not been assembled in an accessible modern format.

Monastic Ireland aims to construct a website, database and image sensitive application of Irish monasteries, nunneries, houses of canons and mendicant foundations dating from 1100-1700AD. Its initial phase will cover the West, Mid-West and South-West Regions. Approximately 160 sites will be recorded including foundations of Augustinian canons, Carmelites, Cistercians, Dominicans, Franciscans and Premonstratensians. The website and database will aim to provide easily navigable information about each site (archaeology, architecture, archives, history, source references, access). It will also include photographs and location maps. An existing website covering (opens in a new window)Monastic Wales provides a template for the Irish project. 

The database will allow local communities and interested groups to see how challenges facing sites in their own locality are similar to those faced elsewhere. For educational and tourism purposes it will provide an overview of sites in a holistic regional context as opposed to individual sites devoid of a national and international narrative. This project will form the basis of a powerful tool for cultural tourism in Ireland. 

Project Team

Dr Edel Bhreathnach, UCD Mícheál Ó Cléirigh Institute, Niamh NicGhabhann (Research Assistant), Dr Rachel Moss, Royal Irish Academy, Dr Malgorzata Krasnodebska-D'Aughton UCC School of History

Funders: Department of Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht (Built Heritage Scheme), Fáilte Ireland (Applied Research Scheme)

Partners: South West Regional Authority, Ballincollig, Co. Cork

External advisors: Professor Janet Burton, School of Archaeology, History and Anthropology, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Lampeter, Wales; Dr Karen Stober, University of Lleida, Barcelona; Professor Marie Therese Flanagan, School of History and Anthropology, Queen’s University Belfast; Dr Elizabeth FitzPatrick, School of Archaeology, NUI Galway; Fr Joseph McMahon, Irish Franciscans.

Contact the UCD Mícheál Ó Cléirigh Institute

Newman Building, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 8082 | E: mocleirigh@ucd.ie