University College Dublin and National Library of Ireland announce Geoffrey Keating as New Chair of Museum of Literature Ireland

Posted 28 June, 2021

University College Dublin and the National Library of Ireland are pleased to announce the appointment of Geoffrey Keating as the new Chair of the Museum of Literature  Ireland, commencing September 2021. A major partnership and creative alliance between University College Dublin and the National Library of Ireland (NLI), supported by the Naughton Foundation and Fáilte Ireland, the Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI) is a landmark cultural institution in the heart of Ireland’s  capital city and opened in September 2019.

As Chair, Geoffrey will work closely with Director Simon O’Connor and his team, taking on the role previously held by Eamonn Ceannt, former UCD Bursar/Vice-President of Capital Development, who led the Museum project from its inception. 

Geoffrey Keating served as a diplomat in the Department of Foreign Affairs for nearly forty years until his retirement in January of this year. In 2000 he opened Ireland's Consulate General in Shanghai and in 2005 became Ireland's first resident ambassador to Bulgaria. From 1995 to 2000 he served as the Cultural Officer at the Irish Embassy, London. Among his appointments in Dublin, from 1992 to 1995 he held concurrently the positions of Secretary to the Cultural Relations Committee and of Executive Secretary to  the Irish Fulbright Commission. Following a secondment to the EU Affairs Division of the Department of the Taoiseach, Geoffrey was appointed Ambassador to Singapore from 2014 to 2018. Between 2018 and 2020, he headed the Irish Abroad Unit of the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin. 

Professor Andrew Deeks, UCD President, commented: “I am very pleased to announce  this appointment of Geoffrey Keating whose diplomatic expertise and international experience, as well as his long-standing cultural interests, will be of great value to the Museum of Literature Ireland. I would like to take this opportunity to express our deep appreciation to outgoing Chair, Eamonn Ceannt, whose vision for this project and expert stewardship over many years have been crucial to MoLI’s foundation and ongoing success. We at UCD are very proud of MoLI’s role as a gift to the city, to Ireland and to global culture.” 

Dr Sandra Collins, Director of the National Library, commented: “MoLI is an important  partnership for the National Library of Ireland where some of our greatest treasures are proudly displayed. It has been a great pleasure working with outgoing Chair, Eamonn Ceannt for more than a decade developing MoLI into a world-class literature museum, and now we look forward to the next phase of leadership with incoming Chair Geoffrey Keating. I foresee great international impact with our new Chair and the continued  flourishing of MoLI as an exciting, creative and exemplary Irish cultural institution.” 

Outgoing Chairperson, Eamonn Ceannt, observed: “It has been a memorable and joyful experience to lead the Museum of Literature Ireland project on behalf of UCD and the National Library of Ireland since its inception in 2010. Very many people generously contributed to and supported the development of this extraordinarily significant cultural institution. I would like to thank them all and to pay special tribute to my fellow board members, our director, the management team and all MoLI staff members and volunteers. I wish Geoffrey every success in his new role.” 

In response, Geoffrey Keating observed: “I am very honoured by this appointment, and  look forward to supporting the work of the Museum of Literature Ireland, its Director  Simon O’Connor, staff, board and members. Ireland’s literary heritage and its dynamic  contemporary literary culture are rightly recognised world-wide for their excellence,  and MoLI has already established its central role in sharing and fostering Irish writing. It  will be a pleasure to share the unique experience of MoLI with more and more visitors,  in person and virtually, in the years to come.”

By: Staff Writers