Min Coveney announces new University of Cambridge Lectureship in Modern Irish
Press release04 June 2021
At the conclusion of his visit to London today the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney T.D., announced a grant of €300,000 over a 3 year period to the University of Cambridge in support of its Modern Irish History programmes.
The award was made through the Department of Foreign Affairs’ Reconciliation Fund and will fund a new full-time lectureship in Modern Irish History at the University. Dr Niamh Gallagher has been appointed to this role and will take up her position in January 2022.
Minister Coveney met with Dr Gallagher and her colleagues Professor Eugenio Biagini and Professor Richard Burke this morning at the Embassy of Ireland in London.
Minister Coveney stated:
“We want to build and strengthen the relationship between these islands into the future, and an important part of that is fostering a genuine knowledge of each other and a deeper mutual understanding. The support for this lectureship offers students in the University of Cambridge an opportunity to enhance their knowledge and understanding of Irish history.
“This is one of a number of ways in which the Reconciliation Fund of the Department of Foreign Affairs supports academic work across these islands in contributing to wider reconciliation as envisioned in the Good Friday Agreement.”
On behalf of the University of Cambridge, Professor Alexandra Walsham, Chair of the Faculty of History, said today:
“The Faculty of History at Cambridge is delighted and honoured to be the host institution for this special Lectureship in Modern Irish History. It looks forward to working with Dr Gallagher to enhance understanding of the complex relationships between Britain, Ireland and the wider world, and to advancing the Peace and Reconciliation agenda over the next three years.”
The Reconciliation Fund Strategy for 2021-2024 includes commitments to build understanding between peoples and traditions, whether within Northern Ireland, on a North-South basis, or on a British-Irish basis; as well as to develop and deepen relations between Ireland and Britain.
The Strategy also commits to supporting academic research likely to significantly promote mutual understanding, peace and reconciliation. The Reconciliation Fund has supported projects and research by a range of universities on the island of Ireland and Britain, and the Fund has also recently partnered with the Irish Research Council in an open call for funding support for research projects relevant to reconciliation.
- Dr Niamh Gallagher comes from Co. Armagh in Northern Ireland and is a Fellow of St Catharine’s College, Cambridge. Her first book, Ireland and the Great War: A Social and Political History (Bloomsbury, 2020) is the first work of Irish history to win the Royal Historical Society's Whitfield Prize, awarded to a new author for the best work in either British or Irish history. She has made several media appearances, most recently as part of President Higgins’ Machnamh 100 series. She is part of the Independent Historical Advisory Panel appointed by the UK government to mark the centenary of Northern Ireland, and also leads the Mether Initiative at St Catharine's College, where future leaders, academics and policymakers can connect and learn from the history of Britain and Ireland.
- Further details of the Reconciliation Fund can be found online at www.dfa.ie/reconciliation