Notre Dame announces expansion of Keough Institute for Irish Studies

by Dennis Moore

EMBARGOED Until noon EST, Saturday, Oct. 18, 1997
p. p. The University of Notre Dame today announced, for immediate implementation, a $13-million expansion plan for its Keough Institute for Irish Studies, including creation of an ambitious, multidisciplinary Notre Dame study center in Dublin, Ireland, and an historic transatlantic cooperative agreement between Notre Dame and University College Dublin (UCD) and Trinity College, Dublin.p. The plan also will create three new endowed professorships in the Keough Institute; an endowed directorship for the Dublin center; a Fulbright initiative for faculty exchanges between Notre Dame and the Irish universities; fellowships for Irish students to attend Notre Dame and its Dublin center; additions to Notre Dame’s library collections in Irish studies; expansion of Irish language studies and Keough Institute conference programs; acquisition from Cambridge University of the prestigious Irish studies journal, Boulán, now to be published by the Notre Dame Press; a major new publication series in Irish studies to be published by the press; and new offices for the institute in the renovated Flanner Hall at Notre Dame.p. The Keough Institute is under the direction of Seamus Deane, professor of English and Keough professor of Irish Studies at Notre Dame. A foremost Irish intellectual and general editor of the landmark “Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing,” Deane today is more widely known as author of the novel, “Reading in the Dark.” A bestseller and multiple award winner in Ireland and Britain, the book has earned critical acclaim throughout Europe and in the U.S. The expansion plan is underwritten with a principal gift from Donald R. Keough, chairman of the board of Allen&Company Incorporated and former chair of Notre Dame’s Board of Trustees, and additional support from Thomas O’Donnell, managing director of Oppenheimer&Company, Chicago, and prominent Irish businessmen Dr. Michael Smurfit, chairman of Jefferson Smurfit Group, and Martin Naughton, executive chairman of Geln Dimplex. Rev. Edward A. Malloy, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s president, made the announcement during a meeting of the University’s Ireland Council, of which the donors are members. Joining in the announcement via live video teleconferencing from Dublin were Dr. Art Cosgrove, president of UCD, and Dr. Thomas Mitchell, provost of Trinity College.p. “Thanks to the magnificent generosity of Don Keough, who gave it life as well as an identity, and to the brilliant leadership of Seamus Deane, who, together with a team of exceptionally talented scholar-teachers, has given it distinction as well as substance, the Keough Institute in a very short time has created a truly extraordinary reputation in Irish studies,” Father Malloy said.p. “But this has been only the beginning. Now, with the additional support of Thomas O’Donnell, Michael Smurfit, and Martin Naughton, and in partnership with two great Irish universities, we can legitimately aim to create a premiere international vehicle for Irish studies and to engender a genuine partnership in teaching and scholarship with Ireland. We see this as not only an important and worthwhile intellectual endeavor, but also as a vital and renewed link between the people of Ireland and the many more people of the international Irish diaspora.” The Dublin center, to be known as the Keough-Notre Dame Study Center, Ireland, will be located at No. 86 St. Stephen’s Green, which is part of the historic Newman House, where in 1854 Cardinal John Henry Newman founded the original Catholic University of Ireland, now UCD. James Joyce is among its many noted alumni, and the room occupied by the Jesuit priest and poet Gerard Manley Hopkins is still preserved in the building.p. Kevin Whelan, a preeminent social historian and leading member of the Irish academy, will be the director of the Dublin center. Beginning in fall 1998 some 70 Notre Dame students, rising to 100 by 2000, will travel to Dublin for a semester or full year of study. They will be housed in student residences at UCD and Trinity and will be enrolled in courses at both institutions. At the same time, they and UCD and Trinity students also will take courses offered by Notre Dame—in disciplines such as theology and philosophy—at the Dublin center. In addition to coordinating these activities, Whelan and other Notre Dame and Irish faculty will structure courses year-round for Notre Dame students, alumni and others wishing to deepen their knowledge and understanding of Ireland.p. At Notre Dame, the institute will add a visiting chair in Irish studies and chairs in medieval Irish history and modern Irish literature, as well as a junior faculty position to help address the growing demand for Irish language studies at Notre Dame. Also, through the Fulbright initiative, on an annual alternating basis Notre Dame will send a senior faculty member to teach in an Irish university and an Irish university will send a senior scholar to teach at Notre Dame.p. The institute also will sponsor a major annual international conference on Irish studies, designed to frame the agenda in the discipline at Notre Dame and beyond, with the venue alternating each year between the Indiana and Dublin campuses.p.

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