The MACMORRIS project sets out to recover the vibrancy and complexity of Ireland’s transformative years between Henry VIII’s assumption of the kingship of Ireland in 1541 and the Flight of the Earls in 1607.

It is a radically new digital humanities project creating the first annotated and interactive digital map of all cultural players—from poets, patrons, and pamphleteers, to translators, travel-writers, and administrators—of this rich period in Irish history.

To apply for a funded PhD studentship as part of the MACMORRIS Project, visit the Department of English webpage.


Spearheaded by Prof Patricia Palmer of the Department of English, and Arts and Humanities Research Institute, Mapping Actors and Contexts: Modelling Research in Renaissance Ireland in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century’ (MACMORRIS) has received just under €1 million in the IRC Advanced Laureate programme.

Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh, TD, paid tribute today to the 12 researchers who received a total of €11.8 million in IRC funding to conduct ground-breaking, world-class research across a wide range of disciplines.

“Funding frontier research is vital for us to compete with our counterparts on the global stage, and to promote Ireland as an attractive location for world-class talent, both homegrown and international, in order to bring new knowledge, skills and innovations to our research institutions,” the Minister said.

Wellsping of Irish culture

Speaking about the IRC Laureate Award, Prof Palmer said: “The MACMORRIS project opens a window on a world on the cusp of drastic change but where, for the moment, everything is still in play. Gaelic culture is vibrant; the English vernacular of the Pale is lively and colourful; agents of the Tudor conquest like Edmund Spenser bring the energies – often dark energies – of the English Renaissance to Ireland; and contact with mainland Europe is routine.

“MACMORRIS allows us to tap into a diverse, multilingual world that reminds us just how rich and complex the wellsprings of Irish culture are.”

Multidisciplinary research

Prof Ray O’Neill, Vice-President of Research and Innovation at Maynooth University, congratulated Prof Palmer on receiving the IRC Advanced Laureate Award.  “Prof Palmer’s pioneering field of research, which encompasses English, Irish Studies, History, European languages, as well as the digital humanities, is a shining example of the strong multidisciplinary culture of excellent research being conducted at Maynooth University,” he said.

“The creation of the Laureate Awards Programme in 2017 by the IRC was an immensely important initiativein advancing frontier research across all disciplines, as it invests in exceptional research and researchers, such as Prof Palmer. The IRC deserves great credit for this initiative.”

The Irish Research Council opened the first call under the Laureate Awards Programme in 2017, resulting in 36 awards with an associated investment of €18 million. Further information on the Advanced Laureate Awards is available at: