Departmental outreach projects
The Department of Early Irish is actively engaged in outreach activities. We are happy to give lectures to schools, community groups, local history societies and other similar organisations. If you would like one of us to give a talk or lecture on any aspect of medieval Ireland or Celtic Studies, please contact Dr Elizabeth Boyle.
In the second semester of the 2013-14 academic year, the Department ran an outreach project called 'Medieval Irish Literature and Landscapes'.
Medieval Irish literature is suffused with complex ideas about the relationships between people and places. A genre of texts known as dindshenchas, often incorporated into other literary genres, sought to explain how certain places came to be given their names, and those names were often linked retrospectively to heroic figures and events from Ireland’s prehistoric past. The Medieval Irish Literature and Landscapes project was a live teaching experience which enabled students and interested members of the public to enhance their appreciation of medieval Irish texts and the societies in which they were written. Participants went to Clonmacnoise, via a boat trip on the River Shannon, in order to read in the landscape selections of medieval Irish texts. Thus, participants were able to relate their knowledge of medieval Irish literature to geography and landscape history. Witnessing medieval Irish literature as a textual embodiment of the local landscape added resonance to their everyday interactions with the places in which they live, and motivated students to explore other aspects of Ireland’s rich literary culture.