I grew up on the west coast of Canada, on Vancouver Island, but, after many other things, did Masters research on Neoplatonic philosophy at Dalhousie, in Halifax, Nova Scotia before coming to Maynooth. Following this, I was looking for a way to bring my study of ancient and medieval philosophy bear on medieval Irish literature. Once I heard of Dr. Elizabeth Boyle's appointment at Maynooth, the choice was obvious. In a general way, my research in on the way that philosophical ideas were transmitted to medieval Ireland through patristic authorities, and how these ideas are taken up, synthesized and transformed, especially in early saga and legal texts. More specifically, I am addressing the problem of the gods of the sagas. We know that the sagas were written by ecclesiatically trained authors, and yet many of the sagas present the gods as historically existing beings that are neither angel, nor devil, nor human, but something of a seemingly different order. The question, then, is how such beings could be necessary to a view of the world that is an expression of ecclesiastical scholarship. As a way of limiting the scope of my research, I am currently considering these developments only insofar as they inform Acallam na Senórach. As a grand synthesis of earlier developments on the subject, the Acallam provides me with a limited way of considering those earlier developments as a whole, and also a way of assessing their significance for the aspirations of twelfth-century scholastic philosophy and theology, to which the Acallam seeks to conciliate them.
I completed my BA in Nua-Ghaeilge and Celtic Studies in Maynooth University in 2013. I was awarded a John and Pat Hume Scholarship from Maynooth University for my PhD and subsequently received an Irish Research Council Award to complete this work. The subject matter of my research is Early-Irish religious poetry.
Having completed my BA (2013) and RMA (2015) in Medieval Celtic Studies at Universiteit Utrecht in the Netherlands, I spent a year as a junior lecturer in Celtic Studies in Utrecht, before being granted a position as a PhD-student within prof.dr. David Stifter’s Chronologicon Hibernicum (ChronHib) research project. Ever since I started working on my MA-thesis on the Old Welsh Martianus Capella glosses, I have sought to combine a close study of early manuscript witnesses and their scribes with our linguistic understanding of the variation and change attested in the medieval Celtic languages. At the moment, I am preparing a new edition and linguistic analysis of the Irish texts found in the early 9th century manuscript known as the Stowe Missal (RIA MS D ii 3). Alongside my studies, I am one of the editors of the Van Hamel Stichting's popular-science journal 'Kelten', the Dutch journal of Celtic Studies.
Along with commencing my PhD in 2016, I was also appointed Research Assistant of the Chronologicon Hibernicum (ChronHib) project. My research interests centre on the ecclesiastical, political and topographical studies of Early Medieval Ireland, but most notably, the role of saints and their cultural identities. My current doctoral project is a study of the life and cult of Saint Abbán, with particular focus on the evidence for his ancestry and early life, his later reputation both in Ireland and overseas, and on the matters surrounding the saint’s death.
2019- Professional Certificate in Teaching and Learning, Maynooth University
Ellen Ganly. ‘Investigating the Laois Origins of an Irish Saint: St. Abbán’. In Fennelly, T. (eds) Laois Heritage Society Journal Vol. 9, Laois, pp. 55-63.