A NEW lectureship in Modern Irish History will be offered at the University of Cambridge thanks to a hefty grant from the Irish Government.
During his recent visit to London, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney announced a grant of €300,000 over a three-year period to the University in support of its Modern Irish History programmes.
The award, made through the Department of Foreign Affairs’ Reconciliation Fund, will fund a new full-time lectureship in Modern Irish History at Cambridge, led by Armagh native Dr Niamh Gallagher who 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 month at the Embassy of Ireland in London.
Of the new lectureship, Minister Coveney said: “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.”
He added: “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, added: “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.