A NEW Director has been appointed at the Institute of Irish Studies in Liverpool – replacing Professor Marianne Elliott who announced her retirement earlier this year.
This week Professor Peter Shirlow was announced as the new Director and Blair Chair at the Institute, which is based at the University of Liverpool.
Prof Shirlow joins the institution from Queens University in Belfast, where he held the position of Deputy Director for Conflict Transformation and Social Justice.
He will begin his new Liverpool post on August 1 - which he describes as a “wonderful opportunity”.
“Ireland is a vital part of life in Great Britain in terms of trade, history, art and culture, migration and wider political developments,” he told The Irish Post.
“This post provides a fascinating opportunity to develop and support those links and in particular give voice to the many people in Great Britain who have Irish roots.”
He added: “The future of both Britain and Ireland are intertwined and it is a privilege to be in a position to aid that mutuality through scholarship and community outreach.”
Prof Shirlow takes up the joint position following the retirement of Professor Marianne Elliott in January.
Since then Head of Department Dr Frank Shovlin has operated as Institute Acting Director – a role which he will continue in until Prof Shirlow’s arrival.
Dr Shovlin said: “I am delighted to welcome Professor Shirlow to his new posting as Blair Chair at the Institute of Irish Studies. Peter has an outstanding track record as a scholar, teacher and academic leader.”
He added: “My colleagues and I at the Institute very much look forward to working with Peter in continuing to advance the study of Ireland and all things Irish over the coming years.”
Former Blair Chair, Professor Marianne Elliott was Director of the Institute for more than 16 years, before revealing her plans to retire in January.
Prior to that the Belfast-born academic chaired the Institute’s Modern History department.
She will retain a role at the University of Liverpool as an Emeritus and Honorary Professor.