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Irish and Welsh connections

22 November 2007

Arriving in the 1840s, Irish people represent the largest single group of immigrants to play a part in the story of Wales.

Now Cardiff University is launching the first Ireland-Wales Research Network to explore the creative, cultural, and political relationships between Wales and Ireland. The Network, in partnership with Aberystwyth University, aims to develop a deeper awareness of the overlapping histories of Wales and Ireland and thereby contribute to a fuller understanding of the complex and connected histories of Britain and Ireland.

Dr Claire Connolly, School of English, Communication and Philosophy said: "At a time of constitutional change this research network will contribute to the wider rethinking of the British and Irish past in the light of our devolved present."

Funded by The Arts and Humanities Research Council the Network will be launched at a reception at the Consulate General of Ireland in Wales (22 November).

Colm McGrady, Consul General of Ireland in Wales, said: "This is a very timely and important initiative. Wales and Ireland share much in terms of our cultural heritage The Network will undoubtedly contribute to a wider and deeper understanding of the rich tapestry of these links. I am very pleased to have been supportive of this initiative and to host the launch of the Ireland -Wales Research Network."

Dr Claire Connolly added, "For a long time, the only thing people in Ireland knew about Wales was their love of rugby. Somehow though, we have ended up talking about being Celtic soul mates, and we want to look at this link by considering the differences and similarities between parts of Ireland and Wales."

The Network will also host a variety of public events, starting 14 December with a reading by Pulitzer-prize winning Northern Irish poet, Paul Muldoon at Cardiff University Concert Hall, Corbett Road.

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Notes to Editors:

1. For further details on the Network visit:

2. Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities. Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, the University today combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning. Cardiff is a member of the Russell Group of Britain’s leading research universities. Visit the University website at:

3. The School of English, Communication and Philosophy has a world-wide reputation as a centre for research and publication in English Literature, Language Communication, Critical and Cultural Theory and Philosophy.

Within English and Communication, the School has expertise across a wide range of topics, from Old Norse and Old English to post-colonialism, post-modernism and sociolinguistics. Its staff are internationally recognised and regularly cited in fields ranging as widely as: Early English culture; medieval studies; Shakespeare; Byron; Scott; Trollope; Crime fiction and criminography; Celtic literature in English; children’s literature; critical and cultural theory; feminist criticism; postmodernism; systemic, functional and computational linguistics; sociolinguistics; and cultural pragmatics. English Language and Literature was awarded the top "Grade 5" rating in the government-sponsored assessment of research quality within British universities. The teaching of language and communication has also been assessed as "Excellent" in the recent assessment of teaching quality.

Further Information:

Dr Claire Connolly
School of English, Communication and Philosophy
Cardiff University
Tel: 029 2087 5621
Mobile: 07766 258234

Emma Darling
Public Relations Office,
Cardiff University
Tel: 029 2087 4499