SS120 Gaelic Literature and Culture

Gaelic Literature is the oldest vernacular literature in Western Europe; this course will trace the development of writing in Irish and its cultural context from earliest times to the present day. Despite the vicissitudes of history and the flagging fortunes of the Gaelic language, the literary renaissance in Irish which has been ongoing since the late nineteenth century continues to produce works of considerable artistic achievement in both poetry and fiction. While their work shows an intimate awareness of formal and thematic developments in a broad range of world literatures, contemporary Gaelic writers are acutely aware of earlier sources in Gaelic oral and literary tradition. It is that dynamic tension between traditional and contemporary elements which gives their writing its distinctive quality. A knowledge of the Gaelic language is not a prerequisite; classes will be taught through English.



Director, Clodagh Downey, Ph.D.

Clodagh Downey is a graduate of University College Cork, where she earned a doctorate in Early and Medieval Irish. She has lectured in the Department of Early and Medieval Irish, University College Cork, and in the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic, University of Cambridge. She currently lectures in Old and Middle Irish and Celtic Civilisation at NUI Galway. Her research interests include various aspects of the language and literature of early medieval Ireland.


Kicki Ingridsdotter, M.A., Ph.D.


Kicki Ingridsdotter is currently working as a lecturer of Old Irish and Celtic Civilization in the School of Irish at the National University of Ireland, Galway, teaching courses in Old Irish language and literature, Celtic Society, Celtic Kingship and Mythology. She studied for her B.A, M.A. and Ph. D. in Celtic languages at the University of Uppsala, Sweden. Her research topics are based on Early Irish Saga text in general and text editing in particular.







Liam Ó hAisibéil, M.A.

Liam Ó hAisibéil is a graduate of the National University of Ireland, Galway where he studied for his primary degree and went on to complete an MA in Modern Irish.  He has worked with the Locus Project at University College Cork on the new Historical Dictionary of Gaelic Placenames and was a Visiting Scholar with the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic at the University of Cambridge, England in Spring 2009.  He has spent the past academic year teaching Irish language and folklore modules at the University of Limerick and is now engaged in the final year of research on his PhD in the Department of Irish, NUI Galway.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and Fees:
€2,010 (Euro)

€1,160 (Family Guesthouse - sharing)
- with Irish breakfast 
- €150 single supplement

€850 (Student Residences)
- without breakfast
- single occupancy

Further Information

For further information applicants should contact:

Programme Administrator
Summer School Office
NUI Galway
Tel: +353 91 495442                                                                                                                             
Fax: +353 91 525051