The external Review Panel of 2015 reaffirmed the overall status of the award of ‘excellent’ achieved in the 2009 Research Quality Review by the Department of Early and Medieval Irish, commenting that the Department’s commendation as a ‘powerfully robust research culture’ during the last Research Quality Review applies to this period under review also. The reviewers stated that the selected published output and the postgraduate research culture of the Department of Early and Medieval Irish had been demonstrated to be of an excellent standard.
The Review Panel drew particular attention to the national and international activity of members of the Department as keynote, plenary and invited speakers, board members, external examiners, referees, and their honorary conferrals (notably three memberships of the Royal Irish Academy) which they described as further proof of their peer esteem and their service to the international academic community.
The reviewers expressed the view that the published research of the Department of Early and Medieval Irish potentially sets the agenda for future investigations. The Panel regarded some of the publications as primary points of reference within the discipline: In Tenga Bithnua: The Evernew Tongue, the Historical Dictionary of Gaelic Placenames, and The End and Beyond: Medieval Irish Eschatology. Thus, the Panel concluded that the Department has made its mark and name in the international Celticist academic community in the area of apocrypha, place-name and eschatology studies. Finally, the on-line projects Celtic Digital Initiative and Irish Sagas Online were praised by the reviewers as important digital resources, which are highly useful for the research and teaching activities of the international Celticist academic community.
In summary, the Panel highlighted the excellent publication profile and peer esteem; the outstanding organisation of research activities; the fine structure of training, supervising and inspiring postgraduate students; and the consistent and successful efforts to gain funding for research activities which all lead to an overall assessment of ‘excellent’ for the Department of Early and Medieval Irish.
For a full copy of the UCC 2015 Research Quality Review Exercise please click here