Liz Kiely (BA Joint Honours, Italian and Sociology, 1993)

Liz Kiely is a graduate of the Italian and Sociology Departments at UCC. After having qualified as a primary school teacher from Mary Immaculate College of Education, Limerick (1995, Grad. Dip Hons), Liz went on to work as a teacher in a school involved in the Breaking The Cycle of Disadvantage programme where she taught Italian to fifth- and sixth-class pupils.

In 1998 Liz was appointed as a Project Leader by the Department of Education and Science to the Pilot Project on Modern Languages in the Primary School.

Within the role of the Project Leader for Italian, Liz is involved in the development and implementation of Incareer Development Days for teachers of Italian in the primary sector. This also involves the development of resource materials for use in the primary classroom.

Her areas of interest include modern languages in the primary classroom and technology, language learning and the primary class.

The teaching of Italian at primary school level will continue. For anyone wishing to have further information on the Project you can contact Liz at lizkiely@eircom.net or Kildare Education Centre, Kildare Town, Co. Kildare at kec.ias@eircom.net If you are interested in working as a teacher in this project please forward your details to Kildare Education Centre. The project is taking place nationwide and is supported by the National Development Plan. (June 2001)

Niamh Lane (BA Joint Honours, Italian and French, 1992; MA Translation Studies, 1993)

'Since graduating I have been employed in the financial sector in London. My current position, where I have been for almost two and a half years, is with an American investment house, working in the Futures & Options Client Services Division. The main goal of the department is to look after all aspects of institutional clients (except direct placing of market orders), trading both through ourselves and other brokerage houses, but holding their clearing accounts with us. This involves exposure to most of the futures markets throughout the Far East, Europe and the US, which is the main reason for the desk being operational from 7am to around 11pm.

'A knowledge of foreign languages, while not a prerequisite, is a significant advantage and certainly the reason why I was initially employed without a financial background. Some, but not all clients have a working knowledge of English, but often, conversing in their own language, even at a social level, helps to establish a good working relationship with them and to break down the barriers, or, at the most fundamental level, helps you to appreciate cultural differences (especially the Italian clients' more volatile natures!). We have a very large Italian client base and it is principally the Italians who are more reticent about working in English. Recently we have acquired a new Spanish client, which has prompted the department to enrol me in Spanish classes (I have yet to convince them that the best way to learn a language is immersion in the culture!).

'The work is fairly fast paced, with continuous time deadlines throughout the day as some markets close and others start trading. Equally the work requires great attention to detail as a slight error can result in a considerable financial loss.

'As for future plans, to be honest, I haven't really given it much consideration'. (October 1997)

Dara Mac Namara (BA Joint Honours, Italian and History, 1993)

After graduation, Dara worked as a Library Assistant at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London from 1993 to 1994, and the following year he completed a Master in Library and Information Studies at University College Dublin. He taught English as a Foreign Language in Perugia, Italy (January 1996-July 1997), and in Dublin (July-December 1997). In October 1997 he began an MLitt in Italian at UCD, while working as a part-time tutor. The subject of his research is the Second World War in the Italian Novel. He hopes subsequently either to convert to a PhD on this topic or to take a doctorate on a fresh subject. (January 1998)

Kiara McCormack (BA Joint Honours, Italian and German, 1993)

'After my BA I studied for an MA in Applied Languages for Business at the University of Ulster at Coleraine, and graduated in 1995. I then spent six months as a Customer Service Representative for the German market with UPS, Tallaght, Dublin. In the academic year 1996-1997 I returned to UCC and took the Higher Diploma in Education. I spent part of summer 1997 in Siena, Italy, doing a language course and I am currently a member of the Dante Alighieri Society in Cork. I am teaching part-time at the College of Commerce in Cork. My subjects are German and Spanish, and I hope also to get hours teaching Italian'.

Clíodhna O'Meara (BA Joint Honours, Italian and German, 1993)

'During my time as an undergraduate in the Italian Department at UCC, I was lucky enough to be able to combine my two passions in life – theatre and Italian – acting in Dario Fo's Non tutti i ladri vengono per nuocere, in Goldoni's La locandiera and in Come tu mi vuoi by Pirandello.

'With the confidence and fluency that I acquired through performing in a foreign language, I took part in a summer course in Gemona, Italy, at the Laboratorio internazionale della comunicazione, where I learnt the skills of Commedia dell'arte. I returned the following summer and studied acting for video and film through Italian. My most moving memory from this time is of the performance Terremoto, which involved interviewing survivors of the May 1976 earthquake in Gemona and re-enacting the story with the original sound recording of the event. The performance was attended by people from the whole of the Friuli region and the re-enactment brought tears of remembrance to many eyes.

'After graduation, I began work on an MPhil in Italian at UCC and spent a year doing research and attending courses at the University of Bologna. While there, I also attended a training course for professional actors at the Scuola di Teatro Colli in Bologna at the end of which we performed Revolution, a three-hour combination of music, dance and theatre about the French Revolution. This experience confirmed a growing feeling that my main interest lay in theatre, rather than in literary research.

'On returning to Ireland, I auditioned for Boomerang Theatre Company in Cork, which has an extensive European theatre exchange programme. In my first two and a bit years with Boomerang, I have travelled to and performed in France, Italy, Finland, Portugal and the Czech Republic. I have also performed locally with the Boomerang Youth Theatre at the Firkin Crane Centre and the UCC Granary Theatre as part of the "Sense of Cork" Festival. I worked as official interpreter and translator at Boomerang's conference for European youth arts leaders in March 1997, and I have recently been appointed administrator of the Boomerang European Theatre School. The first course of its kind in Ireland, its aim is to train actors in diverse forms of physical theatre, and the first year of the course will incorporate Japanese Noh theatre, Italian Commedia dell'arte and music for theatre with jazz musicians from Prague. There will be a showcase production at the Granary Theatre in June 1998.

'My plans for the future include playing Puck in an Italian production of A Midsummer Night's Dream in Bologna in July 1998. Boomerang will also be hosting a trilateral theatre festival with Germany and the Czech Republic in April 1998, and we will be travelling to Leipzig to perform in August 1998'. (May 1998)

Louise Sheehan (BA Joint Honours, Italian and French, 1992; MA Translation Studies, 1993)

'After my first degree, I took the one-year MA in Translation Studies (Italian and French) at UCC. I then became a part-time Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Italian and, in 1994, I was appointed as one of the first College Language Teachers in UCC's newly formed Language Centre, a post I have held since then, acting as co-ordinator of the First-Year language course in the BA programme.

'I took a twelve-month career break in 1997-98, but I am now back at UCC teaching Italian to Arts, Commerce, Law and Engineering students'. (October 1998)

Department of Italian


First Floor Block A West, O' Rahilly Building, University College Cork, Ireland