Irish Centre for Galician Studies

Irish Centre for Galician Studies

Exchange and travel are two essential facts of the historical evolution of a territory which, throughout the centuries, has become what we now know as Galicia: from the Irish legends of the Sons of Mil, Breogan and the Tower, to the wandering hordes of emigrants sung by Rosalía de Castro, and the pilgrims’ footsteps on the Way of St James. Both the paths of the land, which linked us to continental Europe, and the paths of the sea, which connected us with the islands and America, provided Galician culture with new social, cultural and political expressions that have consolidated a 21st century society with a unique and strong sense of identity.

Galician is Galicia’s own language, one more of the languages that blossomed in southern Europe, in this case from the evolution of Latin in the province of Gallaecia. It was altered over time by the different peoples that lived there and by posterior political and social events. Modern Galician and Portuguese have many elements in common. In fact, they were originally the same language, which became the preferred language for poetry in the whole Iberian Peninsula during the Middle Ages, its oldest written document dating back to circa 1175.

The Irish Centre for Galician Studies was created by Professor David Mackenzie in 1998 by mutual agreement between UCC and the Galician government - the Xunta de Galicia, and it is one more port on our nautical charts, one of the doors leading to the marvellous worlds of our legends, a ‘lay-it-down-pick-it-up route’ between Galicia and Ireland. The role of the Centre for Galician Studies is to afford the UCC community the necessary tools to approach Galicia and its cultural heritage using the most appropriate route. Currently directed by Dr Martín Veiga, the Centre is also a space that fosters the development of cultural and academic debate through the organisation of conferences, seminars, readings, symposia and the active participation in other national and international events.

Due to the presence of the Centre, the Department of Hispanic Studies offers two modules of language (HS2024 Galician Language I, HS3024 Galician Language II) and cultural studies (HS2025 Galician Culture Studies I, HS3025 Galician Culture Studies II). Since 2009 there has also been a Galician section in the module HS2008 Business, Culture and Society in Spain and Portugal, specifically designed for students of the BComm European degree. In addition, the department welcomes any student who wishes to pursue postgraduate studies on Galician Studies, at both Masters and Ph.D levels.

Through the Erasmus student exchange programme, UCC students have the opportunity to spend one academic year at the Universities of Santiago de Compostela or A Coruña.

The library of the Irish Centre for Galician Studies offers a wide selection of books, dictionaries and audiovisual material related to Galician culture. Therefore, it is an unquestionable point of reference for every person with an interest in Galician language, history, literature and culture. The collection is readily available to students, researchers, academics and writers working throughout Ireland. The fact that it is the only library specialised in Galician Studies in the whole country serves to further enhance its importance.

For more information on the Centre’s activities please feel free to contact:

Dr Martín Veiga - Director of Irish Centre for Galician Studies


Mr Isaac Fernández Fernández - Assistant Director of the Irish Centre for Galician Studies


Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies

First Floor - Block B East O'Rahilly Building University College Cork Ireland