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Irish Research Council Supporting Irish Dominican History

Ancient Dominican Ruins

The Irish Research Council has awarded a New Foundations grant to Dr Eleanor Giraud (University of Limerick) and the Irish Province of Dominican Friars, to fund a new project entitled ‘Mapping the manuscript and cultural heritage of the Dominican Order in Ireland’. The New Foundations scheme aims to promote collaboration between civic society organisations and academic researchers. Dr Giraud is a scholar of international standing in the field of medieval chant, with special expertise in the Dominican musical tradition.

Dr Eleanor Giraud (UL), expert in Dominican chant (photo: Fran May)

The grant coincides with preparations for the celebrations of the 800th anniversary of the arrival of Dominican friars in Ireland in 1224, a milestone in Irish history, and the history of Christianity in Ireland. Since their arrival, Dominican friars have been active across Ireland, in towns and in the countryside, across boundaries of class, and ethnicity, and language, shaping the moral and spiritual imaginations of Irish people through their preaching, liturgy, and pastoral work.

With the help of this grant, Dr Giraud and her Dominican collaborators will create a network of scholars interested in the medieval heritage of Irish Dominican friars, and will oversee the digitisation of extant manuscripts which once belonged (or probably belonged) to Irish Dominican communities, and are now found in various British libraries. These manuscripts include two 13th- or 14th-century Bibles, with fascinating paratextual material; a book from Limerick containing French-language material and an abundance of marginal doodles; and a book containing early Hiberno-English and some wonderful caricatures of Dominican friars. Once they’re digitised, these manuscripts will be freely accessible to the scholarly community, and to the public.

To stay up to date with the project, keep an eye on our website ( and on our social media accounts (‘Irish Dominicans’ on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter).


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