Ireland Summer Programme

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Established in summer 2011, the Ireland Summer Programme provides ND undergraduates with an intense summer immersion experience at O’Connell House. Twenty-five students live in Ireland for six weeks each summer, studying Irish history and culture with a rotating pair of ND professors. Kevin Whelan, Director of the Keough Naughton ND centre in Dublin, teaches a course explores the broad political, cultural, economic and social history of the island of Ireland from the eighteenth to the twentieth-first century. It also explores the nature of contemporary Irish culture, society and economy. Themes covered include the 1798 Rebellion, Catholic Emancipation, the Great Irish Famine, emigration, the 1916 Rising and the Northern Ireland Troubles. P. J. Mathews, Professor of English at University College Dublin teaches a course on Irish literature that satisfies the University Lit requirement. This course examines the Irish literary Revival (1891-1939) as a dynamic moment in modern Irish literature in which key literary figures like Yeats, Lady Gregory, Synge, and Joyce worked to make Ireland a centre of cultural innovation once again. The significance of the Revival to Ireland’s decolonisation and debates over an Irish national literature is a central focus.

The belief that practical experience is as vital to education as classroom study is at the heart of the programme. The lectures are supported by field trips, museum and theatre visits, and contacts with distinguished modern Irish citizens. There is a complementary field trip to every lesson, so while learning about James Joyce and the significance of Ulysses, students live out the first pages of the novel by swimming at Sandycove and following in the footsteps of Leopold Bloom on Bloomsday. Following their lectures on Northern Ireland, they travel to Belfast, beginning to understand the human element of the Troubles. Putting Irish history in a broader historical context, they journey to the early medieval monastic site at Glendalough and the 5,000 year old passage tombs at Newgrange and Knowth. Students partake in a full cultural programme, including trips throughout Ireland, tours of museums, theatres and galleries, guest lectures, sporting events, film screenings, and musical and theatrical performances in Dublin’s best-known venues. In 2012, a week-long trip to the Burren was introduced, immersing students in the grey limestone hills, the archaeological landscape of the west of Ireland, and becoming part of village life in Ballyvaughan. In 2014, an additional week on the Ring of Kerry was added, meaning that the programme offered access to the best of Ireland – 4 weeks in the vibrant contemporary metropolis of Dublin, and 2 weeks out in the waters and the wild of the west of Ireland.

THE CITY OF DUBLIN

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Dublin, the capital of Ireland, is home to 1 million people within its greater metropolitan area. Half the population is under the age of 30, so it is one of Europe’s youngest capital cities.

Contemporary Dublin boasts a strong presence of ICT, financial services and other state-of-the-art industry. The city is home to a particularly strong cultural sector, including theatre, music, art, sport and film. Dublin has been famous for centuries as a literary capital. Among its writers are Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde, W. B. Yeats, James Joyce and Seamus Heaney.

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