Irish Studies at Boston College

Boston College has had a long tradition of engagement with Ireland and its culture. The university was founded, in part, to educate the children of Irish Catholic emigrants in Boston. The Irish Studies program at Boston College began in 1978 and is one of the leading international centres for Irish Studies.  Boston College offers academic programs for students in Irish Studies and the Irish Studies program hosts lectures and conferences open to members of the Boston College community and the public. Gaelic Roots hosts Irish music and dance events. The Burns Library has an outstanding collection of Irish books and manuscripts. The Burns scholar program enables the university to welcome leading international figures in Irish Studies to the campus for a semester or a year. The McMullen Museum regularly hosts Irish-related exhibitions. BC Ireland is Boston College’s home in Dublin, Ireland.

James Murphy

Boston College Irish Studies Welcome


Gaelic Roots Concert

Gaelic Roots Concert

A Concert of Celtic Song and Soul

Rev. Nóirín Ní Riain and her sons Owen & Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin

Nóirín Ní Riain is one of Ireland's jewels of soul and song. A world-renowned singer, she is a recently ordained interfaith minister and doctor of theology, inspiring others in rites of threshold and transformation. Her sons, Owen & Mícheál ‘Moley’ Ó Súilleabháin, well-established performers in their own right, share the wisdom of their inherited tradition with audiences and organizations across America. Owen and Mícheál  have recorded ancient sacred chant and performed internationally with their mother Nóirín in a trio called AMEN. Together they have released two albums in the US under the Sounds True label, Celtic Joy and HearthSounds. Owen and Mícheal’s latest album, also released by Sounds True, is called Fields Of Grace: Celtic Meditation Music from the Heart of Ireland. Every summer they lead a group on a week long tour of the spirit of their homeland called Turas d’Anam – Journey of the Soul in Ireland.

February 07

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Engaging the Liberal State: Cardinal Manning and Irish Home Rule

Engaging the Liberal State: Cardinal Manning and Irish Home Rule


Register Here

Wednesday, February 13, 4:30–6:00 p.m.

Corcoran Commons, Heights Room, Chestnut Hill Campus

Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J., Thomas I. Gasson, S.J., Professor, Boston College; president emeritus and professor of history, Fairfield University

In the course of his long career (1865–1892) as Archbishop of Westminster and head of England’s Catholic Church, Henry Edward Manning articulated a position on the engagement of voluntary religious organizations like the Church with the liberal state, now understood, at least in the British context, as religiously neutral and responsive to public opinion through increasingly democratic forms of government and mediated through political parties. The greatest test and illustration of this position was his involvement in Irish Home Rule, where he deferred to the Irish hierarchy in their support of Charles Stuart Parnell’s Irish Parliamentary Party against his own inclinations and the immediate interests of the Catholic population in England. Manning’s position was in sharp contrast to that of Pope Leo XIII, who negotiated directly with Otto von Bismarck, and over the heads of the hierarchy and Germany’s Catholic Center Party, to end the Kulturkampf. Thus Manning worked out a modus vivendi for the Church in relation to the liberal, democratic state that anticipates in many ways the thinking of John Courtney Murray and the practice of the Church in politics today.

Sponsored by the School of Theology and Ministry and the Boston College Jesuit Community

February 13

4:30 PM – 6:00 PM

"Lord Byron, Thomas Moore and the Cosmopolitan Reach of Irish Literature"

"Lord Byron, Thomas Moore and the Cosmopolitan Reach of Irish Literature"

Distinguished Byron Scholar, Professor Jonathan Gross (DePaul University), explores the relationship between Byron, the leading Romantic poet, and Thomas Moore, the Irish author, in the cosmopolitan world of early nineteenth-century London.

April 04

4:30 PM – 5:30 PM

Alvin Jackson: The survival of the United Kingdom, 1707-2017:  bloodshed, borders and Brexit

Alvin Jackson: The survival of the United Kingdom, 1707-2017: bloodshed, borders and Brexit

Alvin Jackson is Richard Lodge Professor of History at The University of Edinburgh. His research focuses on modern Irish, Scottish, and British history and has been supported by three major national awards – a British Academy Research Readership in the Humanities (2000), a British Academy-Leverhulme Senior Research Fellowship (2009) and a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship (2014). His interest in the Union and Irish Unionism have made him a leading scholar on Brexit. He has published many articles and six books, including The Two Unions: Ireland, Scotland, and the Survival of the United Kingdom, 1707-2007 (2011, which was shortlisted in Scotland for the Saltire Society’s Scottish History Book of the Year (2012) and for the Ewart-Biggs Irish Literary Prize (2013). In 2014, he was elected as an Honorary Member of the Royal Irish Academy and in 2015 as Member of the Academia Europaea. He was the John J. Burns Visiting Scholar in Irish Studies at Boston College in 1996-1997.


Cosponsored by the Irish Studies Program and also made possible by the Gerson Family Lecture Fund, established by John A. and Jean N. Gerson, P’14.

April 10

7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Partitioning Ireland

Partitioning Ireland

This one-day, international conference will explore the history and legacies of the decision to partition Ireland, as its centenary approaches. In addition to examining responses in Ireland, contributions will include comparative studies on Europe and the wider world and the long-term impact of partition.

April 27

9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

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