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Wales-Ireland Network

The Ireland–Wales Research Network aims to explore the creative, cultural, and political relationships between Wales and Ireland.

The Network, a partnership between Cardiff University, Aberystwyth University and University College Cork , aims to develop a deeper awareness of the overlapping, complex and connected histories of Wales and Ireland. 

Iwan Bala 'Atlantea'

Iwan Bala 'Atlantea', 2007. Mixed media on Khadi paper. With the permission of the artist, Iwan Bala.

Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council the Network was launched the Consul General of Ireland in Wales on November 22nd, 2007, at a reception sponsored by the Government of Ireland. (For press coverage of the launch, see Cardiff University's main News, BBC News and the Western Mail).

The Network is managed by Professor Claire Connolly (School of English, University College Cork), Professor Katie Gramich (Cardiff School of English, Communication and Philosophy) and Dr Paul O'Leary (Department of History and Welsh History, University of Wales, Aberystwyth).

For an introduction to the comparative research being undertaken, see the special issue of Irish Studies Review, Volume 17 Issue 1 (Feb 2009). Claire Connolly and Katie Gramich’s Introduction to the special issue is available.


Comparative Coastal Topographies

An interdisciplinary workshop to explore the representation of coastal landscapes in comparative colonial context. Discussion will focus on Ireland, Wales, Scotland and the West Indies.

Convenors: Prof Claire Connolly (English, UCC) and Dr Finola O’Kane (Architecture, UCD)

The workshop asks: What are the visual and literary codes and conventions that shaped the representation of Irish coastal landscapes in the eighteenth- and nineteenth-centuries and how did these emerge in the context of Britain’s overseas empire? Despite Ireland’s island status, we have a relatively limited understanding of the ways in which our distinctive coastal topographies have been represented in art and in literature. Comparisons with Ireland, Wales, Scotland and the West Indies are also underdeveloped, despite these cultures being joined both by marine links and by the British empire itself. The limitations of our knowledge may be to do with relative cultural invisibility of these busy working coastlines, connected via the hidden logic of empire, and intimately associated with the everyday facts of imperial economic exchange. How can we develop a critical, political and aesthetic vocabulary that is able to further the discussion of coastal landscapes? How can these landscapes be brought into view, addressed and compared?

Dates to be announced and further information to follow.

Ireland, Wales, and the First World War: History, Myth, and Cultural Memory

September 10-12, 2014
Cardiff University

‘Ireland, Wales, and the First World War: History, Myth, and Cultural Memory’: this interdisciplinary conference will be hosted by the Wales-Ireland Research Network at Cardiff University on September 10-12, 2014. For further details and the Call for Papers, please click on the link below.

For further information please click here

Roads to the Nation:  a symposium on the history, culture and theory of roads

The School of English will host a distinguished gathering of scholars on 2nd and 3rd May 2013, in a symposium designed to develop our understanding of the role of infrastructure in British-Ireland relations from the eighteenth century to the present, with a particular focus on Wales.

For further information please click here.

Lecture on Welsh Poetry

Lecture on Welsh poetry by Gwyneth Lewis at the School of English, University College Cork on 14th February, 2013. Gwyneth Lewis will also be reading at the Cork Spring Poetry Festival that week.

Cardiff University Wales–Ireland Seminar Series

Hosted and sponsored by Cardiff University School of English, Communication and Philosophy, with sponsorship from Culture Ireland, the Embassy of Ireland in Great Britain and Literature Wales, these Seminars ran from 2007 and 2011.

AHRC-funded Ireland–Wales Symposia

There have been five Symposia to date organised by the Network and sponsored by the AHRC: Comparisons and Contexts, Romantic Nations, Culture and Creativity, Nations and Knowledges,and a Postgraduate symposium.

Public lectures and readings

Lectures to date have been delivered by Paul Muldoon, Gwyneth Lewis, Mike Young, John Horgan & Geraint Talfan Davies (in conversation), and Paul Murphy MP.

Westering Home

Bernard O'Donoghue

Though you'd be pressed to say exactly where
 It first sets in, driving west through Wales
 Things start to feel like Ireland. It can't be
 The chapels with their clear grey windows,

Or the buzzards menacing the scooped valleys.
 In April, have the blurred blackthorn hedges
 Something to do with it? Or possibly
 The motorway, which seems to lose its nerve
 Mile by mile. The houses, up to a point,

With the masoned gables, each upper window
 A raised eyebrow. More, though, than all of this,
 It's the architecture of the spirit;
 The old thin ache you thought that you'd forgotten-

More smoke, admittedly than flame;
 Less tears than rain. And the whole business
 Neither here nor there, and therefore home.

From Neither Here nor There (London: Chatto and Windus, 1999)

With the kind permission of Bernard O'Donoghue.

For further information:

Wales-Ireland Network