Professor Orla Muldoon and Rachel Msetfi
Professor Orla Muldoon, founding professor at UL’s Department of Psychology who was admitted to the Royal Irish Academy, with Professor Rachel Msetfi, Executive Dean, Faculty of Education and Health Sciences, UL
Tuesday, 24 May 2022

A prominent academic at University of Limerick has been admitted to the Royal Irish Academy.

Professor Orla Muldoon, founding professor at the Department of Psychology and Director for the Centre for Social Issues Research at UL, was officially admitted to the Royal Irish Academy (RIA) on Friday.

In all, 29 new members were elected for their exceptional contribution to the sciences, humanities and social sciences, as well as to public service.

Professor Muldoon, who is a regular contributor to the Irish Times and served on the Behaviour and Communications Committee advising the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), is one of the first women in Ireland to hold a European Research Council award.

A current member of the Irish Research Council, Professor Muldoon is a social psychologist interested in how social contexts and in particular social systems and structures can shape behaviour, attitudes and health.

Newly elected members to the RIA also include Hannah McGee, deputy-chair of the National Research Ethics Committee for COVID-19, historian and pre-eminent authority on Catholic renewal Tadhg Ó hAnnracháin, Siobhán Mullally, UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, Virginia Teehan, Chief Executive of the Heritage Council, Marie Donnelly, Chair of the Climate Change Advisory Council and Linda Doyle, 45th Provost of Trinity College Dublin.

Professor Muldoon said of being admitted to the RIA: “My colleagues and students at University of Limerick have made my 15 years here both fulfilling and challenging. I am delighted to be awarded Royal Irish Academy membership and accept it to honour the enthusiasm and ever generous support I receive from my colleagues, friends and family.”

Professor Rachel Msetfi, Executive Dean, Faculty of Education and Health Sciences, said: “We are so proud of Professor Orla Muldoon, who is one of our leading researchers. Importantly her work has practical impact in helping us understand the key social issues of our times through a lens informed by research.

“Orla is one of the first female academics in Ireland to receive a prestigious European Research Council award, and being admitted to the Royal Irish Academy is a timely recognition of her work and significant contributions to science and society,” Professor Msetfi added.

Dr Mary Canning, President of the RIA, said: “We are immensely proud of these 29 new Members who we are recognising today for their scholarly achievements, their research and international distinction or for significant contributions to Irish society. As new Members of the Academy, they will contribute to and strengthen our capacity to provide expert advice on Higher Education and Research policy.”

There are 656 members of the RIA, which has been honouring Ireland’s leading contributors to the world of learning since its establishment in 1785. Those elected by their peers are entitled to use the designation ‘MRIA’ after their name.

Past members have included Maria Edgeworth, a pioneer of the modern novel and Nobel laureates WB Yeats, Ernest Walton and Seamus Heaney.