Two UL Academics announced as new members of the Royal Irish Academy

Prof Tom Lodge, Prof Bernadette Whelan, Prof Mary Daly, Prof Anthony McElligott

The 19 new members who signed the Royal Irish Academy roll book this week in a centuries old tradition, included UL Professors Bernadette Whelan, a leading scholar in the history of Irish–American relations and Anthony McElligott a leading historian of twentieth-century Germany.

Professor Mary E. Daly, President of the Royal Irish Academy, said that all those elected ‘have made world renowned contributions to research in the sciences or humanities...Irish scholars are highly sought after and are increasingly being head-hunted for top positions in leading universities and research centres throughout the world’. She warned that Ireland needed to retain this talent so that we can produce the high-level graduates that are critical for Ireland’s economic recovery.

Anthony McElligott is Professor of History at the University of Limerick. He is a leading historian of twentieth-century Germany, and has published monographs and articles that focus on urban history and the Weimar Republic. His current research is on the Holocaust in Greece. He has played a key role in building the Department of History at UL, helping it to attain an international profile.

Bernadette Whelan is Professor of History at the University of Limerick. She is the leading scholar in the history of Irish-American relations in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Her pioneering
publications, based on extensive archival research, integrate the Irish experience into wider transnational studies, especially in relation to Marshall Aid and postwar Europe. Professor Whelan has also made a significant contribution to Irish women’s history.

2015 is the 230th anniversary of the Royal Irish Academy—Ireland’s leading body of experts in the sciences and humanities. Since its foundation in 1785, membership of the RIA has been keenly competed for, as it is the highest academic honour in Ireland. Those elected use the designation ‘MRIA’ after their name.

There are now 493 members of the Academy and 76 honorary members, in disciplines from the sciences, humanities and social sciences. Members of the Academy include President Michael D. Higgins; Baroness Nuala O’Loan; Patrick Honohan, Governor of the Central Bank; Roy Foster, historian; and the writer and cartographer Tim Robinson.

The nineteen new members of the Royal Irish Academy are:

Humanities and Social Sciences:

Lorraine Byrne Bodley (Maynooth University); Nicholas Daly (UCD); Colum Hourihane (Formerly of Princeton University); Alvin Jackson (University of Edinburgh); Desmond King (University of Oxford); Rob Kitchin (Maynooth University); Anthony McElligott (University of Limerick); Ian O’Donnell (UCD); Bernadette Whelan (University of Limerick).


Geraldine Butler (UCD); David Coleman (TCD); Jonathan Coleman (TCD); Henry Curran (NUI Galway); Orla Feely (UCD); Orla Hardiman (TCD); Christopher Hunter (University of Cambridge); Steve Myers (CERN); Martin Naughton (Glen Dimplex); Matthew Zepf (Queens University Belfast).

Ireland’s Digital Champion, Lord David Puttnam, also among those elected as a Member this year, will be admitted at a later date.