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Dr. Aengus Finnegan



I have been working at the University of Limerick since 2015, and was appointed Lecturer in Irish in September 2016. I teach courses on Irish literature and language from 1600 to the present, including: modern Irish grammar, onomastics, early-modern prose literature in Irish, dialectology, Gaeltacht literature, the Schools' Folklore Collection 1937-8, & Celtic Civilisation. My current research is focused on historical language shift and bilingualism in Ireland. I am also investigating the origins and development of 1350 townland names in Co. Westmeath, a study provisionally titled 'Language in the landscape'. I am coordinator of the Westmeath Field Names Recording Project.

From 2013 to 2015 I was employed in Fiontar, the Irish-language unit of Dublin City University. I worked as a Research Editor on a number of Irish-language and folklore digitisation projects, and as Project Coordinator of, The Placenames Database of Ireland.

BA (International) in Irish and Geography, NUI Galway (2007). Awarded a National Lottery research bursary by the Department of Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht (2007-2011) to undertake doctoral research on the townland names of Co. Westmeath (PhD in Modern Irish, NUI Galway, 2012).

Research Interests

Research interests include: Irish placenames, surnames, and personal names; folklore; and the historical dialectology and sociolinguistic heritage of the Irish language in central Ireland.

Ainmeolaíocht na Gaeilge, canúineolaíocht, béaloideas, stair na Gaeilge i lár na tíre.

Teaching Interests

External Supervisor: Justin Ó Gliasáin: 'A study of the microtoponymy of the baronies of Offaly East and Offaly West, Co. Kildare.' Fiontar & Scoil na Gaeilge, Dublin City University. Current PhD student (Sept. 2017-).

2017-18: 6 FYP students.

Professional Activities


  • 2017 Fiontar & Scoil na Gaeilge Dublin City University - Half-day consultancy on the Meitheal project. This website provides a crowdsourcing tool for pooling, storing and sharing data about minor placenames.

    My consultancy consisted of a review of the website (from a an expert user's perspective, and drawing on my prior experience of working on such projects, and my expertise in placenames). I gave a 30 min presentation to key project staff followed by 1 hour discussion.

    This was followed by a 1 hour and 15 mins presentation and discussion on the study of microtoponyms (minor placenames) in Ireland open to all staff in Fiontar/Scoil na Gaeilge.


  • 2015 member, Meath Archaeological and Historical Society
  • 2014 Committee member, Society for Name Studies in Britain and Ireland
  • 2013 member, Group for the Study of Irish Historic Settlement
  • 2010 member, Ulster Place-Names Society
  • Council member, The Old Athlone Society/Cumann Ársa Bhaile Átha Luain
  • member, Centre for Early Modern Studies, University of Limerick


  • 2012 NUI Galway - PhD
  • 2007 NUI Galway - BA


  • English
  • Gaeilge


  • Erasmus + Teaching exchange. Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań. May 12-13 2017. 8 hours of teaching.