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CIRT Hosts Irish Government Officials’ Visit of Georgia Southern, Savannah

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Delegates from the County of Wexfod, Ireland, visit with Interim University President Jean Bartels, Ph.D., RN.

Last week a group of Irish government officials met with leaders across the state of Georgia, including interim Georgia Southern University President Jean Bartels, Ph.D., RN, thanks to the work of the Wexford-Savannah Axis Research Project, which is a partnership between the Center for Irish Research and Teaching (CIRT) and Waterford Institute of Technology.

Visiting Georgia Southern University and the state were Kathleen Codd-Nolan (Leas-Cathaoirleach, County of Wexford); Thomas Enright (chief executive, County of Wexford); Anthony Larkin (director of economic development and planning, County of Wexford); Laurence Byrne (economic representative of the Office of the Teachta Dála for Wexford in the Irish National Parliament); Michael Sheehan (chair of the County of Wexford Strategic Policy Group for Economic Development and Enterprise and chair of the New Ross Municipal District); and William Keilthy (chair of John F. Kennedy Trust).

The delegation met with the mayors of Atlanta and Savannah, toured historic Irish sites in Savannah and the Georgia Southern campus, and met with local business leaders before taking in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Wexford is the most southeastern of Ireland’s traditional 32 counties, and it is the most represented county-of-origin among Savannah’s important Irish community.

Inaugurated almost exactly two years ago, the Wexford-Savannah Axis Research Project has, among other things, involved almost 40 students in primary-source archival research, generated over $38,000 in grant funding, and excited significant interest among the Savannah community and throughout Ireland.

As a direct result of the contributions that the Wexford-Savannah Axis Research Project has made to Savannah’s knowledge and appreciation of its heritage, CIRT Director Howard Keeley was honored to be one of two keynote speakers at the 900-guest, black-tie 204th Anniversary Banquet of the Hibernian Society of Savannah, the city’s oldest and most prestigious Irish organization. Prior keynote speakers at the event have included two sitting Presidents of the United States.   

On Monday, April 11, at 7 p.m. in the Nessmith-Lane auditorium, CIRT will host its Fifth Annual Distinguished Lecture in Irish Studies. The speaker will be Patricia Harty, Founder-Editor of Irish-America magazine, the premier publication in Irish America.

The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS) is the largest of the eight colleges that make up Georgia Southern University, and it plays a central role in every student’s core of knowledge. CLASS, also described as the University’s College of the Creative Mind, prepares students to achieve academic excellence, develop their analytical skills, enhance their creativity and embrace their responsibilities as citizens of their communities, their nations and the world. CLASS offers more than 20 undergraduate degrees and several interdisciplinary minors from its 11 departments and five academic centers. CLASS offers eight master’s degrees, two graduate certificates and one doctoral degree.  For more information, visit class.georgiasouthern.edu.

Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/Research University founded in 1906, offers more than 125 degree programs serving more than 20,500 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelors, masters and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement. Georgia Southern is recognized for its student-centered and hands-on approach to education. GeorgiaSouthern.edu.

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