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Welcome to the Fiontar & Scoil na Gaeilge research page. Our staff are committed to linking the Irish language with contemporary issues, and to developing and promoting digital technologies which enable anytime, anywhere access to a rich seam of Irish place names, biographies, terminology, folklore, Irish-language terminology for the EU and online language teaching and learning technologies.


Interests and Expertise

Our research interests and expertise are aimed at:
1. Developing and preserving for the future a rich store of visual, audio and written records in Irish.
2. Providing online access, at home and abroad, to online data about core aspects of Irish-language heritage and culture.
3. Making these resources freely accessible online, at home and abroad, to anyone with an interest in Ireland.
4. Connecting and showcasing research through Irish on a variety of subjects such as:
* Business and Management
* Finance
* Entrepreneurship Education/ Social Entrepreneurship
* Information Technology in Language Teaching and Learning
* Organisational Behaviour
* Gaeltacht Development
* Language Policy and Planning
* Aspects of Irish language and literature


Centres and Groups

Fiontar & Scoil na Gaeilge is widely known for its research in publicly-funded, digital humanities projects for the Irish language. These are projects where information and digital technologies meet research and teaching on human culture.

In recent years staff in Fiontar & Scoil na Gaeilge have been leading the way in capturing Ireland’s rich linguistic and cultural traditions, making them available and accessible on digital platforms for students, researchers, various professionals and the general public, as well as the Irish diaspora.

All of our major team-based research projects have been delivered in partnership with Irish and European public bodies. Projects in the digital humanities which Fiontar & Scoil na Gaeilge is leading or participating in include:

  • Database of Irish – with mapping tools from Ordnance Survey Ireland. There is an Irish version for Irish speakers and an English edition which non-Irish speakers and many in the Irish diaspora will appreciate. The sound archive is an innovative feature of this database. Meitheal, a sub-site of, provides a crowdsourcing tool for pooling, storing and sharing data about minor placenames. Meitheal gives users the opportunity to promote the toponymic heritage of the country in the digital age by mapping and sharing minor placenames online.
  • National Database of Irish – in conjunction with publishers Cló Iar-Chonnacht. This features more than 1,700 people since the year 1560 who have had an involvement with the Irish language. There is an alphabetical listing as well as comprehensive cross-referencing, full-text search for keywords and phrases, timelines, and life attributes such as works, awards and events.
  • National Folklore Collection - dú - Ireland’s oral tradition, which has been archived and digitised for a national and global audience in dú This online collection is currently being developed through a collaboration between DCU and UCD. The following resources have been made available on the website:

(i) All volumes of the Schools’ Collection (digitized and indexed) 

(ii) Search by people, topics and places

(iii) Meitheal dú (transcription project)

(iv) Irish Surname Index

  • National Terminology Databaseté – in collaboration with Foras na Gaeilge. This is a 200,000+ listing of Irish-language terms in specialised and contemporary subjects.
  • Irish-language vocabulary for international terminology listing  – IATE or Interactive Terminology for Europe – in collaboration with the European Union. IATE is the intralingual web-based EU terminology service, ensuring easy access in one, convenient online source. Fiontar & Scoil na Gaeilge manages the Irish-language terminology content.
  • - is a platform for publishing language and terminology resources developed by Fiontar & Scoil na Gaeilge, DCU. The resources available on this website are the results of externally funded projects as well as the work of individual researchers.
  • SpeakApps.euSpeakApps is a European-funded research project aimed at investigating, evaluating and developing a suite of online tools and tasks to facilitate oral language production in a range of European Languages (English, Irish, Catalan, Dutch, Polish, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Croatian, Finnish and Swedish). The aim of the project is to provide easy access to innovative, interactive online tools for learning and teaching languages, enabling people to practise second or even third languages, and providing them with an opportunity to improve their language skills through feedback. Fiontar & Scoil na Gaeilge is a member of a five-partner consortium of European Universities conducting this research.


Technologies and Facilities

Using new and emerging technologies, Fiontar & Scoil na Gaeilge is collecting and protecting Ireland’s rich linguistic tradition and making it available anywhere, anytime, to a global audience. With up to 100 million people in the Irish diaspora, and new technology making it easier to reach them, it is now more convenient than ever before to explore times past and appreciate them in their historical and contemporary context.


Opportunities for Enterprise

The six main outputs from our current research in language teaching and learning technologies, lexicography and terminology, biography, toponymy and folkloristics are available online. If your organisation has a specific research need in the area of the digital humanities, finance and business management,  social entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship education, Gaeltacht development, language technologies, or language policy and planning and would like to engage Fiontar & Scoil na Gaeilge for a consultancy, consult the lecturer profiles to see who may be best placed to partner with you. Fiontar & Scoil na Gaeilge’s most recent consultancy assignments include input into the preparation of The 20-Year strategy for the Irish language 2010-2030, published by the Irish Government. Staff are also currently involved in providing support with regard to language policy in the Irish Government’s review of the Official Languages Act (2003). Partnering with colleagues in Wales and Finland, Fiontar & Scoil na Gaeilge has produced a study of language legislation in those countries, From Act to Action (2014). 

Please direct all inquiries in the first instance to: 

Ursula Mhic Cárthaigh
Fiontar & Scoil na Gaeilge
School Office 


Research Students

Fiontar & Scoil na Gaeilge welcomes applications from graduates who would like to conduct research through Irish in areas such as business and management, entrepreneurship education, social entrepreneurship, finance, ICT, language technologies, language policy and planning, digital humanities, as well aspects of Irish language and literature.

Undertaking a research degree facilitates in-depth study in a discipline in which the student already has a good academic grounding. The research programme develops skills in organising, undertaking, presenting, and managing research projects that will stand to the graduate in whatever career he or she pursues.

+ Current PhD Students

Elaine Beirne

Elaine's research is focused on developing a method for conducting a sentiment analysis on Irish language text gathered from online sources. This work aims to extract value from the large amounts of user-generated Irish language content online, in particular, on the microblogging site, Twitter. 

Jostin Ó Gliasáin

Justin's research is focused on minor placenames of Irish-Language origin in Co. Kildare. The aim of this project is to assemble a collection of minor placenames and to carry out a linguistic analysis on them. The collection of minor placenames will be published on the website.

Michelle Dunne

Michelle is endeavouring to understand information about and from women in the folklore collection Seán Mac Mathúna (1876 - 1949) collected in north-west Clare in the historical context of the material. The behaviour and (traditional) role of women and the gender messages in these narratives will be focused on. 

Jamie Murphy

Jamie is currently undertaking a PhD in the field of Irish stage translation.

Interested applicants must submit the following:

  • A research proposal (of approx. 5,000 words) (guidelines below).
  • A complete curriculum vitae, including results for undergraduate and postgraduate awards (for each year of study) and for any research projects, dissertations or thesis completed.
  • Name of the Fiontar & Scoil na Gaeilge faculty member supporting your application.

You should only apply if a member of faculty is supporting your application. If there are none who have undertaken, or are interested in, research related to your proposal, it is unlikely to be accepted. Therefore, you should ensure your intended topic matches the interests of one or more members of faculty. You can find out more by viewing the individual webpages of staff in the School. Applications are normally considered between April and September. You may self-fund or get funded for your PhD.

Please direct all inquiries about joining the research programme, in the first instance, to:

Ursula Mhic Cárthaigh
Fiontar & Scoil na Gaeilge
School Office 

+ Writing a Research Proposal

When preparing your topic, read the guidelines on writing a PhD research proposal and ensure that you:

  • Clearly outline your chosen research question.
  • Display evidence of your familiarity with relevant literature relating to your research question, including knowledge of published research from appropriate research journals.
  • Position your research question(s) in the relevant research literature.
  • Indicate the contribution your research will make to this body of knowledge.
  • Suggest a possible methodology that is suitable for your study.

Applicants who have the support of a proposed supervisor may be invited to interview.  If successful, you will be required to apply formally to DCU via the Postgraduate Applications Centre. Please note that applications submitted to the PAC before faculty approval has been given, will not be considered.

+ Further Information

+ Scholarship Opportunities


International Engagements

Fiontar & Scoil na Gaeilge provides the Irish-language content of the EU terminology website, IATE, and is involved in the EU-supported SpeakApps project. 



SNSBI (Society for Name Studies in Britain and Ireland) 2016

The SNSBI pre-conference workshop ‘Tools for sharing minor placenames’ was hosted by Fiontar, DCU in April 2016. A new crowdsourcing tool, Meitheal, developed by Fiontar was launched during this workshop.

CLTW (Celtic Language Technology Workshop) 2014

The first Celtic Language Technology Workshop, which had contributions on 12 specialist subjects from national and international experts in the field, was organised by Fiontar in conjunction with NCLT (National Centre for Language Technology) and the School of Computing at DCU in August 2014. This workshop was hosted by COLING, the Annual International Conference on Computational Linguistics.

BISA (British and Irish Sound Archives) 2014

The Annual Conference of the British and Irish Sound Archives Association was hosted by Fiontar in May 2014. As well as bringing national and international experts and researchers together, the conference provided Fiontar with an opportunity to showcase its own research in the digital humanities to a wider audience.