Mary Phelan


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Mary Phelan, B.A., H. Dip in Ed., Dip.Trans., PhD, is a lecturer in the School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies (SALIS) where she teaches Spanish-English general translation; community interpreting theory and practice; coordinates the work placement module and teaches on the simulated translation bureau module. She is the director of the Centre for Translation and Textual Studies, a University-designated research centre, at DCU. In addition, she is the chairperson of the Irish Translators’ and Interpreters’ Association and editor of its journal Translation Ireland.

Dr Phelan's recent publications include a co-authored book Ethics in Public Service Interpreting (Routledge 2020), a monograph Irish Speakers, Interpreters and the Courts 1754-1921 (Four Courts Press 2019), a journal article Literary Portrayals of Court Interpreters and Irish Speakers in the long Nineteenth Century in Translation Studies (2020), and a book chapter Consuls and other Interpreters in Cork Harbour, Ireland in Translating in Town: Local Translation Policies during the European 19th Century (Bloomsbury 2020). 

Dr Phelan's research is in the field of Translation Studies, particularly historical provision of court interpreters and contemporary provision of interpreters in courts, police stations, hospitals and other settings. She is interested in hearing from interpreters and others with an interest in interpreting who would like to pursue PhD research on the history of interpreting, current interpreter provision, standards, ethical issues. Other possible topics relate to translation and interpreting policy, translators’ status and working conditions.


Year Publication
2020 Phelan, Mary; Rudvin, Mette; Skaaden, Hanne; Kermit, Patrick (2020) Ethics in Public Service Interpreting. London: Routledge.
2019 Phelan, Mary (2019) Irish Speakers, Interpreters and the Courts 1754-1921. Dublin: Four Courts Press and Irish Legal History Society.
2008 Phelan, Mary (2008) The Interpreter's Resource 口译实践指南. : Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press.
2001 Phelan, Mary (2001) The Interpreter's Resource. : Multilingual Matters.

Peer Reviewed Journal

Year Publication
2022 Phelan, Mary (2022) 'A Trifling Matter? Names in Irish on carts: the Dublin Castle files'. Studia Hibernica: Volume 46, Issue 1, 48 :104-126.
2021 Puthoopparambil, Soorej, Phelan, Mary and MacFarlane, Anne (2021) 'Migrant health and language barriers: Uncovering macro level influences on the implementation of trained interpreters in healthcare settings'. Health Policy - Amsterdam, 125 (5):1-23.
2020 Phelan M. (2020) 'Literary portrayals of court interpreters and Irish speakers in the long nineteenth century'. Translation Studies, 13 (2):153-167. [DOI]
2019 Courtney, Jennifer and Phelan, Mary (2019) 'Translators' Experiences of Occupational Stress and Job Satisfaction'. Translation and Interpreting, 11 (1):100-113. [Link] [DOI]
2017 Phelan, Mary (2017) 'Analytical assessment of legal translation: a case study using the American Translators Association framework'. JOURNAL OF SPECIALISED TRANSLATION, :189-210.
2012 Phelan Mary (2012) 'Medical interpreting and the law in the European union'. European Journal of Health Law, 19 (4):333-353. [DOI]
2011 Phelan, Mary (2011) 'Legal Interpreters in the News in Ireland'. 3 :76-105.
2010 Mary Phelan , Mayte Martin (2010) 'Interpreters and cultural mediators different but complementary roles'. TRANSLOCATIONS: THE IRISH MIGRATION, RACE AND SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION REVIEW, 6 .
2009 Phelan, Mary (2009) 'Interpreter Provision in Healthcare in Ireland'. Medico-Legal Journal of Ireland, 15 :93-104.

Book Chapter

Year Publication
2020 Phelan, Mary (2020) 'Consuls and other interpreters in Cork Harbour, Ireland' In: Translating in Town Local Translation Policies during the European 19th Century. London : Bloomsbury.
2019 Phelan, M. (2019) 'Codes of ethics' In: Ethics in Public Service Interpreting. [Link]
2017 Phelan, Mary (2017) 'Interpreter provision, medical training and ethics' In: Interpreting and the Politics of Recognition. Abingdon, England : Routledge.
2003 Phelan, Mary (2003) 'Traducción e interpretación en los servicios públicos en Irlanda' In: Valero-Garcés, Carmen(Eds.). Traducción e interpretación en los servicios públicos. Contextualización, actualidad y futuro. Granada, Spain : Editorial Comares.

Edited Book

Year Publication
2021 Phelan, Mary (Ed.). (2021) Translation Ireland. Dublin: Irish Translators' and Interpreters' Association, [Link]
2010 Phelan, Mary and Zimanyi, Krisztina (Ed.). (2010) Translation Ireland Special Edition on Community Interpreting. Ireland: Irish Translators' and Interpreters' Association,

Published Report

Year Publication
2016 Phelan, Mary (2016) Royal Irish Academy: Human Rights and Interpreting: The Irish Legal System. Royal Irish Academy, .
2007 Phelan, Mary (2007) Advocacy Paper Number 5: Interpreting, Translation and Public Bodies in Ireland: the Need for Policy and Training . National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism, .

Online Database

Year Publication
2019 Phelan, Mary (2019) Newspaper references to Irish language Court Interpreters 1796-1922. ONDB [Link]
2019 Phelan, Mary (2019) Database of Irish language interpreters 1754-1921. ONDB [Link]

Other Journal

Year Publication
2017 Phelan, Mary (2017) 'A Matter of Interpretation' :52-55. [Link]
2017 Phelan, Mary (2017) 'Interpreter Provision at First Antenatal Appointments in Ireland' .
2014 Phelan, Mary (2014) 'Three centuries on, Ireland none the wiser in interpreter provision' :21-21.
2010 Phelan, Mary (2010) 'Interpreting in Northern Ireland' 18 :99-107.
2006 Phelan, Mary (2006) 'Interpreting Services in Ireland: Setting Standards and Establishing Systems' :7-8.
2006 Phelan, Mary (2006) 'Translation, Localisation and Interpreting Courses in Ireland' Volume 17 :219-224.
2005 Phelan, Mary (2005) 'Lost in Translation when visiting the GP' Vol 22 No 45 :32-32.
2005 Phelan, Mary (2005) 'Medical Translations' .
2005 Phelan, Mary (2005) 'ICGP Guide to Interpretation Services and Cultural Competency is seriously flawed' .
2001 Phelan, Mary (2001) 'Community Interpreting in Ireland' .
2001 Phelan, Mary (2001) 'Medical Interpreting in Ireland' :*-*.

Conference Contribution

Year Publication
2022 Phelan, Mary (2022) Oslo Met International Translation Day Interpreting and Sustainability Online, 28/09/2022-28/09/2022.
2022 Phelan, Mary (2022) 8th Annual Irish Criminal Justice Agencies (ICJA) Conference Spoken Language Interpreting: The Need for Regulation Printworks, Dublin Castle, 22/06/2022-22/06/2022.
2021 Phelan, Mary (2021) Plus ça change - access to justice for Irish speakers Irish language and the law Online, 30/04/2021-30/04/2021.
2021 Phelan, Mary (2021) Together 2021 Ethics and the Translation Industry Online, 24/02/2021-26/02/2021.
2021 Phelan, Mary (2021) AILA World Congress The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and Public Service Interpreting and Translation University of Groningen, Netherlands, 18/01/2021-18/01/2021.
2020 Phelan, Mary (2020) Teaching Interpreting Remotely (APTIS) Teaching community interpreting remotely online, 08/06/2020-08/06/2020.
2020 Phelan, Mary (2020) Fiontar & Scoil na Gaeilge Research Seminar Irish Language Court Interpreting in the Nineteenth Century - Who were the interpreters? Zoom, 04/11/2020-04/11/2020.
2019 Phelan, Mary (2019) DCU School of History and Geography Research Seminar Irish language court interpreting: the role of the grand juries DCU St Pat's Campus, 11/12/2019-11/12/2019.
2019 Phelan, Mary (2019) 15th IPCITI conference Exploring the benefits of a multidsciplinary approach in T&I studies Workshop on Ethics in Public Service Interpreting DCU All Hallows campus, 23/11/2019-23/11/2019.
2019 Phelan, Mary (2019) Critical Link 9 AI, Community Interpreting and Ethical Issues Tokyo, Japan, 14/06/2019-16/06/2019.
2019 Phelan, Mary (2019) 8th Community Interpreting Conference Community Translation NUIG, 31/05/2019-31/05/2019.
2018 Phelan, Mary (2018) Victims' Directive Conference Victims' Right to an Interpreter and to Translation Distillery Building, Dublin, 09/04/2018-09/04/2018.
2018 Phelan, Mary S Puthoopparambil M Roura P Boyle M de Almeida Silva C Gleeson J Grogan M Kenny D Nurse T Quilty A MacFarlane (2018) 7th Community Interpreting Conference HSE Working Group to develop a model for the implementation of trained interpreters in the Irish healthcare system Dublin City University, 15/06/2018-15/06/2018.
2018 Phelan, Mary (2018) Smyth Advisory Committee on Interviewing of Suspects in Garda Custody Interpreter Provision in Garda Stations Department of Justice, Stephen's Green, Dublin 1, 29/05/2018-29/05/2018.
2017 Phelan, Mary (2017) Heriot-Watt and University of Edinburgh Research Seminar Research seminar Edinburgh, Scotland, 01/11/2017-01/11/2017.
2017 Phelan, Mary (2017) Book History Meets Translation: Intersections Language and Power in Nineteenth Century Courts in Ireland NUI Galway, 25/05/2017-26/05/2017.
2017 Phelan Mary (2017) The Translator made Corporeal conference on the history of translation and interpreting British Library, London, 08/05/2017-08/05/2017.
2017 Phelan, Mary (2017) Sixth Community Interpreting Conference No training, no testing, no problem? Trinity College Dublin, 08/06/2017-08/06/2017.
2017 Phelan, Mary (2017) The Right to Legal Assistance in Police Interviews (SUPRALAT) Interpreter Provision at Garda Station Interviews Law Society of Ireland, 22/09/2017-22/09/2017.
2017 Phelan, Mary (2017) Diversity in Practice IASW Irish Association of Social Workers - Social Work & Migration special interest group University College Cork, 13/10/2017-13/10/2017.
2016 Mary Phelan, Mette Rudvin, Hanne Skaaden (2016) Critical Link 8 Ethics and Public Service Interpreting Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, 28/06/2016-01/07/2016.
2016 Phelan, Mary (2016) SALIS Research Seminar Codes of Ethics for Public Service Interpreters DCU, .
2016 Phelan, Mary (2016) Fifth Community Interpreting Conference Impartiality and Irish language court interpreters in the nineteenth century University of Limerick, 20/05/2016-20/05/2016.
2016 Mary Phelan and Lorraine Leeson (2016) District Court Judges Annual Conference Interpreters and Intermediaries in the wake of Directive 2010/64/EU and SI No. 565/2013 Tullow, Co Carlow, 13/05/2016-13/05/2016.
2015 Phelan, Mary (2015) Word-Bridges Conference Court interpreters for foreign languages in Ireland 1810-1900 NUI Galway, 20/02/2015-20/02/2015.
2015 Phelan, Mary (2015) Research Seminar Historical Research on Court Interpreting in Ireland Queen's University Belfast, 02/02/2015-02/02/2015.
2015 Phelan, Mary (2015) Human Rights and Interpreting: the Irish Legal System Legal Interpreter Provision Royal Irish Academy, 30/09/2015-30/09/2015.
2015 Phelan, Mary (2015) JustiSigns Foreign language interpreters: ethical issues 1800-1922 Trinity College Dublin, 30/09/2015-30/09/2015.
2014 Phelan, Mary, Vigier Moreno, Francisco, Valero Garces, Carmen (2014) Qualetra Holistic and Analytical Assessment KU Leuven, Antwerp, 17/10/2014-17/10/2014.
2014 Phelan, Mary (2014) 4th Community Interpreting Conference Communication at First Bookings in Maternity Hospitals in Ireland Dublin City University, 27/06/2014-27/06/2014.
2011 Phelan, Mary (2011) Language, Migration and Diaspora The Translation of an Asylum Questionnaire: A Case Study (peer reviewed conference paper) DIT Kevin Street, 02/12/2011-03/12/2011.
2011 Phelan, Mary (2011) FIT Committee for Legal Translation and Court Interpreting 10th International Forum on Ethics and Good Practices Will the new EU directive on legal interpreting and translation make a difference? Paris, France, 19/05/2011-21/05/2011.
2011 Phelan, Mary (2011) Third Community Interpreting Conference Legal Interpreters in the News in Ireland 2010-2011 Trinity College Dublin, 11/02/2011-12/02/2011.
2010 Phelan, Mary (2010) Critical Link 6 Multilingualism and the European Union Aston University, Birmingham, 26/07/2010-30/07/2010.
2010 Phelan, Mary (2010) Starting out as a Translator or Interpreter Getting Started as an Interpreter Irish Translators' and Interpreters' Association, Dublin, 22/05/2010-22/05/2010.
2010 Phelan, Mary (2010) Second Community Interpreting Conference in Ireland Training for Medical Interpreters NUI Galway, 10/06/2010-11/06/2010.
2010 Phelan, Mary (2010) Critical Link 6 Are Ethics just for Interpreters? Aston University, Birmingham, 26/07/2010-30/07/2010.
2009 Phelan, Mary and Zimanyi, Krisztina (2009) Education Inclusion Initative Seminar Interpreting in Schools Department of Education, Marlborough Street, Dublin 1, 28/05/2009-28/05/2009.
2009 Phelan, Mary (2009) SALIS research seminar Is there a legal right to an interpreter in healthcare in Ireland? DCU, 22/10/2009-22/10/2009.
2009 Phelan, Mary (2009) European Legal Interpreters and Translators Association Ethical Dilemmas of an Interpreter Trainer Lessius University, Antwerp, Belgium, 26/11/2009-29/11/2009.
2009 Phelan, Mary (2009) Talk on Translation and Interpreting for Schools in Dublin 15 Translation and Interpreting for Schools in Dublin 15 Castaheany Educate Together, 12/05/2009-12/05/2009.
2009 Phelan, Mary (2009) First Community Interpreting Research Seminar in Ireland Communication and Change in a Maternity Hospital Setting Dublin City University, 21/05/2009-22/05/2009.
2008 Phelan, Mary (2008) Creation of a European Network in the field of social interpreting & translation Community Interpreting in Ireland Brussels, Belgium, 06/03/2008-07/03/2008.
2008 Phelan, Mary (2008) Meeting with Social Care Workers who supervise work placements for AIT social care students The need for Interpreters in Social Care Athlone Institute of Technology, 28/04/2008-28/04/2008.
2007 Phelan, Mary (2007) Getting Started in Interpreting Research Interpreting Research Vlekho University, Brussels, Belgium, 16/02/2007-16/02/2007.
2007 Phelan, Mary (2007) Stakeholders Conference Department of Health and Social Services Public Service Interpreting in the Republic of Ireland Lough Neagh Discovery Centre, 16/05/2007-16/05/2007.
2001 Phelan, Mary (2001) The Critical Link Community Interpreting in Ireland Montreal, Canada, 22/05/2001-26/05/2001.
2006 Phelan, Mary (2006) The New Languages of Ireland Interpreting in Ireland NUI Maynooth, 24/03/2006-24/03/2006.
2006 Phelan, Mary (2006) Language Law and Language Rights Court Interpreting in Ireland NUI Galway, 14/06/2006-16/06/2006.
2004 Phelan, Mary (2004) Encouraging Voices Conference Parallel Lives: Sign Language Interpreters and Spoken Language Interpreters Trinity College Dublin, 09/09/2004-11/09/2004.
2004 Phelan, Mary (with Professor Jenny Williams and Professor Jack Lonergan) (2004) Fifth National Conference on Interpreting Practice, Pedagogy and Research Interpreting Asia, Interpreting Europe Shanghai International Studies University,China, 06/11/2004-07/11/2004.
2003 Phelan, Mary (2003) Anti-Discrimination, Interculturalism and Training Working with Interpreters: The Training Needs of Service Providers HSE offices, Parkgate Street, 17/07/2003-17/07/2003.
2002 Phelan, Mary (2002) Cultures in Conflict The Experience of Muslim women in the Dublin maternity hospitals St. Patrick's College, 22/02/2002-23/02/2002.

Online Article

Year Publication
2021 Phelan, Mary (2021) Poor interpreting having impact on patients, victims of crime and those seeking asylum. ELEA [Link]

Book Review

Year Publication
2020 Phelan, Mary (2020) Law and Revolution edited by Coleman A. Dennehy. BREV
2009 Phelan, M (2009) Community Interpreting. ABINGDON: BREV
Certain data included herein are derived from the © Web of Science (2022) of Clarivate. All rights reserved.

Professional Associations

Association Function From / To
Irish Translators' and Interpreters' Association Chairperson since October 2013 15/10/2005 -


Committee Function From / To
EU Strategic Litigation Project (Fair Trials) 26/11/2020 -
HSE West /UL Equality Action Plan 01/11/2020 -
Centre for Translation and Textual Studies 01/09/2020 -
HSE Working Group on Development of a Model around Interpreting Provision 14/12/2016 - 01/12/2017
Project Steering Committee based at NUI Galway This is a two year participatory learning and action research project that aims to produce guidelines for effective communication in cross cultural general practice consultations. 06/04/2009 - 06/04/2011
Health Service Executive advisory group on NUIG research into the low uptake of interpreters by GPs in the former Eastern Regional Health Authority. I was asked to join this group to provide feedback on the research and because of my background in training interpreters. 01/01/2008 - 01/10/2008
National Intercultural Hospitals Initiative (NIHI) Connolly Hospital was involved in the European Migrant Friendly Hospital Project. When that came to an end, Connolly became the lead partner in the National Intercultural Hospitals Initiative which among other issue has considered the translation of documents and improving access to interpreters. 01/06/2007 - 31/12/2009
Migration Committee, National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism (NCCRI) The Migration Committee brings together people from NGOs, ESRI and other groups which work with migrants or are interested in immigration. 01/11/2005 - 01/04/2008
Northern Ireland Race Forum Thematic Group on Language 01/06/2005 - 31/12/2007
Dept. of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth Interpretation and Translation Working Group for the implementation of the White Paper on ending Direct Provision 15/09/2021 -

Outreach Activities

Year Engagement Type Organisation Description
Presentations/Talks to an external audience Crosscare I was invited to speak at the launch of a report Do you speak English? by Crosscare into interpreter provision for people who don't speak English and who need to access services provided by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.


Title Year Type Authors
Lost in Translation? 2019 Newspaper article (Print) Sarah Gallagher
Hundreds of Garda interpreters have no qualification 2010 Newspaper article (Print) Carl O'Brien

Research Interests

Mary Phelan's research is in the field of Translation Studies, particularly historical provision of court interpreters and contemporary provision of interpreters in courts, police stations, hospitals and other settings. She is interested in the history of interpreting, current interpreter provision, standards, ethical issues. Other interests are translation and interpreting policy, translators’ status and working conditions.

External Collaborators

Type Name Company Role
External Hanne Skaaden Oslo Metropolitan University Academic
External Patrick Stefan Kermit Academic
External Soorej Jose Puthoopparambil Uppsala University Academic
External Anne MacFarlane University of Limerick Academic
External Mette Rudvin University of Bologna Academic

Modules Coordinated

Term Title Subject
2022 Spanish Economic Translation SP401
2022 Spanish Translation Practice SP208
2022 Community Interpreting Theory and Practice LC425
2022 Work Placement LC528
2022 Spanish Scientific / Technical Translation SP402