World leading

We are a world-leading centre for Irish Studies research. Established in 1988, the Institute of Irish Studies is the only one of its kind within Britain. Its mission is to be the UK’s main centre for multidisciplinary research into Ireland and its world-wide relations.

The Irish government recognised our international standing in 2007 with a multi-million pound endowment to fund a Chair in Irish Studies. This funding has helped us to extend the scope of our teaching and research.


Our research interests range from ancient times to the modern day and span a broad range of subjects - from history to literature and from politics to language. Our expertise ranges from the literary greats such as Joyce, Yeats and Beckett to the politics and history of the Northern Ireland conflict and its resolution.

Specific interdisciplinary areas of research strength include:

  • Northern Ireland/Ulster
  • Political Inclusion and Exclusion in Ireland
  • Religion and Identity in Ireland and its Diaspora
  • History of the Irish Literary Revival.

Examining the Liverpool Memorial to the Irish Famine, St Luke’s Church, Leece Street, Liverpool

Interaction and collaboration

The Institute delivers research impact through interaction with a wider public in Ireland and Britain which is interested in Ireland, its history, politics and culture. The Irish Government endowment funds our work with the Irish community in Britain generally and in the North West in particular, and we are represented on boards such as the Liverpool Irish Festival and the Merseyside Irish Business Group. We work closely with Irish Community Care, the Federation of Irish Societies, the St. Michael's Irish Centre and a range of individuals, politicians, diplomats and others seeking information on Ireland.

These collaborations have led to a number of important outputs:

  • Historical/cultural tours for the Liverpool Irish Festival (of which the Institute is a founder patron)
  • Oversight of oral history projects with the St. Michael's Centre
  • Advice to the Irish Embassy
  • Contributions to the Northern Ireland Community Relations Council, BBC Northern Ireland and Merseyside, Belfast Exposed projects, Catholic Association for Racial Justice and the Irish World Heritage Centre
  • Meetings relating to Northern Ireland under Chatham House Rules, such as the British-Irish Association and British Academy.

Public lectures

Our public lecture series disseminates not only aspects of our own research specialities, particularly in the area of Northern Ireland and peace building, but also provides a platform for practitioners in brokering peace and encouraging Ireland’s future development.


Our superb MacLua library supports our research and provides one of the best sources of Irish political papers, periodicals, books and other rare collections in the UK.