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Dublin: 6 °C Tuesday 21 January, 2020

College offers online course in what it means to be Irish

Free open online course allows students here – and abroad – to explore Irish identity.

Image: clover via Shutterstock

WHAT DOES IT mean to be Irish? It’s a thorny question – and not one with an easy answer.

Hibernia College in Dublin has launched an online course which allows students to explore the factors in the creation of Irish identity – from historical, geographical and cultural perspectives.

Appropriately enough, the course is in association with The Gathering. Jimmy Deenihan, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, said that the course would be a good preparation for those planning to visit Ireland this year, especially when the tourism industry is “reaching out and inviting it to come here”.

The ‘Exploring Irish Identity‘ course is free but requires registration at and begins on 27 May this year. It is the first MOOC (massive open online course) on the subject of Irish identity and Hibernia is Ireland’s only dedicated online third-level institution. The plan is to offer students a series of eight two-hour presentations exploring Irish history, literature and poetry, theatre and film, language, art, sport and landscape and how these elements have interacted to create a cultural identity.

There are contributions from prominent academics and figures in Irish life including National Gallery of Ireland director, Dr Olive Braiden, film-maker Alan Gilsenan, musician Charlie Lennon, author Marian Keyes, poet Theo Dorgan, BEC consultants Dr Fionnuala O’Neill, Dr Rory Hodd and Dr R Nash, NUI Maynooth’s Dr Moynagh Sullivan, Hibernia College’s Dr Teresa Whitaker and Dr Pat Callan and others.

13 words you’ll never hear outside of Ireland…>
You know we had a ‘Gathering’ 60 years ago, right?>

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