QUB INSTITUTE OF IRISH STUDIES

 

OWEN DUDLEY EDWARDS,

Sir, - It is with considerable concern that we, as members of the Conference of Irish Historians in Britain, have heard of the threat that Queen's University Belfast might close its Institute of Irish Studies. The institute is the only centre for inter-disciplinary post-doctoral research in Irish Studies in the world.

It was set up in the 1960s with inspirational guidance from scholars such as E. Estyn Evans and E.R.R. Green. Since then it has maintained a reputation for excellence during the period of Northern Ireland's Troubles, pioneering much of the most enlightening research into the conflict and nurturing scholars who have gone on to prominence in Irish studies programmes all over the world. Its special contribution has been to bring together, through visiting fellowships as well as permanent staff, scholars from different arts disciplines, working in concert.

Any plan to reduce the status or disperse the membership of this top-rated research institute would be ill-timed and short-sighted. We urge the management at Queen's University to recognise this and affirm their commitment to one of their most valuable academic assets. - Yours, etc.,

OWEN DUDLEY EDWARDS,

University of Edinburgh;

Prof MARIANNE

ELLIOTT, OBE,

University of Liverpool;

Prof R.F. FOSTER, FBA,

University of Oxford;

Prof A.C. HEPBURN,

University of Sunderland;

Prof T.H. HOPPEN, FBA,

University of Hull;

Dr MARIA LUDDY,

University of Warwick;

Prof NORMAN VANCE,

University of Sussex.