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What DIAS means to me

We have had an incredibly unusual start to this year by all accounts and we have learned through practice our amazing ability to adapt. But even though we have been working from home over the course of this pandemic, we have been thinking on the impact of DIAS has,  on our students, scholars, fellows as well as staff.

And so as part of our 80th Anniversary celebrations this week  we’ve invited some DIAS team-members to share their views on what DIAS means to them.  Here’s what they had to say

“DIAS means a lot to me, I’ve worked here for half its lifetime and have seen lots of changes but one thing remains constant and that is the standard of research carried out. It is a wonderful place for young researchers, who get great opportunities to work with experts in their areas of interest, meet with lots of prominent people from Astronauts to Nobel Prize winners along with several Irish Presidents. Many of these young researchers have then gone on to become experts in their own right. I have been involved in lots of great projects over the years from the study of cosmic rays to the effects of radiation on pilots and astronauts, to the development of James Webb Space Telescope. It’s an unique place which fosters a love of research and curiosity in all who work there. It’s a great place to work.”


“To me DIAS is its international reputation, the high-quality education, and the diverse but very friendly communities. It is a place where I’m meeting people with common interests and discussing topics from different perspectives. I have never been more accepted for my thoughts and ideas than in DIAS and it certainly gave me the courage to pursue my career for the sheer love of it. DIAS somehow felt like home to me, from the moment I arrived, I can’t think of a better place to work.”


“I started attending research seminars in the School of Celtic Studies as a PhD student. It was thrilling to experience first hand the very best of linguistic and textual scholarship being brought to bear on some of the most difficult texts surviving in Irish manuscripts, and I was inspired by the robust debates these seminars occasioned. I was very excited to come to the Institute as a postdoctoral O’Donovan Scholar in 2014, and I have since started giving a seminar in the School myself, and few experiences have taught me so much.
Agus mé i mo mhac léinn dochtúireachta d’fhreastalaínn ar na seimineáir sheachtainiúla san Institiúid, seimineáir ar chuid des na téacsanna is dúshlánaí dá bhfuil ar marthain i láimhscríbhinní na Gaelainne, agus chuaigh an cur is an cúiteamh léannta go mór i bhfeidhm orm. Bhí sceitimíní orm nuair a deineadh Scoláire Uí Dhonnabháin díom sa bhliain 2014. Tá seimineár á thabhairt agam féin faoi láthair (ar thráchtaisí gramadaí fhilí na scol) agus foghlaimím an t-uafás dá bharr.

Staff, scholars and visiting researchers, who have the space and time in the Institute to concentrate on their own research, can learn from one another and spur each other on – often in quite unexpected ways. I recently wrote a paper, to be published in the School’s journal Celtica, concerning pronouns in Middle and Early Modern Irish. The stimulus for writing up this paper was a discussion in an entirely ‘unrelated’ seminar – or so it seemed at first! – about Welsh verbal nouns. Such wide-ranging and stimulating conversations can happen elsewhere, but the Institute is the ideal place for them! And all of this research and discussion is fuelled by a research library with no match anywhere in the world for our subject.
Bíonn sé d’aga ag scoláirí na hInsitiúide agus daoine a bhíonn ar cuairt ann luí isteach i gceart ar a gcuid taighde. Foghlaimímid óna chéile agus tugaimid cúnamh dá chéile, leis. Ní bhíonn a fhios agat cathain a bhuailfidh an splanc thú! Scríobhas féin alt le déanaí maidir leis an bhforainm sa Mheán-Ghaelainn agus sa Nua-Ghaelainn Chlasaiceach. Is dócha ná scríobhfainn an páipéar sin choíche murach an plé a deineadh ar ainmneacha briathartha na Breatnaise i seimineár eile, seimineár nár bhain leis an bhforainm sa Ghaelainn in aon chor, mar a shílfeá. Cothaíonn an Institiúid comhráite agus díospóireachtaí, tugann sí scóip don bhfiosracht, agus saibhríonn sin an taighde go mór. Is í an Leabharlann croí na Scoile, cnuasach taighde ná fuil a shárú ann i léann na Gaelainne.”

You can read his full comments here: M Hoyne – What DIAS means to me


“I joined DIAS almost 2 years ago and since the first day, I had a wonderful impression. DIAS means many things to me in many aspects.

DIAS means a great opportunity to work with expert researchers and meet distinguished people in their areas of interest.

DIAS means a fantastic place for inspiring new and experienced scientists.

DIAS means to compare yourself and improve a little, each time.

DIAS means to grow as a person and especially satisfy your curiosity as a scientist.

DIAS means to meet new colleagues from all around the world, and see their ways of thinking and their culture.

Last but not least, DIAS means family to me.”


“In the five years I’ve been working at DIAS, the Institute has always been a place where curiosity meets enthusiasm. I work as a seismic data analyst, and I’ve encountered lots of seismic data recorded at various places around the Earth, which in turn has taught me a new way of looking at the planet. I’ve learned a lot about Ireland from real data, and I’ve been able to take part in new discoveries about our country, which I find very satisfying and rewarding!

The atmosphere in DIAS is very special. In this regard, DIAS has always been an extremely friendly, welcoming and encouraging environment. I’ve met and worked with people from all over the world in the past five years and had a great laugh all at the same time; I’ve even managed to learn some geology! I’ve had some fantastic mentors in DIAS who’ve encouraged me to think both creatively and independently in science. I’m constantly learning in my job, which gives me a real sense of progress and achievement. This is what DIAS means to me.”


“I have been a librarian for over two decades now and have spent the majority of that time at DIAS, where I ensure that @SCSlibrary predicts necessary trends in library service provision and provides an evolving facility to its dedicated specialised users, on a national and international level. Maintaining and developing the collection, both in print and online, is of course one of my favourite parts of the role but I also enjoy that very basic yet fundamental moment when you help a researcher find exactly what they were looking for.

I support all research staff towards their research and publication work. To provide this service to researchers at all stages of their careers and from all corners of the globe in a collegial and respectful manner is both a fundamental principle of librarianship and of the Institute. I am honoured to meet and work with colleagues and scholars who value research and publication to such an extent that we can learn from each other on a daily basis.

I feel very lucky to be running the engine room of the School of Celtic Studies at DIAS and working across the Institute to promote open access to advanced research”

You can read her full comments here: Margaret Irons – what DIAS means to me

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