The Royal Irish Academy/Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann champions research. We identify and recognise Ireland’s world class researchers. We support scholarship and promote awareness of how science and the humanities enrich our lives and benefit society. We believe that good research needs to be promoted, sustained and communicated. The Academy is run by a Council of its members. Membership is by election and considered the highest academic honour in Ireland.

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28 New Members elected to Royal Irish Academy

25 May 2018

Today 28 new Members of the Royal Irish Academy were elected for their exceptional contribution to the sciences, humanities and social sciences as well as to public service. They include the poet Eavan Boland, public servant Martin Mansergh, geologist Koen Verbruggen, and educationalist Áine Hyland.

Professor Peter Kennedy, President of the Royal Irish Academy, said, 'We should be proud of these new Members of the Academy for the honour their work brings to this country and the impact of this research on the quality of the higher education provided by our universities.' 

On Brexit Professor Kennedy said, 'The Governments Brexit Strategy should seek to preserve the close research links between Ireland and the UK. Between 2012 and 2016 over 12,900 research papers were produced from collaborations between Irish and UK researchers – more than all the publications with Germany and France combined.'

The 28 new Members of the Royal Irish Academy are:


Stephen Buckley (Maynooth University); Paul Giller (UCC); Marty Gregg (QUB); Balz Kamber (TCD); Boris Kholodenko (UCD); Andrew Meharg (QUB); Grace Mulcahy (UCD); Fergal O’Brien (Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland); Alan Stitt (QUB); Koen Verbruggen (Geological Survey of Ireland); Graeme Watson (TCD)

Humanities and Social Sciences

Fran Brearton (QUB); Pádraig Carmody (TCD); Claire Connolly (UCC); Áine Hyland (UCC); Gerry Kearns (Maynooth); Claudia Kinmonth (Independent scholar); Alan Kramer (TCD); Patrick Lonergan (NUIG); Martin Mansergh (public servant); Christopher McCrudden (QUB); Gerardine Meaney (UCD); Philip Orr (Independent scholar); Gregory Toner (QUB)

Honorary Members

Eavan Boland (Stanford University); France Córdova (National Science Foundation, USA); Eleanor Maguire (University College, London); Thomas O’Loughlin (University of Nottingham)

There are 591 Members of the Royal Irish Academy (of whom 87 are Honorary or overseas Members) including, Nobel Laureate William C. Campbell; Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford; Mary E Daly, historian and Commissioner Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation; Brian MacCraith, physicist and President of Dublin City University; Frances Ruane, economist and Chair of the Abbey Theatre board; and Mary Kelly, chemist and chairperson of An Bord Pleanála. Those elected are entitled to use the designation ‘MRIA’ after their name.

The Academy has been honouring Ireland’s leading contributors to the world of learning since its establishment in 1785. Past Members have included Maria Edgeworth, a pioneer of the modern novel, master engineer Alexander Nimmo, and Nobel laureates WB Yeats, Ernest Walton, Erwin Schrödinger and Seamus Heaney.

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