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.

Read more about the RIA

Admittance Day 2015

29 May 2015

Funding doubts causing major ‘university brain drain’ says RIA President.

The Irish Times covered our 2015 Admittance Day ceremony.

The new members include Steve Myers, who was the Director of Accelerators at CERN when the Higgs boson was discovered in 2012; Martin Naughton, who is one of Ireland’s leading innovators and philanthropists; Orla Feely, who was the first Irish woman elected a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers; and Bernadette Whelan, a leading scholar in the history of Irish–American relations.

Speaking at the event Professor Mary E. Daly, President of the RIA, said that all those elected ‘have made world renowned contributions to research in the sciences or humanities...Irish scholars are highly sought after and are increasingly being head-hunted for top positions in leading universities and research centres throughout the world’. She warned that Ireland needed to retain this talent so that we can produce the high-level graduates that are critical for Ireland’s economic recovery.

‘Funding does not of itself guarantee a strong higher education system, but without adequate funding and long-term assurance about the continuation of research funds, the sector is, and will increasingly be, faced with a brain drain.’

The nineteen new members of the Royal Irish Academy are:

Humanities and Social Sciences:

Lorraine Byrne Bodley (Maynooth University); Nicholas Daly (UCD); Colum Hourihane(Formerly of Princeton University); Alvin Jackson (University of Edinburgh); Desmond King (University of Oxford); Rob Kitchin (Maynooth University); Anthony McElligott(University of Limerick); Ian O’Donnell (UCD); Bernadette Whelan (University of Limerick).


Geraldine Butler (UCD); David Coleman (TCD); Jonathan Coleman (TCD); Henry Curran (NUI Galway); Orla Feely (UCD); Orla Hardiman (TCD); Christopher Hunter(University of Cambridge); Steve Myers (CERN); Martin Naughton (Glen Dimplex);Matthew Zepf (Queens University Belfast).

This year the Academy is celebrating its 230th anniversary. We now have 493 members and 76 honorary members, in disciplines from the sciences, humanities and social sciences. Members of the Academy include President Michael D. Higgins; Baroness Nuala O’Loan; Patrick Honohan, Governor of the Central Bank; Roy Foster, historian; and the writer and cartographer Tim Robinson.

Have a look at Admittance Day coverage across University Websites below:

Stay up to date with the Royal Irish Academy newsletter

Sign up now