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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Writing the DIB

Editing and publishing

The Dictionary of Irish Biography is devised, researched, written and edited under the auspices of the Royal Irish Academy and published in print and online by Cambridge University Press. Twice yearly updates of new articles are added to the DIB online in June and December every year. The Managing Editor and Advisory Board are appointed by the Council of the Royal Irish Academy.

Managing Editor: James Quinn

Advisory Board: Patrick Geoghegan (TCD) (Chairman), Sean Dorgan MRIA, Geraldine Kennedy MRIA, Peter MacDonagh, James McGuire MRIA, Deirdre McMahon (UL), William Murphy (DCU), Margaret O’Callaghan (QUB), Mervyn O'Driscoll (UCC), Susannah Riordan (UCD), Bruce Robinson, Harry White MRIA (UCD)

Project Team: Managing Editor, James Quinn; Editorial Secretary, Linde Lunney; Online and Editorial Administrator, Turlough O’Riordan; Copy Editor, Lawrence White; Editorial Assistant, Patrick Maume; Editorial Assistant, Terry Clavin.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press was founded in 1534. It is the oldest printer and publisher in the world, having been operating continuously since 1584, and is one of the largest academic publishers globally. Its purpose is to further Cambridge University’s objective of advancing learning, knowledge and research. Throughout its history, the Press has maintained a reputation for innovation and enterprise, through its use of printing technologies, through publishing the latest research, and through supporting the latest methodologies for teaching and learning. In 1989 Cambridge University Press published J. J. Lee’s best-selling Ireland 1912–82 and in 2010 Thomas Bartlett's Ireland. A history.

For too long the study of Irish history has been hampered by the lack of a comprehensive Irish biographical dictionary. Now, happily, there is one that is authoritative, original and – I'm delighted to say – entertaining too.'
Edward McParland, architectural historian

Who are in the DIB? ‘Breadth, Depth and Variety’

Biographical subjects include artists, architects, scientists, lawyers, journalists, actors, musicians, composers, bankers, sports men and women, religious figures, pop stars, writers in Irish and English, engineers, criminals, public servants, politicians and philanthropists. If Ailbe, early sixth-century patron of Emly, is included, so too are Maureen O’Sullivan (1911–98), film actress, David Huddie (1916–98), Rolls-Royce engineer, Luke Wadding (1588–1657) Franciscan friar and historian, Christy Ring(1920–79), hurler, Thekla Beere (1901–91), civil servant, Hugh MacCurtin (c.1680–1755), poet, Louie Bennett (1870–1956), trade unionist, Seán Ó Riada (1931–71) composer, Frank O’Connor (1903–66), author, Arthur Guinness (1725–1803), brewer, Terence O’Neill (1914–90), politician, Roderick O’Flaherty (1629–1718), historiographer, Norah McGuinness (1903–80), painter, Paddy Brosnan (1917–95), Kerry footballer, Ernest Walton (1903–95), physicist and Nobel laureate, James Ussher (1581–1656), scholar and prelate, Paul O’Dwyer (1907–98), lawyer and political activist, and Danny Blanchflower (1925–93), soccer international.

The Royal Irish Academy’s Dictionary of Irish Biography sets a standard and will be appreciated for its thoroughness and accessibility as a major reference resource. It provides comprehensive and authoritative biographical essays for Irish born subjects or those with significant careers in Ireland in a clear and accessible format. The Dictionary of Irish Biography incorporates the research of previous such efforts and presents signed entries enlivened with detail and quotations that offer intriguing reading as well as reference for further research. In Ireland and beyond, libraries, local history societies, museums, genealogical collections, and scholars will want it on their shelves’.
Lois More Overbeck, Emory University, Editor, The Letters of Samuel Beckett

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