Participant Biographies

Ronald L Grimes

Ronald L. Grimes is the author of several books on ritual, most recently The Craft of Ritual Studies (Oxford University Press, 2014). He resides in Waterloo, Ontario, where he is Director of Ritual Studies International and Professor Emeritus of Religion and Culture at Wilfrid Laurier University. Recently, he has held the following positions: Visiting Professor of Religious Studies at Charles University, Prague in the Czech Republic; Senior Researcher and Senior Lecturer at Yale University; and Chair of Ritual Studies at Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands.

Brian Keegan

Brian Keegan is a composer who writes music for film and for live performance. He combines conventional instruments and unconventional notation with electronics to create musical textures of varying densities. The silences within sounds are an important aspect of his work. His music has been heard in concert and festivals across Europe as well as in Australia and the USA. His work has been recognized by Germany’s DAAD and with François de Roubaix award for music composition.

Steve Maher

Steve Maher is a visual and relational artist from, Limerick, Ireland currently based in Helsinki, Finland. He bases his practice between both countries and has shown his work throughout the North America and Europe. Maher’s work is centered on collaboration, relation and dialogue. Important themes which reoccur through his work stem from research into linguistics, memetics and semiotics, popular media, cliché and tropes, popular music, the history of music, musicology and subversive culture, the body and geography, duality and non-duality, irony and satire. In August 2014 he was awarded the Kieran Meagher Legacy Award as part of Limerick City of Culture 2014. 

Paul Tarpey

Paul Tarpey is a senior lecturer in the Limerick School of Art where he is programme leader of the Photography and Lens Based course and a former joint course leader of the LSAD postgraduate progamme in Social practice and the Creative Environment.  A graduate of NCAD -BA Sculpture & MA design by research as an artist he practices lens-based work primarily on the theme of place in Limerick City. His performance- based work on the counter culture in Limerick  ‘Making the Cut (1968-1973)’ was selected for Eva International in 2014.  Curatorial work has included Into the Light  (Arts Council / Limerick City Gallery of Art 2012) and The National Self Portrait Collection for LSAD and the University of Limerick 2013.  Gallery membership is held in The Limerick Printmakers and Ormston house.  Research work is held at

Fiona Byrne

Fiona Byrne was the project manager for the World Within Walls project, which was a HSE funded project looking at the history of St. Davnet’s former psyicatric hospital in Monaghan town. Fiona trained as visual artist at the National College of Art and Design and has completed the MA in Cultural Policy and Arts Management at UCD. She is currently Acting Curator of Education and Outreach at the Hunt Museum and is a PhD candidate at the Irish World Academy.

Barry Stephenson

Barry Stephenson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies, Memorial University of Newfoundland, in St. John’s Canada. His research is in the area of ritual studies and religion and the arts. His Performing the Reformation: Public Ritual in the City of Luther, was published with Oxford University Press.

Síghle Breathnach-Lynch

Síghle Bhreathnach-Lynch is a writer and art historian. . Having lectured at UCD for almost a decade in European and Irish art, she was appointed Curator of Irish Art at the National Gallery of Ireland in 1998 and retired in 2009. She is author of Ireland’s Art Ireland’s History (2007) and has published a substantial number of articles in Irish British and American journals of art for over three decades. Her latest publication is 50 Works of Irish Art, published September 2015 by Gill & Macmillan.

Mary Jane Boland

Mary Jane is a lecturer at the History of Art Dept., University College Cork. Forthcoming publications include ‘Visualising the City: Paintings of Ireland’s Urban World, 1800-1820’ in Urban Spaces (Georgina Laragy & Olwen Purdue eds., Liverpool University Press, 2016); ‘Mass meetings. Images of assembly in Ireland’ inCreating History (B. Rooney, ed., National Gallery of Ireland & Irish Academic Press, 2016); ‘Followers of Fashion: Art in Ireland and its British Contexts, c.1806’ in Irish Art in the Early Modern Period (C. Peglum, J. Fenlon, R. Kenny & B. Rooney, eds., Irish Academic Press, 2016).

Kayla Rose

Kayla Rose is Research Fellow in Design History on the AHRC and Design Council funded project, ‘Bristol & Bath by Design’. Currently based at Bath Spa University, Kayla graduated with a PhD in art history and material culture from the University of Ulster, Belfast in 2014. She completed her MPhil in Irish Art History at TRIARC in 2010 and received her BA in Art History and Criticism from Stony Brook University, State University of New York in 2009. Her current research interests are centred around 18th and 19th-century Irish and British material culture, urban history, identity, and print culture.

Lucy Moore

Lucy Moore is Project Curator: First World for Leeds Museums & Galleries, England’s largest local authority museum service. She works across nine sites, from galleries to industrial museums, for the cultural benefit of the 800,000 residents of Leeds. Prior to work at Leeds, Lucy worked at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford and for the National Trust.

Kate Buckley

Kate recently completed an MA in Design History and Material Culture at NCAD, following a degree in Architecture. Her research interests included a broad range of topics such as everyday life, ritual, national identity, shopping, technology and modernity. An architectural approach was taken for her MA thesis titled ‘Perspectives of O’Connell Street: 1966 – 2014’, which drew on urban and spatial theory to construct a case study of O’Connell Street through four themes. She is currently a supervisor for year 3 Product Design students Visual Culture Research Projects at NCAD.

Maeve Casserly

Maeve Casserly is an Educational Assistant in the National Library of Ireland and former recipient of the NLI Research Studentship (2014-2015). She is also a PhD candidate in University College Dublin under the supervision of Prof. Mary E. Daly and Dr. Emily Pine. Her research topic is a comparative analysis of the 2016 commemorations for the 1916 Easter Rising and the Battle of the Somme across the island of Ireland. She graduated with an Honours BA in History and Political Science in 2012 and an MPhil in Public History and Cultural Heritage from Trinity College Dublin in 2014.

Joanna Skryzdelska

Joanna Skryzdelska is a PhD student at Warsaw University. The subject of her PhD is interdisciplinary – researching the Balkan region but using a number of scientific fields and terms (history, anthropology, politics, commemorative places, identity of community, transformation, functioning of the post-conflict region, multi-ethnic region, and memory discourse). Joanna received a Master’s degree from the Institute of Slavic Studies of Western and Southern Europe from the University of Warsaw.

Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin

Micheal O Suilleabhain ( is Chair of  Music and Founding Director of the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick ( A student of composers Seán Ó Riada and Aloys Fleischmann, he is noted for his development of a uniquely Irish traditional piano style, and has recorded extensively with the Irish Chamber Orchestra. He was awarded an Honorary D.Mus. from the National University of Ireland at his alma mater, University College Cork, in 2005 for his contribution to music in Ireland over the past thirty years.

Recent recordings include Elver Gleams: New and Selected Recordings (EMI 2011) the DVD Irish Destiny (Irish Film Institute: Dublin 2006), and Phoenix Rising – orchestral music for the film (Avolon 2015)

Helen Phelan

Helen Phelan is course director of the MA in Ritual Chant & Song at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick. Her qualifications include undergraduate degrees in Music and German, a teaching diploma and Masters in Education and doctoral work in the area of ritual studies and liturgical music. She is the director of the ‘Sanctuary’ initiative which coordinates Higher Education Authority funding for work with the ritual music of the refugee and asylum seeking community in Ireland. She is also director and founder of the Anáil Dé: Breath of God Festival of Sacred World Music. Publications include Anáil Dé: Breath of God, Music Ritual and Spirituality, which she edited for Veritas Publications in 2001 and from which she also designed a four-part radio documentary.

Ciarán Wallace

Ciarán Wallace completed his doctoral research on ‘Local politics and government in Dublin city and suburbs: 1898-1914’ at Trinity College Dublin. His research interests are in urban history, public history, modern Irish history, civil society and political cartoons. His publications include ‘Fighting for Unionist Home Rule: competing identities in Dublin 1880-1929’, ‘Lest we remember? Recollections of the Boer War and Great War in Ireland’ and Thomas Fitzpatrick and the Leprechaun Cartoon Monthly 1905 – 1915. He has given papers on historical remembering and was a consultant on local commemoration plans and cultural tourism publications in Wexford and Dublin. Ciarán lectures in Irish Studies and Irish history at DCU/ Mater Dei campus.

Emily Mark Fitzgerald

Originally from Los Angeles, Dr Emily Mark-FitzGerald holds a BA in Art History and Spanish from the University of Southern California, an MA in Arts Administration from Indiana University and a PhD in Art History from University College Dublin. Since 2003 she has taught in UCD’s School of Art History and Cultural Policy, where she was appointed Permanent Lecturer in 2008. Her teaching and research span both art history and cultural policy at undergraduate and postgraduate level, informed by previous professional experience as an arts manager and an interest in visual art, its institutions and the public sphere. She is the recipient of major fellowships and research funding from the US-Ireland Alliance (Mitchell Scholarship), Mellon Foundation/Social Science Research Council, Humanities Institute of Ireland, Royal Hibernian Academy, Royal Irish Academy, Irish Research Council, and Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. Her monograph Commemorating the Irish Famine: Memory and the Monument (Liverpool University Press) was published in November 2013.

Lisa Godson

Lisa Godson is a cultural historian with a specialism in design, material culture, architecture and ritual. She is Lecturer in Design History and Material Culture at the National College of Art & Design. Recent publications include Making 1916: Material and Visual Culture of the Easter Rising co-edited with Joanna Brück (Liverpool University Press, 2015). An aspect of her practice includes collaborations with creative practitioners and is currently research collaborator with artists Sarah Brown and Jesse Jones on their Artangel/Arts Council 2016 national project In the Shadow of the State and working as historic advisor and mentor for Dublin City Council’s 1916 centenary commission.


Kathryn Milligan   

Kathryn Milligan recently completed her PhD at TRIARC – Trinity Irish Art Research Centre, Trinity College Dublin (2015). Her doctoral research focused on the representation of Dublin in visual art in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, while additional research themes include the historiography of modern art, the painting of modern life, and artistic networks in Ireland and Britain. At present, Kathryn is the ESB Fellow at the ESB Centre for the Study of Irish Art, National Gallery of Ireland.

Niamh Nic Ghabhann

Niamh NicGhabhann is the course director for the MA Festive Arts Programme at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick. Her research focuses on Irish studies, with an emphasis on the art and architecture of Ireland, concepts of public space, memory, performance and the body. She is particularly interested in exploring these concepts through visual images, built landscapes, poetry and prose fiction. Her current research also includes work on arts management, cultural entrepreneurship and innovation, and ideas of measurement and value in the arts and cultural sector. She is a member of the editorial board of Artefact, the journal of the Irish Association of Art Historians, and her monograph, Medieval Ecclesiastical Buildings in Ireland, 1789-1915: Building on the Past, was published by Four Courts Press in 2015.




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