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Center for Irish Research & Teaching Receives Large Grant

IrishStudies_IconDirector of the Center for Irish Research & Teaching, Howard Keeley, Ph.D., received a $35,000 grant from the Irish State Department for the Wexford-Savannah Axis Heritage project.

The Wexford-Savannah Axis Heritage project centers around a significant but under-researched transatlantic migration pathway. In the mid-nineteenth century, a direct maritime link opened between Wexford, a county in Southeastern Ireland, and the port city of Savannah, Ga. According to one estimate, by 1860 over 56% of Savannah’s Irish-born population was from Wexford. These and other Irish immigrants became leaders in business, trade unionism, healthcare, education, and politics in Savannah and is one of the main reasons that the city now hosts the second largest St. Patrick’s Day festival in North America.

The grant will assist with establishing a high-quality online presence for the Wexford-Savannah Axis Heritage project and allow Keeley and the student-researchers associated with the Center to continue and deepen their research.

The project is a unique collaboration between Georgia Southern University’s Center for Irish Research & Teaching and the Georgia Historical Society, as well as two Irish partners: the School of Humanities at Waterford Institute of Technology and the John F. Kennedy Trust.

The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS) is the largest of the eight colleges that make up Georgia Southern University, and it plays a central role in every student’s core of knowledge. CLASS, also described as the University’s College of the Creative Mind, prepares students to achieve academic excellence, develop their analytical skills, enhance their creativity and embrace their responsibilities as citizens of their communities, their nations and the world. CLASS offers more than 20 undergraduate degrees and several interdisciplinary minors from its 11 departments and five academic centers. CLASS offers eight master’s degrees, two graduate certificates and one doctoral degree. For more information, visit

Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/Research University founded in 1906, offers more than 125 degree programs serving more than 20,500 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelors, masters and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement. Georgia Southern is recognized for its student-centered and hands-on approach to education.


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