Irish Research and Teaching

An tIonad Um Thaighde Agus Theagasc Éireannacha

Georgia Southern University

The Center For Irish Research And Teaching

An tIonad Um Thaighde Agus Theagasc Éireannacha

Founded on St. Patrick’s Day 1995, the Center for Irish Research and Teaching (CIRT) is an academic and outreach unit of Georgia Southern University, a 27,000-student public university with campuses in Savannah, Statesboro, and Hinesville: cities in the Coastal Region of the State of Georgia, USA. In the Irish language (Gaeilge), CIRT’s name is: An tIonad um Thaighde agus Theagasc Éireannacha.


Founding Director • Dr. Frederick Sanders
Director • Dr. Howard Keeley 

To explore some past activities undertaken by the Center for Irish Teaching and Research but not funded by the university, please visit the external website:

Five Goals

Cúig Chuspóir

Goal ONE • Flagship Unit 
Proud of the State of Georgia’s exceptional Irish history and culture — and mindful of the vitality of Georgia’s present-day economic relationships with Ireland — the Center for Irish Research and Teaching aims to be the flagship Irish Studies unit in the University System of Georgia (USG), a community of 26 public colleges and universities that serves around 320,000 undergraduate and graduate students.

Goal TWO • Comprehensive Curriculum
Embracing the ideal that, for each discipline, a semester-by-semester sequence of full-credit courses should be available across a two-year span, the Center for Irish Research and Teaching strives to offer a comprehensive suite of courses in Irish and Irish-American Studies that includes but also exceeds the traditional focus on the arts, humanities, and political science. As the world’s leader in attracting Foreign Direct Investment — and, furthermore, as a major player in information technology, biopharmaceuticals, medical devices, financial services, and other advanced sectors — Ireland offers potent case studies and desirable professional networks for students in such fields as computer science, biochemistry, med-tech engineering, global business, and the internet of things.

Goal THREE • Ireland Campus
To further USG’s core objectives of “linking the University System with other parts of the world” and “providing the international perspective and cross-cultural competence required for Georgians to participate fully and effectively as leaders in a global society,” the Center for Irish Research and Teaching aspires to develop and maintain for Georgia Southern University — and that entity’s sibling institutions — a facility in Ireland comparable to Kennesaw State University’s Montepulciano campus in Italy and the University of Georgia’s Oxford campus in England.

Goal FOUR • Intensified Engagement
Committed to the economic and cultural advancement of Georgia’s Coastal Region, the Center for Irish Research and Teaching seeks to make more complete, effective, and sustainable its service to stakeholders, both new and well-established. The latter coterie includes but is not limited to: multiple Irish-heritage organizations in the Savannah-Hilton Head zone; the Savannah St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee; the Savannah Economic Development Authority/World Trade Center Savannah; and the Atlanta-based Consulate of Ireland for the Southeastern United States.

Gaol FIVE • Financial Autonomy
With an entrepreneurial ethos, the Center for Irish Research and Teaching pushes to attain fiscal self-sufficiency by securing endowments, the interest on which can fully fund, on an annual basis: the unit’s operating expenses; at least five study-in-Ireland scholarships; at least five other Irish Studies scholarships; a scholar-in-residence position; and two named professorships. It also endeavors to obtain the gift of a historic building in the city of Savannah so it can partner with various private and public entities to establish that space as an Irish Cultural Hub or Institute for Savannah, the most Irish city in the Southeastern United States.

Tax-Deductible Donations

Tabhartais Atá In-Asbhainteach Ó Thaobh Cánach

To make the Center for Irish Research and Teaching possible, tax-deductible donations remain vital. Although an E&G budget request was submitted to the relevant oversight administrator (the Dean of the former College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences) annually every academic/financial year from 1995-96 to 2017-18, no funds were allotted. Given the above challenge, CIRT maintains a limited, strategically designed range of accounts at the Georgia Southern University Foundation, a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) corporation. Six in number, the accounts  are enumerated below. To contribute, click here to open the Foundation’s online giving portal. In the dialogue box labelled “Processing Instructions,” type the number and name of the Irish Studies account you wish to support — and thank you.

To discuss a potential gift, please contact the CIRT director directly by email:; (912) 478-0221. Alternatively, you are most welcome to interface with Trip Addison, Vice President for University Advancement and External Affairs, who is also President of the Georgia Southern University Foundation:; (912) 478-5331.

Fund 0496 • Irish Studies General Fund

Fund 0777 • Fred and Donna Sanders for Irish Studies Lectures and Performances

Fund 0968 • Wexford-Savannah Axis Research Fund

Fund 3760 • Helen Ryan Collins Memorial Scholarship in Irish Studies

Fund 3604 • Eddie Ivie Scholarship for Study in Ireland

Fund 0650 • Dr. Gary B. Sullivan Irish Studies Scholarship

Honest Disclosure: How Georgia Southern Manages Your Donation

Several donors have asked for a gift-management statement on our website, and we are delighted to oblige. In general, 95% of your donation is transferred directly to the Center for Irish Research and Teaching. In other words, the Georgia Southern University Foundation assesses a 5% gift-reinvestment fee on non-endowed gifts. This one-time fee is applied to a gift at the end of the month during which it’s received. The 5% fee is redirected to college development officers to support their travel  expenses and to pay for alumni-relations events and donor-relations activities. In the case of endowed funds (such as the Eddie Ivie Scholarship for Study in Ireland),  a 1% service fee based on the account’s fair market value is assessed by the Foundation on July 1 each year to support the university’s operational needs related to philanthropic growth.

The Center for Irish Research and Teaching