The Minister for Education and Skills Ruairí Quinn, T.D, in addressing the XIV International Congress of Celtic Studies held recently at NUI Maynooth, called on academics to “continue with the work of propagating and popularizing Celtic Studies among students and the learned classes at large”, saying “the more we understand the past the more we understand ourselves and our neighbours.”
The International Congress of Celtic Studies, which covered all aspects of Celtic culture and civilization, from earliest times to the present day including Medieval and Modern Literature and Languages, Mythology, Archaeology, History, Folklore, Art and Music, was attended by 600 delegates from over 30 countries including Israel, Japan, China and Brazil.
Speaking at the Congress the Minister for Education noted that “the more we Europeans share sovereignty within the European Union the greater the need for us to deepen our own identity so that whatever unity we create rests on the solid foundation of popular consent – a consent that comes from a true realization of who it is we are and why we need to work together in unison.”
The Fourteenth Congress, organised by NUI Maynooth and Trinity College Dublin under of the aegis of The School of Celtic Studies, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, is the largest academic gathering in its field and attracts scholars who have an interest in the many different areas of Celtic Studies.
The Congress, held every four years, also featured special exhibitions at the National Museum of Ireland and the Royal Irish Academy, an exhibition of important Irish-language manuscripts at TCD and an exhibition of Irish manuscripts and rare printed books in NUI Maynooth.