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New scholarships for Irish Studies students

Tuesday, 13 December 2016 9:24am

Celebrating the new Irish Studies scholarships (from left) Eamon Cleary Professor of Irish Studies Peter Kuch, undergraduate scholarship winner James McCulloch, honours scholarship winner Iain Sutherland and Alumni and Friends Donor and Funding Manager Jude McCracken. Photo: Sharron Bennett.

Four new scholarships for Irish Studies have been announced, with funding from the Eamon Cleary Trust.

The scholarships were established to support promising University of Otago students undertaking undergraduate, honours and postgraduate (Masters and PhD) work in Irish Studies.

Two scholarships were presented to Otago students in October this year, with the Eamon Cleary Trust Postgraduate Study Scholarships still to be awarded. 

  • The Eamon Cleary Trust Undergraduate Study Scholarship was awarded to James McCulloch.
  • The Eamon Cleary Trust Honours Study Scholarship was awarded to Iain Sutherland.

Professor Peter Kuch, Eamon Cleary Chair, Irish Studies, welcomes the support from the Eamon Cleary Trust.

"These scholarships are a significant investment, and we’re very grateful to the Trust for its generosity."

“These scholarships are a significant investment, and we’re very grateful to the Trust for its generosity. Eamon Cleary was a staunch supporter of education and the University of Otago, and this is a positive way of marking his gratitude to New Zealand.”

In 2006 the Irish billionaire invested in the establishment of the Chair in Irish Studies at Otago to provide national leadership in Irish Studies.

Eamon Cleary started his career as a block-layer, established his first company at 17, and eventually owned one of the largest agriculture supply companies in Ireland. In 1996 he moved to New Zealand and invested in dairy farming and commercial development. From there he built a business empire that spanned half the globe. He passed away in 2012.

Otago has the largest Irish Studies programme in the southern hemisphere, offering an interdisciplinary study of the literature, history, film and theatre of the island of Ireland. While the papers in the Irish Studies minor have a focus on issues such as identity, ethnicity, and 'nation building', and the history of their contestation, they also pay attention to Ireland's relationships with New Zealand, Europe and Australia.