Éire Society 2021 Gold Medal Dinner Honorees
Maureen Murphy is Professor Emerita from Hofstra University. Retiring after forty-seven years, Murphy held the Joseph L. Dionne Chair. While a member of the Hofstra community, she taught in the departments of English, Comparative Literature, History, Curriculum and Teaching, New College and Honors College. She also served as Hofstra’s Dean of University Advisement, Dean of Students and Dean of the School of Education and Allied Human Services.
She is the Past-President of the American Conference for Irish Studies and the Past Chair of the International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures. She directed the award-winning New York State Great Irish Famine Curriculum and served as Historian of the Irish Hunger Memorial in Battery Park City where she contributed a mile of text on the Memorial.
Dr. Murphy was one of the six Senior Editors of nine volume The Dictionary of Irish Biography (2009). Murphy is the Director of the Battery Heritage Foundation’s Irish Mission at Watson House project that has digitized some 60,000 records of Irish immigrant women who were assisted by the Mission of Our Lady of the Rosary for the Protection of Irish Immigrant Girls. She is the author of Compassionate Stranger. Asenath Nicholson and the Great Irish Famine (2015). She was awarded honorary degrees from the State University of New York and the National University of Ireland. In 2015, she won an Irish Presidential Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad.
Since completing her PhD at Trinity College in Dublin, Professor Christine Kinealy has worked in educational and research institutes in Ireland, England and, more recently, in the United States. In September 2013, Christine was appointed the founding Director of Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut. Dr. Kinealy has published extensively on modern Ireland, her books including This Great Calamity. The Great Famine in Ireland, The Hidden Famine: Hunger, Poverty and Sectarianism in Belfast 1840-50 (with Gerard MacAtasney, 2002) and, with artist John Walsh, a graphic novel, The Bad Times or An Drochshaol (2016).
Her more recent research is on the abolition movement in Ireland and her publications include Frederick Douglass in Ireland. In his own words (2018) and Black Abolitionists in Ireland (2020). She is currently completing a second volume of Black Abolitionists. In May 2021, Christine launched a Frederick Douglass Walking Tour of Dublin, which is part of a larger project to create a Frederick Douglass Way in Ireland.
In 2017, she received an Emmy for her contribution to the documentary, ‘The Great Hunger and the Irish Diaspora’. In 2018, she was named an international ambassador for Belfast. She has frequently been included in the Top 100 Educators in Irish America.