Kinealy inducted into 'Irish America' Hall of Fame
March 13, 2014 - Christine Kinealy, professor of history and director of Ireland's Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University, is among 10 leaders who were inducted into the Irish America Hall of Fame on March 12 at the Metropolitan Club in New York City.
"It is a great honor to walk in the footsteps of so many eminent Irish-Americans," Kinealy said. "The work I have done in Irish history has only been possible through the support of my children, Siobhán and Ciarán, the encouragement of my friends and the intellectual curiosity of my students. Collectively, they have contributed to my getting this incredible recognition."
"Irish America" magazine's Hall of Fame honors the extraordinary achievements of Irish-American leaders - from their significant accomplishments and contributions to American society, to their personal commitment to safeguarding their Irish heritage and the betterment of Ireland. Quinnipiac President John L. Lahey was recognized in 2012.
Kinealy, who was honored as an Irish America Top 100 educator in December, will join this year's nine other inductees, including Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC's "Hardball;" Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and Bill O'Reilly, host of the Fox News Channel's "The O'Reilly Factor."
"Our distinguished honorees, while making significant contributions to American life, continue to take pride in their Irish heritage and promote the land of their ancestors," said Patricia Harty, co-founder and editor of "Irish America" magazine. "We are delighted to honor such a diverse group of Irish-Americans."
The Hall of Fame is housed at the Dunbrody Famine Ship and National Emigration Centre in New Ross, Co. Wexford, Ireland.
In August, Kinealy, a world-renowned authority on Ireland's Great Hunger, was appointed professor of history and Irish studies at Quinnipiac. In addition, Kinealy serves as director of Ireland's Great Hunger Institute at the university, which serves as a scholarly resource for the study of the Great Hunger. Kinealy is also responsible for developing an undergraduate Irish studies program at Quinnipiac.
"When, as a college student, I first became interested in studying the Irish Famine, there were few books or monuments dedicated to this unique tragedy," Kinealy said. "Now, largely due to the tenacity of Quinnipiac President John Lahey, the Great Hunger is achieving its rightful place in Irish and Irish-American history. I am delighted that, as founding director of the Great Hunger Institute, I can continue to contribute to keeping the memory of the Great Hunger alive."
Ireland's Great Hunger Institute will host the 20th biennial meeting of the Ulster-American Heritage Symposium in June. Since 1976, the symposium has met every two years, alternating between co-sponsoring universities and museums in Northern Ireland and North America.
Kinealy, who served as a keynote speaker at the Transatlantic Connections conference in Donegal, Ireland in January, joined the full-time faculty after serving as a visiting scholar in residence at Quinnipiac during the 2012-2013 academic year.
Kinealy is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin, where she completed her doctorate on the introduction of the Poor Law to Ireland. She then worked in educational and research institutes in Dublin, Belfast and Liverpool. She has published extensively on the impact of the Great Irish Famine and has lectured on the relationship between poverty and famine in India, Spain, Canada, France, Finland and New Zealand. She also has spoken to invited audiences in the British Parliament and in the U.S. Congress.
Kinealy is a noted author of numerous books on the Great Hunger, including "This Great Calamity: The Irish Famine 1845-52," which was named the "Irish Post" Book of Year in 1995.
Based in the United States since 2007, Kinealy was named one of the most influential Irish-Americans in 2011 by "Irish America" magazine. In 2013, she received the Holyoke, Mass. St. Patrick's Day Parade's Ambassador Award.
Quinnipiac also is home to Ireland's Great Hunger Museum, which has the world's largest collection of visual art, artifacts and printed materials relating to the Irish Famine. The museum preserves, builds and presents its art collection in order to stimulate reflection, inspire imagination and advance awareness of Ireland's Great Hunger and its long aftermath on both sides of the Atlantic.