The Irish Sea: History, Culture, Environment, 19-20 September 2014

What does the Irish Sea contribute to the lives of the people who inhabit its shores?

How does the sea benefit those communities economically and socially? What role does the Irish Sea play in defining our communities politically and culturally? How do the people who live on its coastlines use, exploit, and imagine the Irish Sea? How do we engage with the Irish Sea as a living ecosystem, or as a means of transportation, or as a distinctive sea-space with its own histories and its own nature? How can we do so without damaging the ability of future generations to live safely and fruitfully on its shores?

The Irish Sea: History, Culture, Environment was a symposium organised by University College Dublin and the National Maritime Museum of Ireland to address these questions about the sea which Ireland shares with Wales, the Isle of Man, England, and Scotland. The symposium brought together a range of academics and independent researchers from the sciences and the humanities to present the findings of their research, and to discuss with scholars and a public audience the values, meanings, and histories of the Irish Sea. The symposium concluded with a workshop about the possibilities and opportunities for future interdisciplinary research on the Irish Sea.

Click here to download the symposium poster


Professor John Brannigan, UCD School of English, Drama and Film

Dr Tasman Crowe, UCD School of Biology and Environmental Science

Richard McCormick, National Maritime Museum Library and Archive

The symposium was sponsored by the UCD Earth Institute, UCD Humanities Institute, and the Atlantic Archipelagos Research Consortium, and the event was hosted by the National Maritime Museum of Ireland.

Thanks to all our sponsors and participants for making it possible to have such a rich and stimulating discussion about the Irish Sea. The proceedings of the symposium are now available as podcasts. Please click here to go to the podcasts page.

If you wish to register your interest in hearing more about the outcomes of the symposium, and about the development of the Irish Sea project, please email Professor Brannigan at

One of the key recommendations of the Irish Sea Symposium was to organise a further symposium on Women and the Sea. Please visit the Women and the Sea Symposium website for details.

Logo Maritime Museum - Jpeg ucd-ei-alternative  humanities-logo   AARC-logo


On Fleswick Beach, Cumbria.

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