Donegal’s strong links with the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) have been brought to the fore this week as CEO Dr. Eucharia Meehan leads the 80th anniversary of its establishment.
Dr Meehan, a native of Mountcharles, is the CEO and Registrar of the Institute, which is the world’s second, and Ireland’s only, Institute for Advanced Studies.
Over the past eight decades, DIAS has conducted ground-breaking research and attracted renowned academics from all over the world in its core disciplines of Celtic Studies, Theoretical Physics, Astrophysics and Geophysics.
Dr Meehan took up the role of CEO in 2017. Well-known in Ireland’s scientific and research communities, Dr. Meehan was elected a member of the prestigious Royal Irish Academy in recent years. Membership is considered the highest academic honour on the island of Ireland.
Commenting today, Dr. Meehan said: “As a native of Donegal myself, I am proud that DIAS has such strong links with the county.
“Fostering an interest in research and an appreciation for scientific discovery from a young age is key to ensuring Ireland retains its reputation as a ‘land of scholars’ well into the future. I’m delighted that schools in Donegal – and throughout Ireland – engage so enthusiastically with our outreach activities.
“A lot of the work we do in DIAS is about preserving and understanding our Celtic heritage – including the Irish language – as well as exploring our island, our planet and the universe. Donegal’s rich cultural heritage and unique landscape lend themselves well to such work. These are topics that are explored in detail in our programme of activities for DIAS 2020.”
DIAS runs educational outreach activities with schools around Ireland, and St. Columba’s College in Stranorlar has been a leading member of the Institute’s Seismology in Schools programme since 2010. The school’s participation in the programme is led by Physics teacher Brendan O’Donoghue.
The Geophysics Section in DIAS operates the Irish National Seismic Network (INSN) and one of the stations is located at St. Columba’s.
On the 7th April 2019, the seismic monitoring station at the school recorded an earthquake which reached 2.4 magnitude. Residents in the south west of the county, reported the tremor lasting for more than 10 seconds.
The DIAS also supports Donegal County Library. As part of the insititutes 2020 campaign, DIAS is this month donating a copy of ‘Ingenious Ireland’ to Donegal County Library – and to every county library across Ireland.
Call for Donegal people to share DIAS memories and connections
As part of the DIAS 2020 programme, the Institute is planning a celebratory event, ‘Christmas Stars’, this December, which will bring together people with connections to DIAS, past and present.
“Over the last eight decades, the researchers at DIAS have included refugees from Nazi Germany; scientists who worked on NASA’s first moon landing; the holders of prestigious international awards; and people who went on to contribute to Nobel prize-winning research. We have been lucky to attract leading academic talent, both from Ireland and further afield,” said Dr. Meehan.
“Anecdotally, we know there are hundreds of families throughout Ireland who have strong DIAS connections and memories. In our 80th year, we are calling on any Donegal family or individual with a link to DIAS to get in touch with us, and to attend our celebratory event at Christmas. If you had a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle or long-lost family friend who worked at DIAS in the past, we want to hear from you!”
Families or individuals with a connection to DIAS, can contact the Institute at firstname.lastname@example.org / 01-6140100. Further information about DIAS 2020 is available at www.dias.ie/dias2020/