Fulbright Fellows

New Fulbright Fellowships (and Study America Awardees)

Generous external funding from the Fulbright Program, the Irish Government’s Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and National Lottery has allowed us to bring in new teachers from Ireland to meet the overwhelming demand for Irish language classes.

Dr. Seaghan Mac an tSionnaigh, Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant 2017-2018/Office hours: Tuesdays, 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., 209 Decio Hall

Seaghan Mac An Tsionnaigh

Seaghan has previously worked as Irish tutor at UL, Limerick, as visiting Irish Language Scholar at Concordia University, Montreal, and is currently the Irish Fulbright FLTA at the University of Notre Dame. Beginning his academic career at Mary Immaculate College (MIC), he graduated with a first-class honours degree in the Liberal Arts in 2009. He went on to write his master’s thesis on Irish lexicography there, and this was published by Coiscéim under the title "Focail agus Foclóireacht T. O’Neill Lane" (2013). In 2014, he began his PhD in Irish folklore, and after spending three years in the West Kerry Gaeltacht, he completed a successful defense of his thesis, with graduation having taken place last October. Currently teaching Beginning Irish 2 at Notre Dame, his linguistic interests extend beyond the Celtic languages, and in addition to his teaching workload, Seaghan is taking both German and Portuguese classes at Notre Dame this semester. Seaghan is also a talented double-bass player in the genre of traditional Irish music and is eager for opportunities to collaborate musically. In Spring 2018, he will teach "The songs and spoken word of Irish-speaking Ireland".

Dr. Seaghan Mac an tSionnaigh
Irish Fulbright FLTA at University of Notre Dame

Telephone: +353 87 2317 671

Office: 209 Decio Hall

Postal address: 329 DeBartolo Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556


Telephone: +353 87 2317 671
Office: 209 Decio Hall
Postal address: 329 DeBartolo Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556


Siobhán Ní Mhuimhneacháin, Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant 2016-2017


Siobhán Ní Mhuimhneacháin is a native Irish speaker and holds a Bachelor of Education from the University of Limerick and an M.A. in Modern Irish from University College Cork. As an educator, Siobhán has previously worked as a language instructor at third level in Ireland, and has spent the past number of years teaching in an Irish-medium education setting. She is actively involved in the promotion of Irish culture in Ireland, including traditional music, dance and drama forms.

While at Notre Dame, Siobhán is teaching Beginning Irish 1, facilitating a weekly language table, offering tutoring sessions to Irish language students and taking classes to further enrich her own studies. For the fall semester, she is taking a class in “Oral Narratives and the Verbal Arts” and a class in “Election 2016” from the Political Science Department. For Halloween, Siobhán led a céilí for Irish department students and also visited a local elementary school to teach some Irish dance steps. She will be travelling to Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin to teach at language immersion weekends, and will attend a mid-year FLTA enrichment conference in Washington, D.C., where she will represent Ireland in a cultural talent show.


Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant 2013-2014

We are joined this year by Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin. Caoimhghín, currently a Ph.D. candidate in local place names and dialect studies at NUI Maynooth, where he received his B.A. in civil law and Irish.  His education before that mirrored Peter McQuillan’s as they attended the same Christian Brothers primary school and Christian Brothers secondary school, in north County Louth.

The FLTA program enables the Irish Language and Literature department to teach all those interested in learning the Irish language at Notre Dame.  He teaches three Irish 101 classes and next semester will move along with his students to beginners Irish 2.  He runs an Irish language table each week and is available for tutoring. In addition to teaching, Caoimhghín is taking two classes at Notre Dame: American Political Parties and Foreign Language Teaching and Acquisition.  Caomhghín has also traveled to Madison , Wisconsin and Kansis City for Gaeltacht weekends and will be presenting a talk on Irish culture, specifically Irish music, at the upcoming Fulbright conference in Washington, D.C. 

A huge sports fan, he was delighted when the Gaelic Athletic Association came to Notre Dame to play Super 11’s before the ND-USC game. He notes the crowd “was awestruck and impressed” by the game.  Promoting hurling at Notre Dame is another goal, and he is working with the GAA to acquire hurling equipment and training assistance for the Notre Dame club hurling team. He is eager to help spread the word and knowledge about the “greatest game on earth.”



Nóirín Ní Laighin, Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant 2012-2013

  • Nóirín Ní Laighin is spending the 2012-2013 academic year as an FLTA with the Department of Irish Language and Literature.  The goals of the Fulbright FLTA program are threefold: to teach Irish, engage in personal enrichment, and to act as a cultural ambassador.  Nóirín teaches Beginning Irish I and II and she finds Notre Dame students absolutely “brilliant!”

    Nóirín is also a student, taking advantage of the class offerings at Notre Dame.  In the fall she took “Irish Song Tradition” with Cathal Goan, “Conducting Music” and Brian Ó Conchubhair’s class “Advanced Readings in Irish Culture.” This semester she is focusing on Irish language classes and language education. 

    As a cultural ambassador, Nóirín runs an Irish Language table 'Ciorcal Comhrá' to give students an opportunity to practice their language skills outside the classroom, gives tin whistle lessons and leads Irish carols and dancing.  She has traveled to Gaeltacht immersion weekends in Kansas City, Madison and Milwaukee to facilitate Irish speakers. 

    Nóirín holds a B.A. in Irish and Music from St. Patrick’s College Dublin (2000), a P.G.C.E. from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth (2002), a Diploma in translation skills from the National University of Ireland, Galway (2008), and an MSc in Business & IT from Fiontar, Dublin City University (2011), where her thesis focused on language schemes and planning in Irish language immersion schools.


  • •     Marcas Mac Coinnigh is the Senior Fulbright Irish Language Scholar at the Department of Irish Language and Literature for 2010-11. He is originally from    Omagh, Co. Tyrone. He holds a BA in Irish Language and Literature (First Class Honors) and a PhD in Irish Language from the University of Ulster.

He previously held the Vera Furness Research Fellowship at the University of Ulster (2003-2006) where he worked on A Concise Dictionary of Modern Irish. In 2006 he received an IRCHSS Post-doctoral Fellowship to conduct research in the Department of Modern Irish, University College Cork, on the subject of Irish proverbial collections. He is currently a lecturer in Irish and Celtic Studies at Queen’s University Belfast (2007–), where he teaches courses on Irish language and literature, folklore studies and Irish translation studies.

While at Notre Dame, he will carry out research in the field of Irish paremiology and paremiography, and will also teach courses on Irish folklore and Irish proverb studies.

  • Verona O’ Driscoll (Ní Dhrisceoil) was a Fulbright Teaching Scholar and Ph.D. exchange student at the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies, for the Spring Semester 2010. Verona is a native of Oileán Chléire, Co. Cork. She graduated from the National University of Ireland, Cork with a Law and Irish Degree in 2004 and an LLM in Criminal Justice (First Class Honors) in 2005.

Since then Verona has combined her interests in law and language, through teaching and research. In 2007/2008, she worked with the Law Reform Commission of Ireland and is the principal researcher of the Commission’s Report on Defences in Criminal Law. In 2008, she was awarded aHigher Education Authority (HEA) Scholarship to carry out research in the area of Law and Irish language rights. She is currently pursuing a doctoral study in this area under the supervision of Dr. Siobhan Mullally and while in Notre Dame, under the supervision of Prof. Brian Ó Conchubhair. The current working title of her thesis is Exploring language rights and the role of law in the future of the Irish language.

  • Gráinne Ní Mhuirí is the 2009-2010 Study America Foreign Language Teaching Assistant. She is from Dublin and received a BA in Celtic Studies and H. Dip in Education from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. This semester Gráinne will teach Beginning Irish 2 and run the conversation table for students who wish to practice their language skills outside of the classroom.


  • The 2008-2009 Fulbright FLTA, Anne Corbett is a native Irish speaker of Carna, Connemara, Co. Galway. She was awarded a degree in Irish and English from the National University of Ireland, Galway in 2004 where she continued to advance to a Higher Diploma in Education that was awarded to her in 2005. Following this, she was employed by the Irish Department at the National University of Ireland, Galway, as an Irish tutor and has continued to teach the Irish language at various levels since then. She completed a Masters in Nua-Ghaeilge in 2007, majoring in Sociolinguistics, and hopes to proceed to a Phd in the Irish language, regarding this field of study, in the future.


  • Tomás Ó Murchú a graduate of University College Cork, joined us as the 2007-08 Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant. This semester Tomás teaches Beginning Irish I and runs a weekly language club for undergraduate and graduate students seeking to practice and develop their language skills outside of the classroom. Tomás is taking graduate courses with Professor Breandán Ó Buachalla on the eighteenth-century lament Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoire and studying contemporary Irish poetry with Professor Bríona Nic Dhiarmada, Senior Fulbright Irish-Language Professor. His own scholarly interests are in the Munster dialect and its regional literature.