Celebrating our 2022 Undergraduate Award Winners: Shea Murphy and Moira Bartlett

Author: Mary Hendriksen

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Shea Murphy '22, with her mother

Shea Murphy ’22, Awarded the Donald and Marilyn Keough Award for Excellence in Irish Studies

Majors: History and Film, Television, and Theatre
Minors: Irish Studies and Digital Marketing

Entering Notre Dame as a History major, Shea took a course team taught by Professors Patrick Griffin and Ian Kuijt called Irish Hands that Built America.

“It was that course,” she says, “that helped me determine that I wanted to concentrate on Irish history, a decision that led me to take several courses within Irish Studies—for example,  Screening the Irish Troubles and The Making of Modern Ireland. I consistently found my Irish studies classes to be my favorites.”

Shea had her first trip to Ireland the summer after her first year, for the course Ireland: The Inside Track. The pandemic scuttled her plan to study abroad in Galway during the Fall 2020 semester; however, she traveled to Dublin in Summer 2021 with a grant from the Nanovic Institute for European Studies to conduct research at the National Library of Ireland and the National Archives of Ireland for her senior History thesis project: “'Unsexed Viragoes': Evaluating Militant Women in Early 20th Century Ireland." 

In Fall 2022, Shea will begin the MPhil program at the University of Cambridge, in Modern British History, with a focus on Irish history.


Moira Bartlett Graduation
Moira Bartlett '22

Moira Bartlett ‘22, Awarded the Brother Simeon C.S.C. Prize for Distinction in Irish Language 

Majors: Political Science and Irish Language and Literature 

Minor: Constitutional Studies 

After her first year at Notre Dame, Moira participated in the University’s six-week summer study-abroad course in Ireland.

“This program allowed me to learn about Ireland's rich literature and political history while traveling the country and staying in Dublin, Sligo, and at Kylemore Abbey. Studying in Ireland allowed me to better understand and apply the theories and lessons I learned in my political science courses to Irish events. That culminated in my senior year with an independent study supervised by postdoctoral fellow Dr. Heather Stanfiel." The study was a comparative look at the ways in which the Irish truth and reconciliation processes surrounding contentious issues such as the mother and baby homes could benefit from processes developed for the Colombian peace accords.

Moira embraced her Irish language classes, taking courses through Intermediate II.

"I loved having the opportunity to study Irish at Notre Dame," she says. "My courses helped me to better understand the nation's literature and the importance of language preservation."

Moira identifies a few of her highlight undergraduate classes as Screening the Irish Troubles, Modern Irish Classics, and Storied Landscapes: Ireland to Chicago.

Next year, she will attend NYU to pursue a master's degree in Irish and Irish-American Studies.