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Winners of Bursaries for Research on Ireland’s First World War Casualties Announced


Winners of Bursaries for Research on Ireland’s First World War Casualties Announced

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, TD, and the Minister for Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys, TD, today announced the winners of a bursary scheme which will facilitate research on Irish participation in the First World War.

The bursaries will enable four Irish third-level students to carry out research at the In Flanders Field Museum in Belgium, as part of a project which aims to establish more precisely the number of people from the island of Ireland who were killed during the war. The research will improve the information contained on the Ireland’s Memorial Records website, which hosts information on individuals in Irish regiments who died in the war in an accessible and research-friendly format.

The winners are Shane Spelman (NUI Galway), Donna Gilligan (NCAD), Jason McCann (Trinity College Dublin) and Frank Walshe (NUI Maynooth).

The Embassy of Ireland in Brussels facilitated collaboration on this project between Google, the In Flanders Fields Museum in Belgium and the genealogy research company, Eneclann. The Centre for Cross Border Studies organised the competition and the selection of candidates.

Speaking ahead of the announcement, Minister Flanagan noted:

“Over a hundred years after the war began, it is important that we know the names of those who died so that we can remember and commemorate each life that was so tragically lost and reflect anew and afresh on the Irish dimension to the war. I know that this research project will be of huge value to the families of those who lost their lives as well as enhancing the historic records of our State. I congratulate the students who have been awarded bursaries and welcome the ongoing collaboration between the Irish Government, Google, the In Flanders Field Museum and Eneclann on this excellent project.”

Minister Humphreys said:

“This very worthwhile project will shine a light on the Irish experience in World War I. We know that tens of thousands of young Irish men and women lost their lives, but the final casualty number has never been established. This project, which is being supported by my Department, will enhance the research material available and attempt to much more accurately record the number of Irish men and women killed during the terrible conflict.”


Press Office

20 July 2015