Some 24 of 29 newly-elected members who were admitted to the Royal Irish Academy were commended for their exceptional contributions to the sciences, humanities and social sciences – as well as to public service at an admittance day ceremony in Dublin.
New members include Prof Hannah McGee, deputy-chair of the National Research Ethics Committee for Covid-19; psychologist Orla Muldoon, an op-ed contributor to The Irish Times; historian and authority on Catholic renewal Tadhg Ó hAnnracháin; Siobhán Mullally, UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons; Virginia Teehan, chief executive of the Heritage Council; Marie Donnelly, chair of the Climate Change Advisory Council and Linda Doyle, 45th provost of Trinity College Dublin (TCD).
RIA president Dr Mary Canning said: "We are immensely proud of these 29 new Members who we are recognising today for their scholarly achievements, their research and international distinction or for significant contributions to Irish society. As new members of the academy, they will contribute to and strengthen our capacity to provide expert advice on higher education and research policy."
Also elected members were: Geraldine Boylan (University College Cork); Katherine Browne (University College Dublin); Mary Cannon (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, University of Medicine and Health Sciences); Karen Corrigan (Newcastle University); Mary Cosgrove (TCD); Rónadh Cox (Williams College); Gary Donohoe (NUI Galway); Fiona Doohan (UCD); Linda Doyle (TCD); Mary Doyle (Trinity Long Room Hub); Gladys Ganiel (Queen's University Belfast); Andreas Hess (UCD); David Jones (QUB); Patricia Kearney (UCC); Mairead Kiely (UCC); JoAnne Mancini (Maynooth University); Niamh Moloney (London School of Economics); Orla Muldoon (University of Limerick); Siobhán Mullally (NUIG); James P O'Gara (NUIG) Stefan Oscarson (UCD); Ann Rigney (Utrecht University); Jane Roberts (University of London); David Stifter (MU); Virginia Teehan (Heritage Council of Ireland) and Patrick Wyse Jackson (TCD).
There are 656 members of the RIA including: Nobel Laureates William C Campbell and John O'Keefe; Louise Richardson, vice-chancellor of the University of Oxford; Frances Ruane, economist; Philip Lane, European Central Bank; Fabiola Gianotti, director general CERN; Brigid Laffan, Irish political scientist and director of the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies and Geraldine Byrne-Nason, Ireland's permanent representative to the UN.
The RIA has been honouring Ireland's leading contributors to the world of learning since its establishment in 1785 – those elected by their peers are entitled to use the designation "MRIA" after their name. Past Members have included Maria Edgeworth, a pioneer of the modern novel and Nobel laureates WB Yeats; Ernest Walton, Erwin Schrödinger and Seamus Heaney.