Category Archives: Research Postgraduates

Ciara Thompson


Originally from Wyoming, in the United States, Ciara has been studying music and singing for over fifteen years.  She received her Bachelor’s of Music in Vocal Performance, and a K-12 Music Education Certification from the University of Iowa in 2015.  Her student teaching experiences took place at Van Allen Elementary School, in North Liberty, Iowa, and at Ringwood Secondary College, in Melbourne, Australia.  Ciara constructed and taught an Irish Studies summer course called “Erin go Bragh!” for the SEEK (Summer Education Experience for Kids) program through the Laramie County Community College, in Wyoming.  This class was directed toward 7-12 year old children and included many different aspects that make up Irish culture; covering facts and information, and giving creative opportunity through craft activities, as well as performance in music, dance and theatre.

Ciara completed her Master’s of Arts in Ethnomusicology at the University of Limerick, graduating in January, 2016.  Her thesis contemplated the resonance between the lullaby and lament styles and repertoire found in Ireland and the affect these genres cultivated within their recipients. Her current research at the Academy is a deeper extension of her Master’s thesis, in which she is exploring the functionality and significance if lullaby singing, and the evolution of these aspects of lullaby singing throughout history and into present day.  Within the Academy, Ciara is one of the core members of the TradSong Research Cluster, which aims to be a space of academic and performative exploration in the realm of Irish Traditional Song.  Ciara has had a passion for singing, learning and travel her entire life, and has experienced many wonderful solo and ensemble performance opportunities, thanks to her educational and personal experiences in Wyoming, Iowa, Australia, Ireland, and beyond.

Diane Daly

Diane represented Ireland performing as soloist with the RTE Concert Orchestra aged just 14. She has received a BMus from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Post Graduate diploma from the Royal Northern College of Music,(specialising in string teaching and the methodologies of Kodaly and Dalcroze) and a MA (1st class hons) from the University of… Continue Reading

Kathleen Turner

Kathleen Turner is a singer, songwriter and community musician. She holds two Masters Degrees from the University of Limerick, MA Community Music and MA Ritual Chant and Song, and a BA (Hons) in English and Politics from the University of Stirling. Kathleen is currently pursuing a PhD in Arts Practice at the Irish World Academy… Continue Reading

Rebeca Mateos Morante

  Rebeca Mateos Morante is a Danza Española and Flamenco dancer, currently studying for her PhD at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance in collaboration with the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. A philosophy graduate with a first class honours Masters in Psychoanalysis and Cultural Studies, she forms part of the last generation of… Continue Reading

Shane Holohan

Shane has trained and worked as a secondary school teacher  of English and Art for 15 years, culminating in his role as Acting Principal. Whilst working as a teacher he became heavily involved in Gymnastics for All (GFA) as a coach education tutor and went on to become the first National Development Officer with Gymnastics… Continue Reading

Fiona Byrne

Fiona Byrne has a background in craft design, completing an BA in Craft Design Glass and Art and History at NCAD. Following this she embarked on a career in a glass blowing studio where her interest in the running of cultural institutions was sparked. She returned to education and completed an MA in Cultural Policy… Continue Reading

Leah O’Brien Bernini

Leah O’Brien Bernini is pursuing her Ph.D. in ethnomusicology, entitled, “Off the Record: Identity, Capitalism, and the Creative Process of Irish Traditional Musicians within the Music Industry”. Leah’s research focuses on the experiences of over 80 professional Irish traditional and Celtic musicians and music industry personnel as they negotiate the complex dynamics between capitalism and… Continue Reading

Cliodhna Donnellan

Clare musician Cliodhna Donnellan grew up in Mountshannon in a house that appreciated traditional music, song and dance. Her late father Sean Donnellan was a noted traditional singer, in 2004 in tribute to him she produced an archival CD of his singing titled “Songs My Father Sang”. Cliodhna teaches fiddle in Mountshannon and is a… Continue Reading

Jack Talty

Doctoral student Jack Talty is the recipient of an Irish Research Council Postgraduate Scholarship Award for his study entitled Exploring Fifty Years of Institutionalisation in the Transmission, Pedagogy and Performance of Irish Traditional Music in Irish Higher Education from 1963 to 2013. This study looks at the relationship between the ‘Ivory Tower’ – a metaphor… Continue Reading

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