Micheal O Mainnin
  • Room 02.002 - 8 University Square

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

onomastics; dialectology; language and identity in Ireland and Scotland; language and conflict; early modern Irish and Scottish Gaelic language and literature

1990 …2024

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research Interests

Mícheál B. Ó Mainnín is a graduate of NUI Galway (BA 1984; MA 1987) and Queen’s University Belfast (PhD 2002). He was first employed in Queen’s in 1987 as a research associate in the Northern Ireland Place-Name Project and has been a lecturer in Irish & Celtic Studies since 1997. His principal research interests lie in the areas of linguistics (particularly onomastics); Irish and Scottish Gaelic literary texts; and Irish and Scottish identity and relations in the medieval and modern periods.


He is Director of the Northern Ireland Place-Name Project (www.placenamesni.org) and has contributed two volumes (one in collaboration with Gregory Toner) to the Place-Names of Northern Ireland series. He is currently completing his monograph on the toponymy of the plain of Macha, centred on the ecclesiastical capital of Ireland at Armagh and, closeby, Emain Macha (Navan Fort), the focal centre of Ulster kingship in the medieval period. He is also co-investigator on the AHRC-funded four-year project on multilingualism, MEITS (www.meits.org), led from the University of Cambridge. A further ongoing project is concerned with providing a digitised edition of Wagner’s four-volume Linguistic Atlas and Survey of Irish Dialects for the School of Celtic Studies in the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies.


He is editor of Léann: Irish Chumann Léann na Litríochta (vol. 1, 2007; vol. 2, 2009, vol. 3 (2014, in collaboration with Máire Ní Annracháin of UCD) and vol. 4 (2016, in collaboration with Rióna Ní Fhrighil)), and Ainm: A Journal of Name Studies (vol. 9, 2008; vol. 10, 2009). He is on the advisory board of Aiste. Studies in Gaelic Literature (University of Glasgow).


Mícheál has taught widely at undergraduate level across the range of Irish and Scottish Gaelic language and literature (both medieval and modern). He is particularly responsible for the teaching of Irish phonetics and dialectology, Scottish Gaelic language and literature, and late medieval Gaelic literature (all of which are driven by his research interests).


At postgraduate level, he also has options on onomastics and language and identity, and has supervised dissertations on a range of linguistic and literary topics (including, most recently, travel literature, literature of the Irish Revival, medieval and modern Scottish literature, and Irish dialectology).


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