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Brian O’Neill Gallery: Celtic, Canadian and Concordian

October 24 gala to honour chairman of Canadian Irish Studies Foundation
October 22, 2013

A tireless volunteer fundraiser and leading promoter of Canadian-Irish heritage will be honored by the Canadian Irish Studies Foundation on October 24.  Brian O’Neill Gallery, LLD and BA 57 will be feted at a gala organized by the Canadian Irish Studies Foundation which Gallery chairs.

Canadian Irish Studies Foundation
  • What: gala celebration and reception
  • When: 6:30 p.m., Thursday, October 24
  • Where: Centre Mont-Royal, 2200 Mansfield St.
  • Admission: $100 per person via or 514-743-1884

Founded in 1995 by Peter O’Brien and Brian Gallery to support the School of Canadian Irish Studies at Concordia University, the Canadian Irish Studies Foundation now boasts over $8 million in its endowment provided by generous people across the country. Thanks to that generosity, the School of Canadian Irish Studies offers major, minor and certificate programs in Irish studies.

The School of Canadian Irish Studies at Concordia has come a long way. Each year, 800 students explore Ireland’s rich heritage at home and abroad through courses in 12 disciplines. Scholarships of over $30,000 are provided to 22 students each year by the Foundation. What’s more, the School of Canadian Irish Studies at Concordia is the only academic department at a Canadian university dedicated to the study of modern Ireland and the Irish diaspora — another milestone to be celebrated.

“Our accomplishments are marked by many dedicated individuals who were rallied by the energy, enthusiasm, commitment and persistence of Brian Gallery,” says Michael Kenneally, principal of the School of Canadian Irish Studies. “From the beginning, he believed that Irish history and culture, and the history of the Irish in Montreal, Quebec and Canada held instructive lessons for students from all backgrounds. He instinctively understood that the diversity of the Irish experience, at home and abroad, provides a case study for a range of issues that resonate with many other communities in Canada and around the world.”

Thanks to the support from the Canadian Irish Studies Foundation, various levels of government and Concordia, the School of Canadian Irish Studies continues to flourish:

  • The Johnson Research Chair in Quebec and Canadian Irish Studies was funded by the Government of Quebec to examine the role of Irish immigrants in all aspects of Canadian society, especially in Quebec.
  • Five professors from various disciplines teach some 20 courses annually.
  • Two visiting scholars from Ireland lecture at Concordia — the Peter O’Brien Visiting Scholar and the Government of Ireland Language Scholar.
  • The Irish Public Lecture Series, which brings distinguished speakers from Ireland for the benefit of students and the community, has presented speakers such as former Irish Prime Minister, Dr. Garret FitzGerald and the late Noble poet laureate Seamus Heaney.

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