Irish Walled Towns

Irish Walled Towns Content

The Viking raiders of the ninth century and the Anglo-Norman invaders of the twelfth built defensive strongholds that over the centuries came to enrich the fabric of Irish life.

Historic towns research

Historic Towns Research Awards November 2014

Many of Ireland’s historic towns have suffered significantly since the onset of the 2008 recession. However, even before the 2008 crash, policies and actions by many of those in both the private and public sectors was creating a situation where the commercial and social strength of town centres was slowly being eroded. One of the main reasons for this was the over reliance amongst decision makers on foreign research. Ireland is different. Accordingly the IWTN decided to promote indigenous research and connect that work to the people who need it the most. We have done this in two main ways. 

One of the methods has been the creation of the Historic Towns Research Awards.  This award aims to allow final year degree and taught master students the possibility of providing insight and solutions into the real problems being experienced by Ireland’s historic towns. The scheme has four purposes. Firstly, to reward research being conducted by students in Ireland. Secondly, to bring it to greater public attention. The third reason is to connect people in the public sector with researchers in third level institutes. And the final reason is to encourage more research focusing on historic Irish towns. The inaugural ceremony was held on November 25th 2014 in the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin.

The second way through which the IWTN promotes research is by connecting Irish towns to third level institute departments. A small grant is also provided to cover student expenses. Over the past three years a number of departments have been matched up with towns across the island. This has included NUI Maynooth’s Department of Geography conducting research on heritage tourism in Trim, Queens’ Architecture Department working on underused spaces in Derry / Londonderry, and the School of Planning from UCC providing advice to decision makers in Youghal, Co.Cork. A summary of the work carried out in Trim is available here [PDF 445KB]