Professor named 2022 Irish Echo’s Irish American of the Year

August 23, 2022

Headshot of professor Christine Kinealy smiling.

Christine Kinealy, a history professor and founding director of Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac, has been named Irish Echo’s Irish American of the Year.

“This newspaper represents all that is wonderful about Irish America and, as a relative newcomer to this country, I am deeply appreciative of being recognized as somebody who is contributing to the rich culture, distinctive identity and undeniable vibrancy of this community,” Kinealy said.

Kinealy was officially recognized at the 3rd annual Big Irish Campfire showcase, which spotlights Irish American organizations across the U.S.

Kinealy is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin, where she completed her doctorate on the introduction of the Poor Law to Ireland. She then worked in educational and research institutes in Dublin, Belfast and Liverpool.

She has published extensively on the impact of the Great Irish Famine and has lectured on the relationship between poverty and famine in India, Spain, Canada, France, Finland and New Zealand. She also has spoken to invited audiences in the British Parliament and in the U.S. Congress.

Kinealy was named one of the most influential Irish-Americans in 2011 by "Irish America" Magazine. In 2013, she received the Holyoke, Massachusetts St. Patrick's Day Parade's Ambassador Award. In March 2014, she was inducted into the Irish America Hall of Fame.

Kinealy and Quinnipiac professors emeritus Rebecca Abbott and Liam O’Brien were awarded an Emmy in 2017 for the documentary, “Ireland’s Great Hunger and the Irish Diaspora,” which was narrated by Irish actor Gabriel Byrne. In 2020, Kinealy was invited to become a director of the newly created African American Irish Diaspora.

Ireland's Great Hunger Institute is a scholarly resource for the study of modern Ireland. Through a program of lectures, conferences, courses and publications, the institute offers a deeper understanding of the causes and consequences of the Irish Famine, also known as An Gorta Mór. The institute also fosters an appreciation for Irish culture and history.

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