Gaois is a research group which welcomes the participation of students in our work. This is facilitated in two ways:

  1. We welcome enquiries from students seeking to arrange an internship or a period of work experience with the research group. Undergraduate and postgraduate students from UCC, UCD, NUI Galway, Notre Dame and DCU itself have spent time with us. Students gain experience on the different projects according to their own interests and to the needs of the team (here’s a blogpost from a former intern). Only students with the necessary language skills needed to work through Irish will be accepted.

  2. Research students (M.A. and PhD) are also accepted from time to time. The three lecturers in the research group, Dr Úna Bhreathnach, Dr Gearóid Ó Cleircín and Dr Brian Ó Raghallaigh, have a wide range of interests. Research may be based upon the work of the different projects, on a range of topics such as:

  • terminology
  • onomastics
  • folklore
  • digital humanities
  • biographies
  • corpus work
  • lexicography
  • crowdsourcing
  • phonetics
  • phonology
  • phraseology
  • speech technology
  • minority languages
  • web resources
  • lexical databases
  • language technology

Current students

Orlaith Hickey (supervised by Dr Úna Bhreathnach and Dr Pádraig Ó Liatháin): Orlaith is undertaking research based on the documentation of women and minority groups in the biographical database This research aims to fill some of the gaps caused by the under-representation of these groups in the database. Reasons for this lack of representation will be examined, and through adding new material to the collection its function as a trusted reference resource for researchers will be enhanced. New biographies drafted as part of this research will be published on

Michelle Dunne (supervised by Dr Úna Bhreathnach and Dr Críostóir Mac Cárthaigh (UCD)): Saintréithe de Thraidisiún Béil na mBan agus de Ghaeilge Luaigh i gCnuasach Sheáin Mhic Mhathúna. Her research looks at information about and from women in the folklore collection Seán Mac Mathúna (1876-1949) collected in north-west Clare. This research will give an insight into the local dialect of Irish which was spoken in the research area. The behaviour and (traditional) role of women and 'ideal' femininity as described in the manuscripts will also be investigated.

Justin Ó Gliasáin (supervised by Dr Gearóid Ó Cleircín and Dr Aengus Finnegan (UL)): Justin's research is focused on minor placenames of Irish-language origin in Co. Kildare. The aim of this project is to assemble a collection of minor placenames and to carry out a linguistic analysis on them. The collection of minor placenames will be published on

Aindí Mac Giolla Chomhghaill (supervised by Dr Gearóid Ó Cleircín and Dr Brian Ó Raghallaigh): Aindí’s research deals with the minor placenames of Irish origin in the glens of south Co. Dublin. Modern fieldnames (e.g. the collection The Field Names of Glenasmole by Pat Lee, available on, minor names collected from the last native Irish speakers in the 19th century and historical placenames will be included. The pronunciation of each modern name will be ascertained locally and a corpus will be assembled. Each placename will be analysed from a linguistic viewpoint and an Irish form will be proposed — these Irish forms will be analysed typologically. The corpus will be compared with other collections from the adjoining counties in Leinster from a toponymic viewpoint and attention will also be drawn to any points of dialectic interest which arise. Maps and diagrams will be created to illustrate various aspects of the research. All of the material will be made freely available on and


Dr Katie Ní Loingsigh (supervised by Dr Brian Ó Raghallaigh and Dr Caoilfhionn Nic Pháidín): Tiomsú agus rangú i mbunachar sonraí ar chnuasach nathanna Gaeilge as saothar Pheadair Uí Laoghaire (PhD thesis, 2016). As part of her research, Katie compiled an electronic corpus of Peadar Ó Laoghaire’s published works, she collected a lexicon of phrases from both Dineen’s and Ó Dónaill’s dictionaries, and she created a database of idioms from Peadar Ó Laoghaire’s corpus. The idiom collection can be found here.

Dr Fionnuala de Barra-Cusack (supervised by Dr Dorothy Kenny, SALIS; funded under the Focal project): A user-oriented study of metadata in (PhD thesis, 2014). This research fellowship was undertaken with funding from Foras na Gaeilge in order to restructure the domain hierarchy of (now té

Cáit Nic Fhionnlaoich (supervised by Dr Caoilfhionn Nic Pháidín): Cóiriú cartlann fuaime logainmneacha (MA thesis, 2012). The aim of this thesis was to make the Sound Archive of the Placenames Branch (1,200 hours of content collected in the period 1961-2000) available online for the staff of the Placenames Branch and for other placename researchers. The Placenames Branch’s original hand-written catalogue was transcribed and edited as a research guide for the online database. The content from Gola in Donegal was selected as a sample set to study. A list of placenames was generated from this set which enabled the provision of further information such as English names, written variations from literature and phonetic variations.

Dr Úna Bhreathnach (supervised by Dr Caoilfhionn Nic Pháidín and Dr Rute Costa (Universidade Nova de Lisboa)): A Best-Practice Model for Term Planning (PhD thesis, 2011). Her research focused on best practice in terminology planning, investigating three case studies: Catalonia’s Termcat, Sweden’s Terminologicentrum TNC and Irish language terminology planning organisations.