Solidifying its position as the leading American university in Ireland, Boston College announced last week that it has purchased property on the east side of St. Stephen's Green in Dublin to house the Boston College Center in Ireland.
The center, which will serve as the cornerstone of the newly-created, non-profit BC-Ireland Corp., will provide a permanent location for the Dublin office of BC's Irish Institute, while also providing in-country resources for the University's acclaimed Irish Studies Program, Burns Library, and Student Exchange Program. The center is expected to open this fall.
"The opening of the Boston College Center in Ireland is a natural extension of our commitment to working with the Irish people in both Ireland and Northern Ireland," said University President William P. Leahy, SJ. "For us, it also has great symbolic meaning as it represents a recommitment to the homeland of BC's Jesuit founding fathers who invested so much of themselves in establishing Boston College 136 years ago."
The BC-Ireland Corp. will be chaired by Executive Vice President Frank B. Campanella, who described the purchase as the logical next step for Boston College in its ongoing efforts to promote commerce, education and peace in Ireland and Northern Ireland.
"The Boston College Center in Ireland will provide invaluable resources for the University in its outreach to political, business and educational leaders in both the Republic and Northern Ireland," said Campanella. "It will also serve as a tremendous resource to BC faculty and students, both graduate and undergraduate."
The property, located at 42 and 43 St. Stephen's Green in Dublin's historic Georgian Square, is across from the Shelbourne Hotel and is just minutes from the Irish Parliament and government buildings. It was constructed in 1745 and has been recently renovated and rewired to accommodate the latest communications technology. Space not used by BC-Ireland will be leased out to local businesses, Campanella reported.
"Boston College has a growing presence in international higher education," said Sean Rowland, director of the Irish Institute. "This acquisition clearly solidifies our position as the preeminent American university working in Ireland, and offers us an attractive base for our future international initiatives."
Irish Studies Associate Director Robert Savage Jr. added, "This new property will be a great asset to the Irish Studies program in providing a resource for our students who are studying not only in Dublin but in Cork, Galway, Belfast and Derry. While overseas we are always working with audiences ranging from publishers and authors to Fulbright commissioners. It will be a tremendous benefit to have a space to meet to help organize our many educational and cultural programs."
The center had been incorrectly described in a recent Boston Globe article as a campus for Boston College. BC officials were quick to point out that the Boston College Center in Ireland will not be a campus, but rather a center for BC's Irish-related programs.
"This acquisition is the missing link for us," said Campanella. "It will provide people from the University who are doing work in Ireland with a firm destination, instead of forcing us to rent and lease space for our many projects. We are very excited about this new property and the many advantages it will offer for Boston College."
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