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Ceol Phádraig

Music at St Patrick’s College Drumcondra, 1875-2016


Edited By John Buckley and John O'Flynn

Since its foundation in 1875, the activities of St Patrick’s College Drumcondra and its graduates have been closely woven into the educational and cultural fabric of Irish society. This volume charts how music and music education have fulfilled a major role throughout the history of the Dublin-based establishment that began as a teacher training college and later evolved into a college of education and liberal arts. Graduates of St Patrick’s College have taught hundreds of thousands, if not millions of pupils across the country, have made significant contributions to various facets of professional and amateur music activity, and have had an invaluable influence on the wellbeing of individuals, the development of communities and the advancement of the nation as a whole.

The book records and interprets key musical developments, appraises the work of major contributors, and captures the activities of students, staff and visiting musicians at St Patrick’s College up to its incorporation into Dublin City University in 2016. It represents a major scholarly work that details the progress of music at a university college in Ireland, and it is envisaged that its varied chapters and themes will evoke further memories and discussions among graduates of the College and others.

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Chapter Eight: Engagement and Research (John O’Flynn)


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Chapter Eight: Engagement and Research

John O’Flynn

Service to community is considered central to the work of the Music Department.1

The Department is committed to providing leadership in, and advocacy for music education at a national level. As the largest department of music on the north side of Dublin, it realizes its importance in contributing to the cultural life of the area and beyond.2

The Department recognizes research to be one of its key areas of activity, and encourages staff to follow individual research interests as well as to explore the potential for collaborative projects.3

The Department is committed to the supervision of research in areas cognate to the expertise of staff, namely, Composition, Music Education and Musicology.4


This chapter records and reflects on various forms on engagement and research undertaken by music staff as well as by postgraduate students at St Patrick’s College from the 1970s to the 2010s. While focussing on this more recent period of the institution’s history, it is recognized that engagement and research also concerned previous figures at the College, going back as far as Peter Goodman’s significant contributions to national music curriculum design and to the publication of song collections from the end of the nineteenth century onwards.

As the above statements from the 2011 Self-Assessment Report of the Music Department suggest, engagement and research were recognized as key areas of activity for...

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