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Máiréad Nic Craith

Tell us about yourself?

I'm a native of Cork and now live and work in Derry. My mother was a school principal in Cork and I come from a long line of school teachers. I married a German and love travelling all over Europe with him. I'm a “readaholic”. I enjoy swimming, country walking and music. I enjoy life.


Tell us about your time in Mary Immaculate College?

I was in Mary Immaculate College from 1977-1980. As I had previously spent five years in boarding school, I thought the freedom of MIC. was great. I made some great friends in the place and have many fond memories of the fun we had.


One memory that stands out in your mind from your time in MIC?

In my second year I was looking at the notices for teaching practice. I noted the name of my supervisor out loud. He was standing behind me and said ‘that's me'. I didn't believe him as I thought he was far too young looking and I told him so. I was very embarrassed when he walked in to assess my teaching practice.


A member of staff who had an affect or made an impression on you during your time in MIC?

Two members of staff were particularly influential on me. One was Úna Nic Einrí. She has so many hand-outs ready for the students in her seminar groups and was so thoroughly prepared. I thought we were very lucky indeed. I was also very impressed with Pádraic Breathnach. I enjoyed his literature classes immensely.


What changes would you like to see within MIC?

Even more cross-border links – especially with the University of Ulster.


Do you maintain a relationship with MIC today?

I've been back recently on a number of appointment boards and would love more joint research activities with staff. I remember some current members of staff as students. These include James Deegan and Eugene O'Brien.


What is your current occupation?

I am currently Professor of European Culture and Society at the University of Ulster. I am based on the Magee Campus. After graduating, I spent twelve years in a primary school in Cork, before heading to the Institute of Irish Studies at the University of Liverpool. Although my last class in a primary school was in 1992, I regularly wake up ‘in the classroom'.


What are your hopes/plans for the future?

I would like to travel to every country in Europe.


If you were President of MIC for a day what would you do?

No one could do a better job than the current President.


If you could quickly sum up your time in MIC or have any advice for MIC students what would it be?

If in doubt, ask. There is no such thing as a stupid question.

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