DUIGNAN, Michael V.



DUIGNAN, Michael V.




Michael Vincent




Michael V. Duignan (Castlebar, 10 December 1907- Dublin, 29 March 1988) held the Chair of Celtic Archaeology in UCG from 1945 to his retirement in 1977. He was Dean of the Faculty of Arts (1965-70) and Registrar (1970-74) and also served on the Senate of the National University of Ireland.

Following undergraduate and postgraduate studies in UCD, and further postgraduate work in Munich and Bonn, Michael Duignan collaborated with leading Celticist Rudolf Thurneysen. On returning to Ireland he was for a time Assistant Librarian in the National Library. In 1939 he joined the staff of the National Museum, under the Directorship of Adolf Mahr. In 1942 he was elected a Member of the Royal Irish Academy at what was considered an extraordinarily young age. He resigned from the Museum in 1945 to take up his appointment in Galway, where in his first year he found there were only 7 students of Archaeology. By the time of his retirement there were some 100 day students and 60 evening students. Shortly after his arrival in Galway he started a popular series of field trips which attracted not only students of archaeology but also many colleagues and graduates. Over the following decades he became a key figure in the development of UCG. One of the best-known of his publications is The Shell Guide to Ireland (1962), which he wrote with Michael Morris, Lord Killanin. In this widely used reference work the authors describe in detail a great number of monuments, expressing their own aesthetic views and providing numerous literary references ('A Guide to Ireland').


Key Words

archaeology; field trips




University of Galway Library

Date Modified

23 July 2023


Upload and data entry by: Jane Conroy
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2023.08.29 by Jane Conroy

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Archaeology field trip, 1946 People Image
Michael Duignan with Michael B. Lawless at the latter's Honorary Conferring, 7 October 1974 People Image
Honorary Conferring, 7 October 1974 at UCG People Image
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Michael Duignan with the Thurneysens, 1937 Image