|Meet the Director|
Lori Meghan Gallagher, J.D., is the director of the William J. Flynn Center for Irish Studies, a lecturer in Irish Studies and an attorney licensed to practice law in Texas. For 18 years, she practiced law at a large international law firm in Houston, Andrews Kurth LLP, where she was the chair of the civil appellate section and a partner.
She has been the director of the Center for Irish Studies since the Center’s creation in January 2003. She received her undergraduate degree in English and Journalism and law degree from the University of New Mexico (1980, 1984). She received a postgraduate degree in Irish Literature from Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, in 1981 on a Rotary Foundation scholarship.
Gallagher has pioneered new Irish Studies courses on Irish and Northern Irish history, politics, law and culture, including Northern Ireland: The Conflict and the Peace; Historical and Political Perspectives on Irish Law and Culture; Irish Diaspora: Irish American Experience; and Contemporary Ireland: Society and Culture.
Gallagher oversees the Irish Studies academic program, which includes a minor in Irish Studies and a graduate concentration in the Master in Liberal Arts Program, as well as the Ireland Study Abroad Program and the Irish Studies Cultural Outreach Program.
The William J. Flynn Center for Irish Studies is listed as one of the top 10 Irish Studies programs in the country by IrishCentral.com.
Gallagher also has received many accolades, including being named to the Global Irish 100 and Education 100 by Irish America magazine in 2009, as well as receiving the 2009 Irish American Leaders of Texas Award by Irish Echo newspaper and being selected as one of the honorees for the Mayor's Gala for the 2009 Houston International Festival featuring Ireland. She also served as the Grand Marshal for the 2011 Houston St. Patrick’s Day Parade. In 2014, Gallagher received the 2014 Irish Education Award from Irish Voice newspaper, and in 2015, she received the Irish Legal and Education 100 award from Irish Voice.
Most recently, Phi Beta Kappa, a national academic honor society, in Houston, Texas, named Gallagher the 2015 Outstanding Alumnus. In 2015, she was also elected to the Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Association of Greater Houston Board of Directors
Meet the Irish Language Professor
Jonathan Ó Néill, MA
Professor of Irish Studies
Professor Jonathan Ó Néill is originally from Counties Galway and Clare in Ireland. Prior to coming to UST, Ó Néill taught at University of Limerick. His extensive teaching background includes coursework in beginner, intermediate and advanced Irish language as well as course instruction on Irish literature and culture.
In addition to his distinguished teaching and academic career at University of Limerick, Ó Néill was awarded a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistantship and served as a visiting scholar at New York University and Drew University, New Jersey. Other international assignments include an Irish-Studies Fellowship at the University of Melbourne, Australia, and an internship at the Asia-Europe Foundation in Singapore where he assisted on a number of projects related to youth and education.
As well as English and Irish, Ó Néill is fluent in Japanese and French. His love of languages drives his passion for teaching the Irish language across all proficiency levels and makes him a strong instructor. Ó Néill’s Irish language courses emphasize vocabulary, grammar and communication as well as give an insight into the culture of the Irish language. Ó Néill also teaches courses on Irish literature that provide students with an opportunity to study key texts from Irish poetry, fiction and drama in conjunction with the scholarly debates that frame a critical and analytical approach to Ireland and Irish literature.