Yesterday (August 26), President of France Emmanuel Macron visited Trinity during his first trip to Ireland since entering office.
He toured the campus and met with students and staff to discuss topics such as post-Cocvid Europe, climate change and digital equality.
He was joined by Taoiseach Micheal Martin; Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris; and Lord Mayor of Dublin Alison Gilliland. Provost Linda Doyle welcomed the French president and led the group through a tour of campus.
Prof Catherine Comiskey, director of the new Erasmus-funded master’s in global challenges for sustainability, part of the CHallenge-driven Accessible Research-based Mobile European University (CHARM-EU) programme, was also in attendance.
College is one of the five CHARM-EU universities along with the University of Montpellier, University of Barcelona, Utrecht University and the Eötvös Loránd University.
Macron was introduced to several of College’s academic staff working in France-related fields, such as Assistant Professor in French Edward Arnold, Associate Professor in French and Head of the French Department James Hanrahan, Professor in Geography Padraig Carmody, Assistant Professor in Education Donatella Camedda, and Assistant Professor in Political Science Jacqueline Hayden.
At the Old Library, Librarian Helon Shenton showed the president around the Long Room, where he viewed the Book of Kells and the Library’s collection of 347 Samuel Beckett letters.
Addressing the president and assembled guests, the Provost said: “I am delighted to welcome President Macron to Trinity for a visit that gives us a chance to celebrate our abundant connections with his country. France is the most popular destination for Trinity’s Erasmus students, and we currently have exchange agreements with 42 French institutions.”
She continued: “It is wonderful that our students have had the opportunity to discuss with President Macron some of the most important challenges we all face.”
College is also member of the League of European Research Universities (LERU) along with three French universities; Sorbonne University, Université Paris-Saclay, and the University of Strasbourg.
According to the Provost, College collaborated with 266 French institutions and co-authored more than 1,100 co-publications between 2016 and 2020. College is also home to the oldest chair of French in the world, the alumni of which includes writers Samuel Beckett and Oscar Wilde.