Trinity College Dublin
#57 Overall Influence

Trinity College Dublin

Constituent college of the University of Dublin in Ireland

By James Barham, PhD

Trinity College was established in Dublin by Queen Elizabeth I in 1592. It was modeled on Oxford and Cambridge, though it was much smaller, originally consisting of only a single “college.”

One must be clear that Trinity College was established under the auspices of the Church of England to serve the recently arrived English (that is, Anglican) gentry, who at that time—and for several centuries to come—politically dominated the mostly Catholic native population of Ireland.

A university intended to serve the majority Catholic population was not founded until 1851, in the form of the Catholic University of Ireland. In 1880, a third institution of higher learning open to students of all confessional backgrounds—the Royal University of Ireland—was established. Two years later, the Catholic University changed its name to University College, and began cooperating closely with Royal University.

In 1908—not long before Irish independence in 1922—yet another new university was established: the National University of Ireland, in effect replacing Royal University, which was dissolved at that time. University College also underwent reorganization, becoming re-chartered as University College Dublin (UCD). In 1997, UCD was absorbed into the National University System; however, it still maintains a quite separate and distinct identity. At present, UCD is the largest university in the Republic of Ireland.

It is not, however, the most academically prestigious. That is a title that Trinity College—now unofficially, but universally, known as Trinity College Dublin (TCD)—still retains. (To make matters even more confusing, for some official purposes TCD is referred to as the “University of Dublin.“)

Over the years, TCD has gradually emancipated itself from its politically charged history. The first Catholic graduated from the school in 1958. In 1970, the Catholic Church lifted its ban on Catholic students attending the school without a special dispensation. Today, TCD provides two Catholic chaplains for its students, and warmly welcomes applicants of all national, ethnic, and religious backgrounds.

The roll call of TCD–connected intellectuals is a long and distinguished one indeed. Among them, during the university’s first two centuries, we may mention here:

  • William Molyneux, a philosopher and close friend of John Locke, originator of “Molyneux’s Problem”
  • George Berkeley, the notorious subjective-idealist philosopher, who taught that esse est percipi (to be is to be perceived)
  • Jonathan Swift, the satirical poet, novelist, and essayist, author of Gulliver’s Travels
  • Early Irish revolutionary leader, Wolfe Tone
  • Playwright, William Congreve
  • Playwright and novelist, Oliver Goldsmith
  • Statesman and renowned conservative political philosopher, Edmund Burke

During the nineteenth century, the following individuals, among others, were connected with TCD:

  • Gothic playwright and novelist, Charles Maturin
  • Gothic horror and mystery novelist, Sheridan Le Fanu
  • Gothic horror novelist, author of Dracula, Bram Stoker
  • Poet, playwright, essayist, and satirist, Oscar Wilde
  • Playwright, John Millington Synge
  • Painter, John Butler Yeats
  • Mathematician, James Joseph Sylvester
  • Physicists, William Rowan Hamilton and George Francis FitzGerald

As for the twentieth century, the following distinguished individuals have been associated with TCD:

  • Physicists, Erwin Schrödinger & E.T. Whittaker
  • Historians, J.B. Bury & W.E.H. Lecky
  • Politician, historian, and essayist, Connor Cruise O’Brien
  • Short-story writer, William Trevor
  • Literary critic, Richard Ellman

TCD has four Nobel Prize–winners to its credit:

  • Ernest Walton — physics
  • William C. Campbell — physiology or medicine
  • Samuel Beckett — literature
  • Mairead Maguire (née Corrigan), co-recipient of the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize for her activism in Northern Ireland

Among many other distinctions to its credit, TCD has sponsored the Grand Canal Innovation District, a five-and-a-half–acre campus in the heart of Dublin’s Grand Canal neighborhood. The Innovation District helps to connect researchers and venture capitalists with Irish and international companies.

Finally, TCD is home to an outstanding library of more than six million books and manuscripts. Among the latter is to be found an elaborately illuminated manuscript of the four New Testament gospels, transcribed in Ireland sometime in the ninth century, known as the Book of Kells.

From Wikipedia

Trinity College , officially the College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Queen Elizabeth near Dublin, is the sole constituent college of the University of Dublin, a research university located in Dublin, Ireland. The college was founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I as "the mother of a university" that was modeled after the collegiate universities of Oxford and Cambridge, but unlike these affiliated institutions, only one college was ever established; as such, the designations "Trinity College" and "University of Dublin" are usually synonymous for practical purposes. The college is legally incorporated by "the Provost, Fellows, Foundation Scholars and other members of the Board," as outlined by its founding charter. It is one of the seven ancient universities of Britain and Ireland, as well as Ireland's oldest surviving university. Trinity College is widely considered the most prestigious university in Ireland, and one of the most elite academic institutions in Europe. The college is particularly acclaimed in the fields of Law, Literature and Humanities. In accordance with the formula of , a form of recognition that exists among the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge and the University of Dublin, a graduate of Oxford, Cambridge, or Dublin can be conferred with the equivalent degree at either of the other two universities without further examination. Trinity College, Dublin is a sister college to St John's College, Cambridge and Oriel College, Oxford.

Source: Wikipedia

What is Trinity College Dublin known for?

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Criminal Justice
#181 World Rank
Earth Sciences
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Religious Studies
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Computer Science
#503 World Rank
Political Science
#576 World Rank
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Influential People

Who are Trinity College Dublin's Most influential alumni?

Trinity College Dublin's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Literature, Law, and History. Trinity College Dublin’s most academically influential people include Samuel Beckett, Oscar Wilde, and Jonathan Swift.

Samuel Beckett
Samuel Beckett

Irish novelist, playwright, and poet

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Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde

Irish writer and poet

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Jonathan Swift
Jonathan Swift

Anglo-Irish satirist and essayist

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Edmund Burke
Edmund Burke

Anglo-Irish statesman and political theorist

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Bram Stoker
Bram Stoker

Irish novelist and short story writer

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George Berkeley
George Berkeley

Anglo-Irish philosopher, 1685-1753

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Oliver Goldsmith
Oliver Goldsmith

Anglo-Irish writer, poet, and physician

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Sheridan Le Fanu
Sheridan Le Fanu

Irish writer of Gothic tales and mystery novels

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William Rowan Hamilton
William Rowan Hamilton

Irish mathematician and astronomer

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Charles Algernon Parsons
Charles Algernon Parsons

Inventor of the steam turbine

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Michael Longley
Michael Longley

Irish poet

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Francis Ysidro Edgeworth
Francis Ysidro Edgeworth

Irish economist

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