Royal Irish Academy
The Royal Irish Academy (RIA) (Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann) is one of Ireland's premier learned societies and cultural institutions. Founded in 1785, its current and former members include artists, scientists and writers from around Ireland. Membership is by election, usually after the proposed member has published a noted scientific or scholarly work. Those elected are permitted to use the letters MRIA after their names. In addition, international scholars can be selected as honorary members if they have contributed to academia and have a connection to Ireland.
Since 1951 the academy has been located at 19, Dawson Street in the center of Dublin. Built in c.1750, the building has some fine decorative plasterwork and a handsome meeting room designed in 1854 by Fredrick Villiers Clarendon and now used for conferences, exhibitions and public talks. The academy library holds some important early Irish manuscripts and, in fact, the academy once held many Celtic treasures now in the National Museum of Ireland.
The academy is also know for its publications on Irish material, particularly biography, history, geography and language. The Atlas of Ireland, published in 1979, was a comprehensive altas of Ireland's geography, including related socio-economic thematical information. The academy keeps an extensive library and collection of Irish related material.
- Richard Kirwan, chemist, meteorologist, and mineralogist
- James Gandon, architect
- Henry Grattan, politician
- William Rowan Hamilton, world-renowned mathematician
- Francis Beaufort, hydrographer and originator of the Beaufort Wind Scale
- Eoin MacNeill, politician and historian
- William Wilde, polymath and father of the playwright, Oscar Wilde
- Walter Heitler, physicist
- Frank Mitchell, historian
- William Hunter McCrea, astronomer
- Seán Lemass, Taoiseach 1959–1966
- Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh, Attorney General 1946–1948, 1951–1953 and President of Ireland 1974–1976
- John O'Donovan (1806–1861), Irish language scholar and place-name expert
- Frederick Boland, diplomat
- J.P. Beddy, public servant
- Arthur Cox, solicitor
- F.S.L. Lyons, historian
- Michael Morris, 3rd Baron Killanin and President of the International Olympic Committee
- Eamon de Valera, Taoiseach 1932–1948; 1951–1954; 1957–1959 and President of Ireland 1959–1973.