General Information


School of Education
National University of Ireland Galway

Dr Paul Flynn
Luke O'Donnell

Nuns Island
Galway City
Republic of Ireland
Phone: +353-86173 7662
Facebook / Instagram / Twitter = Irishnationalhistorycomp

About the organisation

Queen’s College Galway was founded in 1845. Following construction of the iconic Quadrangle building, the University opened its doors four years later to its first cohort of 68 students. From humble beginnings, NUI Galway has grown sgnificantly in size and reputation over the past 175 years. According to QS World University Rankings, the University is now among the world's top 1%, and its vibrant and active Alumni help NUI Galway stay well-connected across the globe.

The history competition

Breaking-the-SEAL (Student Engagement with Archives for Learning) is an NUI Galway School of Education Initiative promoting tertiary history study among students from disadvantaged secondary schools. Having joined the EUSTORY network in 2017, Breaking-the-SEAL encouraged participants to engage with NUI Galway’s digitised archives. Since then, NUI Galway has hosted more than 250 students on-campus and introduced them to the archive process, its underground storage vaults, and the near limitless potential for further research.

In 2021, NUI Galway took its Irish National History Competition nationwide. The INHC allows senior cycle history students to submit a component of their standard curricular assessment for an opportunity to represent Ireland, their schools and themselves on the EUSTORY programme. The Irish National History Competition also allows entrants to showcase family histories and personal interests, further enhancing student engagement with raw, primary material. Particular attention is paid to connecting both initiatives (Breaking-the-SEAL and the INHC) with Ireland’s secondary school curricular content : the senior cycle’s Research Study Report. This not only helps to recognise and acknowledge but also celebrate the invaluable role teachers play as critical stakeholders in independent, student-led learning.


Typically, participants are in their fifth year (of six) but the INHC competition is open to individual students (4th, 5th and final year) from the Republic of Ireland. Rules and Regulations (as well as the competition submission/entry facility) are available through the website


Competition entries initially comprise the Extended Essay component of the state-required Research Study Report. Competition finalists may then have to present their investigations and discoveries in another format during the finals process (poster, monologue, slideshow or video, for example), for consideration as an EUSTORY Irish delegate.


Panels year-to-year tend to comprise academics, authors, in-service and pre-service secondary school history teachers.


This coming cycle’s pertinent dates include an Extended Essay submission deadline (31 March 2022) and subsequent awards ceremony (5 May 2022). Winners are invited to participate in the annual EUSTORY Summit.

Competition Details