Iona University in New Rochelle, New York has announced a new campus pilot at Westport House Estate in Co Mayo, with classes set to begin in Summer 2024.

“Iona University’s legacy in Ireland dates back many centuries," Iona University President Seamus Carey, Ph.D. said, announcing the new Irish program.

"From St. Columba in 563 A.D. to Blessed Edmund Rice in the early 1800s to the Christian Brothers who opened our doors in New Rochelle in 1940, this is a legacy we proudly carry forward to this day.

“To return to our spiritual homeland is not only extremely rewarding; it is also full of potential.

"As we embrace our past, we are building our future, and together with the people of County Mayo, we look forward to the journey ahead.”

Carey added: “Westport House has a bold vision for the future – and we are excited to be a part of it.

“We look forward to bringing this program to full fruition. The fertile seeds we have planted in Westport are borne out of the spirit developed over many centuries for us as Gaels.

"We look forward to growing with the people, land and communities of Westport for generations to come.”

Kevin O’Sullivan, senior vice president for Enrollment and Student Affairs, said: “It’s always a great day to be a Gael, but now more than ever, especially as we continue to expand opportunities both inside the classroom and beyond, the energy across campus is infectious.

“Iona’s Irish heritage plays such an integral role in our identity and inspires us every single day. I cannot wait to see how our students flourish abroad.

"It is sure to be a transformative experience with memories that will last a lifetime.”

Welcome to Westport House! Opening Summer 2024, Iona Ireland will pilot its summer academic programs at historic...

Posted by Iona University on Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Iona University says that Westport House in Co Mayo is not only breathtakingly beautiful, but also deeply committed to building a sustainable future.

Westport House recently announced a vision to transform into a world-class tourist destination visitor center operating on a year-round basis.

The project, which is supported by Fáilte Ireland, involves the full restoration of Westport House and a reimagining of its history to tell the legendary stories of the Browne family and Grace O'Malley. There will also be a new dedicated heritage visitor center with an accompanying shop, restaurant, and terrace.

Management at Westport House hope that the new pilot campus will help build further awareness of Westport House in the US.

“We will be delighted to welcome the visiting students of Iona University to Westport next year for their first ever summer academic programme in County Mayo," Barry O’Connor, chief executive of Westport Estate, said.

"Westport House and its environs have so much to offer every visitor – steeped not only in Irish history and Celtic mythology, but with an enviable heritage spanning over 400 years and going back as far as the famous 16th-century pirate queen, Grace O'Malley.

“Our biodiverse estate lands are right now embarking on a new journey rooted in sustainable and restorative nature practices.

"Westport House is a wonderfully rich, diverse and varied environment to visit and to learn in and we very much hope this is the beginning of an exciting new and lasting collaboration with Iona University.”

Westport House, which boasts views of Croagh Patrick, is within walking distance to the center of the town of Westport, which has been voted the best place to live in Ireland by the Irish Times newspaper. Brimming with music, art, dining, and more, Westport enjoys a vibrant cultural scene amidst its charming architectural landscape.

Westport House to host new pilot campus for New York’s @IonaUniversity.

30 students from Iona University will be welcomed through our doors in a new campus pilot for Co. Mayo, with classes set to begin in our historic house, in Summer 2024.


— Westport House (@WestportHouse) September 19, 2023