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Cunningham Medal

The Cunningham Medal is the premier award of the Royal Irish Academy. It is awarded every three years in recognition of "outstanding contributions to scholarship and the objectives of the Academy".[1]


It was which was established in 1796 at the bequest of barrister Timothy Cunningham of Gray's Inn. After a period of uncertainty and experimentation regarding the terms and conditions of the award, it was agreed in 1848 that the medals would be open to the authors of works or essays in the areas of Science, Polite Literature and Antiquities, published in Ireland or about Irish subjects.[2] After 1885, the academy stopped giving the award, but it was revived in 1989 for the bicentennial of Cunningham's gift.[3]

The original medal was cast by Irish medallist William Mossop.[4]


The following persons have been awarded the Cunningham Medal:[3]

Award suspended


  1. ^ "Cunningham Medal". Royal Irish Academy. September 2015. Archived from the original on 6 April 2020. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  2. ^ "An Historical Account of the Cunningham Fund". Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 7: 406–419. 1857–1861. JSTOR 20489903.
  3. ^ a b "Cunningham Medal 2008". Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 April 2014. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
  4. ^ "The Cunningham Medal of the Royal Irish Academy". Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy: Archaeology, Culture, History, Literature. 73: 99–106. 1973. JSTOR 25506274.
  5. ^ "Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell awarded Cunningham Medal and the Jules Janssen Prize". Royal Society of Edinburgh. 14 March 2023. Retrieved 27 August 2023.
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Cunningham Medal
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