Dr Mary Phelan


Mary Phelan, B.A., H. Dip in Ed., Dip.Trans., PhD, is a lecturer in the School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies (SALIS) where she teaches Spanish-English general and scientific technical translation; community interpreting theory and practice; coordinates the work placement module and teaches on the simulated translation bureau module. She is the director of the Centre for Translation and Textual Studies, a University-designated research centre, at DCU. In addition, she is the chairperson of the Irish Translators’ and Interpreters’ Association and editor of its journal Translation Ireland.

Dr Phelan’s recent publications include a co-authored book Ethics in Public Service Interpreting (Routledge 2020), a monograph Irish Speakers, Interpreters and the Courts 1754-1921 (Four Courts Press 2019), a journal article Literary Portrayals of Court Interpreters and Irish Speakers in the long Nineteenth Century in Translation Studies (2020), and a book chapter Consuls and other Interpreters in Cork Harbour, Ireland in Translating in Town: Local Translation Policies during the European 19th Century (Bloomsbury 2020).

Dr Phelan’s research is in the field of Translation Studies, particularly historical provision of court interpreters and contemporary provision of interpreters in courts, police stations, hospitals and other settings. She is interested in hearing from interpreters and others with an interest in interpreting who would like to pursue PhD research on the history of interpreting, current interpreter provision, standards, ethical issues. Other possible topics relate to translation and interpreting policy, translators’ status and working conditions.

Research interests include:
  • The right to an interpreter in legal and medical settings;
  • Newspaper coverage of court interpreting;
  • Governmental and Departmental Interpreting and Translation policy;
  • Ethical issues in Interpreting.