ADAPT Celebrates Innovating Women for International Women’s Day: Dr. Irene Murtagh

08 March 2023

Among ADAPT’s Innovating Women is Dr Irene Murtagh, Lecturer and PI at Technological University Dublin.

As well as holding a position as a lecturer and Principal Investigator (PI) at the Department of Informatics, TU Dublin, Dr Irene Murtagh is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Centre for Deaf Studies in Trinity College Dublin. Last year, Dr Murtagh attended the EU Parliament as part of the SignON consortium. SignON is a project focused on increasing inclusiveness through accessible AI powered translation for sign language. Dr Murtagh along with her colleagues on the project presented the technological advances achieved so far as well as the social benefit and impact on DHH and hearing individuals, including stakeholders. 

The technology deployed in the SignON project covers a wide range of topics, including Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning, Machine Translation, Linguistics, Deaf Studies, education, Sign Language Synthesis and 3D graphics. This service is being developed in a community-driven and user-centric way to facilitate the exchange of information among Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing (DHH) and hearing individuals across Europe. As no sign language is universal, the SignON team are using their expertise to deploy a communication service capable of automatic translation between signed and spoken languages that will be accessible on a smartphone application.

ADAPT is delighted to recognise the successes of Dr Murtagh as one of our many Innovating Women across the centre and we look forward to seeing what she achieves next.


The SignON project commenced in January 2021 and will run until the end of 2023. The consortium comprises 17 European partners and is led by Professor of Computing at DCU and Deputy Director of the ADAPT Centre, Professor Andy Way. Through collaboration with the European DHH communities, researchers will define use-cases, co-design and co-develop the SignON service and application targeting the Irish, British, Dutch, Flemish and Spanish sign and English, Irish, Dutch, Spanish spoken languages.