In 2001, the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI Galway) launched the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) as a major project that aimed to promote an ethos and practice of civic engagement across the university, that was funded 1 by the Atlantic Philanthropies, the American Ireland fund and other philanthropic sources. The CKI’s activities, as documented by its original proposal, were viewed as ‘integral to the University’s strategic mission and involved a fundamental examination of the role of the University in the social fabric’ (NUI Galway, 2001, p. 3). The CKI was subsequently reflected as a core priority by NUI Galway’s Academic and Strategic Plans 2003–2008 (NUI Galway, 2001). These plans laid out the aims and objectives of the CKI and its inter-relationships with other organisations and structures, and the mainstreaming of activities. The CKI sought not only to strengthen existing links with local, national and international communities, but also to foster an ethos of civic spirit, active citizenship and social responsibility among the university community. At the launch of the CKI, Professor Quinn 2 stated that through the existence of the CKI, NUI Galway was signalling a ‘willingness to find practical ways of placing [our] knowledge and social capital in the University at the disposal of our communities … this represents the University – both as an idea and as an institution – as its very best’ (Quinn & McIlrath, 2009, p. 42).