I am a political and social historian, specialising in modern Ireland. My research spans the twentieth century, and this has been reflected in my teaching also. I am reader in history and head of history at the University of Hertfordshire. Previous to that I lectured at the School of History and Archives (2007-11) and at the Quinn School of Business (2011-13), University College Dublin (UCD).
I am the co-director of the Perceptions of Pregnancy Researchers’ Network, and curator of the Modern Wife, Modern Life exhibition, which opened at the National Print Museum of Ireland in July 2015 and subsequently toured to four other locations.
Research Interests and Major Publications
My research interests include state building, the transformation of politics and society in twentieth century Ireland, and the everyday lives of women. I also specialise in the history of Fine Gael. I have discussed aspects of my research on both television and radio (further details here).
My first monograph, The Cosgrave Party, was published by the Royal Irish Academy in 2010. A study of Cumann na nGaedheal, it also explored the creation of the new Irish state during the first decade of independence. My second monograph, A Just Society for Ireland? 1964-87 was published by Palgrave Macmillan in October 2013. It explores Irish politics and society between 1964 and 1987 through the lens of Declan Costello’s Just Society and Garret FitzGerald’s Constitutional Crusade. Research for this project was largely conducted during my time as an Irish Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow, 2009-11. I am also co-editor with Dr Mel Farrell (NUIM) and Dr Jason Knirck (Central Washington University) of A Formative Decade: Ireland in the 1920s.
My current project examines the everyday lives of Irishwomen in 1960s Ireland. Women’s magazines are at the centre of my research, and I am examining them for what they reveal about perceptions and expectations of Irishwomen during a decade of change. In addition to writing a monograph (forthcoming), I have also curated the Modern Life, Modern Wife exhibition based on the themes of the project.
A graduate of University College Dublin, I received a BA in History in 2003 and was awarded my PhD in 2007.
About the Blog
Occasionally on these pages you’ll find news of finished projects, but I primarily see and use this blog as a forum to test ideas. It very much represents my thought process as I work through aspects of my research. My blog was a finalist at the Blog Awards Ireland in 2014.
Feedback is both welcome and encouraged!