Co-Editing a Book: Some Reflections

A thick stack of papers sits on my desk: visible evidence of a process that has been both enjoyable and frustrating.  It is the manuscript for the tentatively titled A Formative Decade — an edited collection of essays that examines 1920s Ireland. An electronic version has been sent to the publisher, Irish Academic Press (IAP). And although theContinue reading “Co-Editing a Book: Some Reflections”

Virginity, Chastity and Purity: Defining Women Past and Present

I’ve been thinking a lot about ‘unmarried mothers’* recently: I gave a paper on perceptions of these women in Ireland in the second half of the twentieth century to the University of Hertfordshire’s History Lab, and I’m currently reviewing Pat Thane’s and Tanya Evans’s Sinners? Scroungers? Saints? Unmarried Motherhood in Twentieth Century England. Virginity, chastity, purityContinue reading “Virginity, Chastity and Purity: Defining Women Past and Present”

Gerry Adams & Boston College: A Fresh Challenge for Oral History

‘Don’t do a Duffy on me’, a senior politician once remarked when I interviewed him for my research. It wasn’t the first time I’d heard such a quip.  And while it was meant as a joke, the very fact that the remark was even passed — more than two decades after the event — was revealing.Continue reading “Gerry Adams & Boston College: A Fresh Challenge for Oral History”

Round-Up: Social History Society Conference #northumbria2014

This is the first chance I’ve had since last week’s Social History Society conference to sit down and record my thoughts on the gathering — although I’ve certainly been thinking a lot about the event, which was held at the University of Northumbria, Newcastle. The programme had much to offer: I mostly attended the sessions inContinue reading “Round-Up: Social History Society Conference #northumbria2014”

The New Irish in Britain (Radio Contribution)

  This week Michael D Higgins became the first Irish president to make an official state visit to Britain. With extensive coverage and commentary offered by the Irish media, RTÉ’s Drivetime opted to approach the occasion from a slightly different angle with a slot on the new Irish in Britain. I was invited on to comment brieflyContinue reading “The New Irish in Britain (Radio Contribution)”

First Person Narratives #northumbria2014

Next week I’m attending the annual Social History Society conference, which is being held at the University of Northumbria in Newcastle. It is my first opportunity to test out a new research project, which in part explores the representation of women in the media. I’ll be focussing on what letters to Woman’s Way magazine reveals about social changeContinue reading “First Person Narratives #northumbria2014”

Round-Up: Pill & Pen – Unwanted Pregnancy in Popular Culture

I’ve just arrived back from the Pill and Pen conference at the University of Iowa, where delegates spent the weekend presenting on and discussing the representation of contraception and unwanted pregnancy in popular culture. It is rare to find a conference at which every paper is of interest and relates in some way to yourContinue reading “Round-Up: Pill & Pen – Unwanted Pregnancy in Popular Culture”

Perceptions of Pregnancy: Provisional Conference Programme

PERCEPTIONS OF PREGNANCY: FROM THE MEDIEVAL TO THE MODERN UNIVERSITY OF HERTFORDSHIRE, 16-18 JULY 2014 Please note, the programme is subject to change. For further details, visit the conference blog or email conference organisers: Ciara Meehan, c.meehan2[at]herts.ac.uk or Jennifer Evans j.evans5[at]herts.ac.uk Day 1 9:00- 9:30: Registration 9:30-11:00: Session One Panel A Male discourses of contraception,Continue reading “Perceptions of Pregnancy: Provisional Conference Programme”

A Just Society for Ireland? mentioned in Vincent Browne’s Irish Times column

Prompted by my book, Vincent Browne writes about his recollections of Declan Costello’s Just Society and offers his views on the documents legacy to Fine Gael in today’s Irish Times: Fifty years ago a politician published a manifesto which, if implemented, would have changed the nature of Irish society, would have defied the ethos of contemporaryContinue reading “A Just Society for Ireland? mentioned in Vincent Browne’s Irish Times column”

Keep the Conversation Going #TimeToTalk

This week the University of Hertfordshire (UH) participated in the national ‘Time To Talk’ campaign led by Time to Change, England’s biggest programme to challenge mental health stigma and discrimination. UH staff and students were asked to tweet using the hashtag #TimeToTalk and UH Student Wellbeing Services re-tweeted us throughout the day. Although Thursday, 6 February,Continue reading “Keep the Conversation Going #TimeToTalk”

Perceptions of Pregnancy: From the Medieval to the Modern

perceptionsofpregnancy.com is temporarily off-line. We are currently redesigning, but you can expect to see us back up and running in early August. Submit content In the meantime, if you have a news item, call for papers, details of a new publication or an idea for a blog post that will be of interest to the communityContinue reading “Perceptions of Pregnancy: From the Medieval to the Modern”

Perceptions of Pregnancy Conference: Call for Papers Closing Soon

Perceptions of Pregnancy: From the Medieval to the Modern is a three-day conference that I am co-organising with my colleague, Dr Jennifer Evans. It will be held at the University of Hertfordshire between 16 and 18 July. The response to our call for papers so far has been fantastic, and with abstracts coming from placesContinue reading “Perceptions of Pregnancy Conference: Call for Papers Closing Soon”

A Just Society for Ireland? featured on Talking History, Newstalk

  I joined Patrick Geoghegan of Newstalk’s Talking History on Sunday, 26 January to talk about my new book.  We discussed the reasons why Declan Costello formulated his proposals when he did; the effect his policies had on Fine Gael and wider society; and the extent to which Garret FitzGerald was a progressive figure. We alsoContinue reading “A Just Society for Ireland? featured on Talking History, Newstalk”

A Just Society for Ireland? featured on The History Show, RTÉ Radio 1

I joined Myles Dungan of RTÉ’s The History Show on Sunday, 5 January to talk about my new book.  We discussed the reasons why Declan Costello formulated his proposals when he did; the extent to which he influenced Garret FitzGerald; and the nature of Fine Gael’s mixed fortunes. Listen back to the interview below.  

Ballymagash & the Fall of the Fine Gael-Labour Government, 1977

A variation of this post first appeared on TheJournal.ie,  31 December 2013 With advanced publicity for Oliver Callan’s New Year’s Eve special promising sketches that would sail close to the wind in their depiction of President Michael D. Higgins and his aide Kevin McCarthy, RTÉ reportedly asked that the satirist tone down his portrayal of  the PresidentContinue reading “Ballymagash & the Fall of the Fine Gael-Labour Government, 1977”

This year I read…

By the time 2013 came around, research for my own book was complete. With only proofs to check and an index to compile, it was time to start new projects and finally get around to some more general reading that had been neglected while I’d been writing. The following are just three of the booksContinue reading “This year I read…”

The CLR Political Quiz… Bumper Christmas ‘Prize’ Edition !!

Originally posted on The Cedar Lounge Revolution:
Reposting this as its the last day for entries….. and even if you don’t know all the answers please enter as I’ve no correct answers yet. A prize?…… Yes a prize…. The prize being a copy of Ciara Meehans book ‘A JUST SOCIETY FOR IRELAND? 1964-1987’ (Palgrave Macmillan,…

Launch by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, of ‘A Just Society for Ireland? 1964-87’

My latest book, A Just Society for Ireland? 1964-87, was launched by An Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Enda Kenny on Tuesday, 10 December 2013 at the National University of Ireland. I was honoured that the Taoiseach and members of the Costello family, including the late Declan Costello’s wife Joan, were in attendance. I am also extremelyContinue reading “Launch by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, of ‘A Just Society for Ireland? 1964-87’”

A Just Society for Ireland? featured on Bowman: Sunday, RTÉ Radio 1

My recently published book, A Just Society for Ireland? 1964-87, was featured on John Bowman’s RTÉ Radio 1 programme, Bowman: Sunday, this morning. Declan Costello’s influence on Fine Gael’s development in general and Garret FitzGerald in particular, as well as the reasons for Liam Cosgrave’s support for the Just Society, were among the book’s themes that were highlighted.Continue reading “A Just Society for Ireland? featured on Bowman: Sunday, RTÉ Radio 1”

Taking the Longer View: Fine Gael’s Commitment to Youth

The Young Fine Gael National Conference was held in Waterford this weekend (22-24 November). National Youth Officer Sarah O’Connor invited me to give the pre-dinner speech on Saturday evening. Drawing on research from my new book, I spoke about a commitment by certain elements of Fine Gael to encouraging young members and formulating youth policiesContinue reading “Taking the Longer View: Fine Gael’s Commitment to Youth”

NEW BOOK: The Irish Presidency: Power, Ceremony and Politics

Originally posted on Irish Politics Forum:
Although the office of President of Ireland has attracted a great deal of public attention, especially since the election of Mary Robinson in 1990, the presidency has been the subject of little analysis. This gap in our knowledge of Irish politics is filled by this timely collection, which brings together a set of…

Conference Updates: Perceptions of Pregnancy

I previously posted the Call for Papers for the Perceptions of Pregnancy conference that I am organising with my colleague, Dr Jennifer Evans. Those who are interested in the conference should keep an eye on our blog for conference updates; you can also sign up for email updates. We’ll also be posting columns on issuesContinue reading “Conference Updates: Perceptions of Pregnancy”

“Change The Law -Give Him An Equal Chance” 1980 Young Fine Gael campaign to give rights to ‘illegitimate’ children

Originally posted on Irish Election Literature:
From April 1980 “Change The Law -Give Him An Equal Chance” a Young Fine Gael campaign to give rights to ‘illegitimate’ children. Many thanks to the sender.

Column: Past Concerns Over Ireland’s Abortion Laws Foreshadowed Today’s Reality

On Saturday 2 November, the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (Britain’s largest provider of abortion services) placed the above advertisement in Irish newspapers.  Yesterday (6 November 2013), I contributed a column to TheJournal.ie setting the issue of Irish abortion in its historical context:

Guest Post – Writing History: Bias and Credibility

I primarily see my blog as a space to test ideas.  Often what readers find here is not the finished product, but rather my thought process as I work through aspects of my research.  Occasionally I stray into general interest subjects that have grabbed my attention.  Recently, I wrote a post about historians and bias,Continue reading “Guest Post – Writing History: Bias and Credibility”

Historians: Who do We Think They Are?

Do we need to know? A specialism in a particular area of history is a funny old thing. Certain fields appear to exempt the researcher from any potential accusations of vested interest, while others appear to invite the observation that the author must be a sympathiser. I am now the author of two books onContinue reading “Historians: Who do We Think They Are?”

Fresh off the Printing Presses!

This arrived in my office a little while ago… Needless to say, I was pretty excited about the content… I’m really happy with the end result… To purchase your copy of A Just Society for Ireland? 1964-1987, visit the Palgrave Macmillan website.