Like most historians, I enjoy giving public talks whenever I can. Here is a list of some of the recent talks I gave or will be giving. If anyone is interested in inviting me to give a historical talk on any subject in the future, I can be contacted directly via the contact menu on this site.
Title: “Finance, geopolitics and the avoidance of war: an evolving framework for Irish diplomacy?”, International Affairs Conference, Royal Irish Academy, 23 May 2019
Theme: A historical overview of Ireland’s role in international relations with a particular focus on the financial and European dimensions.
Title: “Conflicted revolutionaries: IRB responses to the land war”, Knockainey Historical Society (land war lecture series), 9 Mar. 2018
Theme: IRB leaders from James Stephens to Michael Collins were not prepared to support IRB involvement in struggles for land, yet county, or local, leaders of the IRB often did get involved, particularly in the days of the Land League. This lecture will examine and explain that paradox.
Title: ‘The challenge of interpreting the Fenians from police records: some interesting case studies’, National Archives of Ireland seminar on Fenian records, 25 Nov. 2017
Theme: What are the pros and cons of using police records as historical evidence in the absence of official Fenian documentation?
Title: ‘Arthur Griffith: an architect of Irish independence?’, Modern Irish History Seminar, Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, 15 Nov. 2017
Theme: P.S. O’Hegarty claimed in 1924 that the Sinn Féin policy of Arthur Griffith had proved victorious, but was this really true?
Title: ‘American soldier or IRB rebel: understanding the career of Thomas J. Kelly (1833-1908)’, Fenian Conference, Mountbellew, Co. Galway, 11 Nov. 2017
Theme: Kelly, a key figure in the abortive 1867 rising, was one of the most senior of the former American soldiers who became involved in the Fenian movement. He was also a future activist in the American “Grand Army Of The Republic” association. Can he be best described as an American soldier or an IRB rebel?
Title: ‘Fenian fever: the Tipperary rebels of 1867’, Tipperary in the Decade of Revolution Seminar, Clonmel Museum, 7 Sep. 2017
Theme: Tipperary produced many Irish nationalist leaders. Did the 1867 rising reflect this, or was it but a temporary, Irish-American inspired, “fenian fever”?
Title: ‘The World Conference of the Irish Race (1922): a missed opportunity in Irish diplomacy?’, Global Irish Diaspora Congress, University College Dublin, 16 Aug. 2017
Theme: What part, if any, did the Irish diaspora play in the creation of an Irish department of foreign affairs?
Title: ‘Outmanoeuvring the Dáil: southern unionist political strategy 1919-1922’, Southern Irish Loyalism in Context Conference, Maynooth University, 21 July 2017
Theme: Ireland was being divided into north and south, but did southern unionists continue to provide essential leadership for unionists across Ireland?
Title: ‘Sinn Féin propaganda and American involvement in the war 1917-1918’, Winning the Western Approaches Conference, University College Cork, 6 July 2017
Theme: The rise of the Sinn Féin Party coincided exactly with the duration of American involvement in the First World War (April 1917-November 1918), but was this a mere coincidence?
Title: ‘Arthur Griffith: a life’, Dublin Festival of History, 1 Oct. 2016
Theme: Arthur Griffith was a lifelong Dubliner. Is this the key to understanding his political inspiration?
Title: ‘From Rossa to Pearse: the 1916 rising in the light of the history of the IRB’, RTE Reflecting the Rising, Dublin Institute of Technology, 28 Mar. 2016
Theme: There would have been no 1916 rising without the IRB, but how much can historians really know about this secret organisation and its history?