My working life is that of a writer and social historian. I hold three university degrees: B.A. Phil., B.A. English (Hons.), and M.A. in Literature and Performance Studies in English. I am engaged in extensive study of, and ongoing work on, the history of Ireland. The principal focus of my work is Early 20th Century Irish Conflict, including the 1916 Easter Rising, the Irish War of Independence, and the involvement of Irish citizens who fought as members of the British forces during World War One. Although my focus is on the 20th century, I believe it is important to study early Irish History as well in order to understand what brought Ireland to the acme of independence in the 20th century.
With respect to family history, inspiration for this blog:
As the only Canadian born member of my Irish family, I often felt as though I lacked a history, that is until I decided to go looking for it. 'On a flesh and bone foundation': An Irish History tells the story of the search for my family across time, a search that has taken me across Ireland and into a history which includes my paternal grandmother, who risked her life as a member of Cumann na mBan (the women's branch of the IRA), her beloved brother, who was killed during the Irish War of Independence, my maternal grandmother who died when my mother was only five years old, and my maternal grandfather who defied church and state to keep his family together. In my family tree I've discovered both the glorious and the ignoble, the joyous and the heartbreaking.
As a social historian, my goal is to integrate the history of the family with the history of Ireland. Searching for and uncovering information about my own ancestors, learning about the kind of lives they led, and contextualizing those lives within the history of Ireland is absolutely thrilling for me. I principally conduct research in person in Ireland, but I have sites listed on my research aids page which are helpful when conducting family history research away from Ireland's shores.