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Professor Sean Connolly

BA (NUI), DPhil (UU), MRIA, FRHistS

Professor of Irish History
On leave Sem 1 2015-16

MA Irish History Co-ordinator (Sem 2)

Tel: +44 (0) 28 9097 3850 

Office: 17UQ.205

Sean Connolly came to Queen’s in 1996, having previously taught at the University of Ulster, and worked as an archivist in the Public Record Office of Ireland, now the National Archives of Ireland. He has been the editor of Irish Economic and Social History, and a member of the Council of the Royal Historical Society, and became a Vice President of the RHS in 2013. He has served on the AHRC Medieval and Modern History Postgraduate Awards panel. 

Research Interests

Sean Connolly’s initial research was on the social history of Irish Catholicism in the decades before the Famine.  Subsequently he moved on to a study of the political culture of the Irish Protestant elite in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.  He has recently completed a two-volume history of Ireland from the Tudor conquest to the act of union. His current research project is on civic culture in nineteenth-century Belfast.

Select Publications


Articles and chapters:

  • 'Popular culture, 1600-1914', and 'Religion and society 1600-1914', in L. Kennedy and P. Ollerenshaw (eds) Ulster since 1600: Politics, Economy and Society (Oxford, 2013)
  • 'The limits of democracy: Ireland 1778-1848', in Joanna Innes and Mark Philp (eds), Re-imagining democracy in the age of revolutions: America, France, Britain, Ireland 1750-1850 (Oxford, 2013)
  • 'Belfast: The rise and fall of a civic culture?', in Olwen Purdue (ed.), Belfast: The Emerging City 1850-1914 (Dublin, 2012).
  • '”Like an Old Cathedral City”: Belfast Welcomes Queen Victoria, August 1849’, in Urban History, 39:4 (2012).
  • 'Paul Cullen's other capital: Belfast and the Devotional Revolution', in D. Keogh and A. McDonnell (eds), Cardinal Paul Cullen and his world (Dublin, 2011).
  • 'Old English, New English and ancient Irish: Swift and the Irish past', in C. Rawson (ed.), Politics and literature in the age of Swift (Cambridge, 2010)
  • 'Swift and history' in H.J. Real (ed.), Reading Swift: the fifth Münster symposium on Jonathan Swift (München, 2008)
  • 'The moving statue and the turtle dove: approaches to the history of Irish religion' in Irish Economic and Social History, xxxi (2004).
  • 'The Church of Ireland and the royal martyr: regicide and revolution in Anglican political thought c.1660-1745' in Journal of Ecclesiastical History, xliv (2003).
  • 'Tupac Amaru and Captain Right: a comparative perspective on eighteenth-century Ireland' in David Dickson and Cormac O Grada (eds), Refiguring Ireland: essays in honour of L.M. Cullen (Dublin, 2003).
  • ‘A woman’s life in eighteenth-century Ireland: the case of Letitia Bushe’ in Historical Journal, xliii (2000).

Entry on QUB Research Portal



Professor Sean Connelly teaches on the following programmes / modules:

HIS2055 History and Society
HIS3016 Society and Politics in Belfast 1780-1918

Current PhD supervision:

  • Stuart Irwin, 'Belfast Corporation, 1880-1914: managing a mature industrial city' 
  • Sandra Millsopp, 'The rise of Bangor as a seaside resort 1830 to 1899'
  • Kerron O Luain, 'The Fenians of 19th-century Ulster'

Recent PhD supervision:

  • Jim O'Neill, 'Military strategy and tactics in the Nine Years War'. PhD 2013.
  • Paul Harron, 'Young & Mackenzie: the work and place of an Ulster architectural dynasty from the mid-19th to mid-20th century'. PhD. 2011.
  • Gordon Rees, 'Pamphlets, pamphleteers and the problems of Irish society, c.1727-1749'. PhD. 2011.
  • Alice Johnson, 'Middle-class culture and civic identity in mid-nineteenth century Belfast'. PhD. 2010
  • Jonathan Wright, '"The natural leaders": the Tennent family and the political and intellectual life of Presbyterian Belfast c.1801-1832'. PhD. 2010.


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