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Sean Lucey

Research Fellow


Tel. ext. 3664

I'm a historian of healthcare and welfare with a specific expertise in medical and poor relief and hospital provision. I'm currently a Research Fellow on the Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project 'Poverty and Public Health in Belfast and the North of Ireland'. I am writing a monograph on poverty and public health in Belfast and its environs during the period 1898-1973.

I previously held an Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences Fellowship (two years) in the Centre for Contemporary Irish History in Trinity College Dublin. The project explored attempts during the 1920s and 1930s of the newly established Irish Free State at reform of the poor law and workhouse system. This research is the focus of a forthcoming monograph.

Previously I worked as an Economic and Social Research Council (E.S.R.C) Postdoctoral Associate on the ‘Irish welfare regimes under the Irish Poor Law, 1850-1921’ at Oxford Brookes University. This project explored the workhouse and outdoor relief system in Ireland.

I have held research positions in the Centre for the History of Medicine, University College Dublin and the Centre for the History of Nursing and Midwifery, University College Dublin.

I also have expertise in late nineteenth century social, economic and agrarian history. My PhD thesis, which I completed in NUI Maynooth,concentrated on the land movement at a regional level.




  • From Poor Law to Free State: Poverty, Poor and Medical Relief in Ireland, 1910-39 (Forthcoming: Manchester University Press).
  •  Land, Popular Politics and Agrarian Violence in Late Nineteenth Century Ireland (University College Dublin Press, 2011).
  • The Irish National League in Dingle, County Kerry, 1882-92 in Maynooth Studies in Local History (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2003).

Articles, chapters and reviews:

  • ‘“These schemes will win for themselves the confidence of the people”: Irish independence, poor law reform and hospital provision’, in Medical History, 58:1 (2014), pp 46-66.
  • ‘Power, politics and poor relief during the Irish Land War, 1879-82’ in Irish Historical Studies, vol. xxxviii, no. 148, Nov. 2011, pp 584-98.
  • ‘“One huge abuse”: The Cork Board of Guardians and the expansion of outdoor relief in post-Famine Ireland’ in English Historical Review, vol. cxxvi, no. 523, Dec. 2011, pp 1386-1407 (with V. Crossman).
  • ‘Regional dimensions of the Irish Poor Law: the west of Ireland 1851-1921’ in V. Crossman and P. Gray (eds), Poverty and Welfare in Ireland 1838-1948 (Dublin, 2011), pp 37-52.
  • ‘Poor law hospitals in late nineteenth century Ireland’ in C. King and C. McNamara (eds) The West of Ireland in the Nineteenth Century (Dublin, 2011), pp 74-101.