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Dr Margaret O'Callaghan

Senior Lecturer in Politics
(PhD Cambridge)

Contact Details
Room 023.02.008
tel: ++44 (0) 28 9097 3657

QUB Research Portal (Pure)

Convenor: The Politics of Irish Literature; Irish Politics; Republic of Ireland (MA module)

Teaching Areas

Irish history and politics, British high politics, politics of Irish literature.

Research Interests

My early work concentrated on the politics of cultural identities in the Irish Free State after independence, particularly the legacies of the pre-independence cultural agenda on state formation. My reading of the construction of an official identity through language and religion partly shaped subsequent debates on the period. I then looked at the politics of Ireland in the 1880's and the nature of the relationship between parliamentary nationalism, nationalist violence and the British state through a structural reading of the nature of information transmission between a highly centralized and reporting constabulary, Dublin Castle and the cabinet in London. This brought together areas normally discretely examined- British high politics, monthly police reports, the political organizations of Irish landlords, nationalist rhetoric, agrarian violence, Unionist organization. I am particulary interested in the 'Parnellism and Crime' episode and more widely in British Conservative strategies in relation to Irish nationalism in the period . My work offers a new way of theorizing the role of the state in Ireland under the Union. 

I was awarded, with Professor Mary Daly of UCD a major research grant by the Republic of Ireland  North South Research Programme for Collaborative Research 2003-2006.  The project resulted in a jointly edited book, published by the Royal Irish Academy; also in independent work by the postdoctoral researcher and graduate student who worked on the project (Dr Catherine O’Donnell and Dr Rebecca Graff McRae in Belfast).  I am engaged in further work on the politics of commemoration.

I have published essays on republicanism, partition, propaganda wars in nineteeth century Ireland, Roger Casement, Tom Kettle.

I have supervised numerous masters students and over ten doctoral students on topics ranging from the politics of Irish literature, Articles 2 and 3 of the Irish constitution, remembering and forgetting 1916, the career of John Hume, the politics of the SDLP, the politics of Conor Cruise O’Brien, internment, British government policy and the ‘Troubles’, British government policy in Ireland from the late eighteenth century.

I am currently writing a book on the politics of Irish literature.

Recent/Selected Publications
  • 'With the Eyes of Another Race, of a People Once Hunted Themselves’: Casement,Colonialism and a Remembered Past’, Mary E. Daly ( ed) Roger Casement in Irish and World History  (Royal Irish Academy, 2012)   ISBN 1409890040
  • 'Political forces in pre-First World War Ireland: the politics of the lost generation and the cult of Tom Kettle' Constitutional and revolutionary politics in Modern Ireland (Irish Academic Press) July 2010
  • 'Richard Pigott, the Fringe-Fenian Press and the Politics of Irish Nationalist Transition to Parnellism' The Black Hand of  Republicanism; Fenianism in Modern Ireland (Irish Academic Press) May 2009
  • 'Reconsidering the republican tradition in nineteeth century Ireland' Republicanism in Ireland Confronting Theories and Tradition ’, Iseult Honohan (ed) (Manchester University Press) 2008
  • ‘From Casement Park to Toomebridge; the commemoration of the Easter Rising of 1916 in Northern Ireland in 1966 in Political Context’ in Mary Daly and Margaret O’ Callaghan(eds) 1916 in 1966; Commemorating the Easter Rising ( Royal Irish Academy, 2007) pp86-147
  • ‘Irish Modernity and ‘ the Patriot Dead’ in 1966’, Mary Daly and Margaret O’ Callaghan(eds) 1916 in 1966; Commemorating the Easter Rising ( Royal Irish Academy, 2007) pp1-17
  • Mary E. Daly and Margaret O’ Callaghan ( eds.) 1916 in 1966; Commemorating the Easter Rising ( Royal Irish Academy, 2007)
  • ‘Genealogies of Partition; History, History-Writing and ‘the Troubles’ in Ireland’, Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy , Vol 9,No 4, December 2006. pp 619-34. ISSN 1369- 8230. Routledge- Taylor and Francis Group
  • ‘The Northern Ireland Government, the Paisleyite movement and Ulster Unionism in 1966’( with Catherine O’ Donnell), Irish Political Studies , Vol.21,No 2, June 2006,pp203-222. , Frank Cass and Company./ Taylor and Francis Group. ISSN 0790-7184
  • ‘New Ways of Looking at the State Apparatus and the State Archive in Nineteenth Century Ireland ; ‘Curiosities from that Phonetic Museum’- Royal Irish Constabulary Reports and their Political Uses, 1879-91’, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy , Volume 104C, Number 2, 2004. ISBN 0035-8991, pp37-56. Royal Irish Academy Publications
  • ‘With the Eyes of Another Race, of a People once Hunted Themselves’: Casement, Colonialism and a Remembered Past’, George Boyce and Alan O’ Day ( eds.) Ireland in Transition , 1867-1921 (Routledge, 2004), pp 159-177. ISBN 0415-33257-5 (hbk) and ISBN 0-415-33258-3 (pbk)
  • ‘Roger Casement Review Essay’, History Ireland , Volume 11, No 4, Winter 2003, , pp50-53. ISSN 0791-83224
  • ‘Women and Politics in Independent Ireland, 1921-68’, The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing Vol V,pp xlii +1711 Irish Women’s Writing and Traditions (eds.) Angela Bourke, Siobhan Kilfeather, Maria Luddy, Margaret MacCurtain, Geraldine Meaney, Mairin Ni Dhonnchadha, Mary O’ Dowd, Clair Wills (Cork University Press in association with Field Day, 2002), pp 120-176. ISBN 1859 18281
  • ‘'Old Parchment and Water; the Boundary Commission of 1925 and the Copperfastening of the Irish Border’, Bullan ; an Irish Studies Journal , Volume IV, Number 2, 2000, pp 27-55. Cork University Press and University of Notre Dame Press. ISBN 1353 1913
  • 'Franchise Reform, ‘First Past the Post’, and the Strange Case of Unionist Ireland', E.H.H. Green (ed.), The Age of Transition : British Politics, 1880-1914 - Parliamentary History, Edinburgh University Press, Vol. 16,1, March 1997, , pp85-106. ISBN O 7486 0926 1
  • Co-Editor (with Eithne McLaughlin) , Irish Journal of Feminist Studies, Vol 2, Issue 2 , December 1997. Cork University Press ISSN 1393-306X Founding member and editorial board member of Irish Journal of Feminist Studies
  • British High Politics and a Nationalist Ireland: Criminality, Land and the Law under Forster and Balfour, Cork University Press ,hardback and paperback ,St Martin's Press, New York, hardback only , 1994,pp x + 223, ISBN 1 85918 001 9 and 1 85918 002 7
  • 'Anglo-Irish Relations",Twentieth Century British History , 4:1, Oxford University Press 1993, pp 86-90
  • 'D.P. Moran and the "Irish Colonial Condition?",1891-1921' , George Boyce, Robert Eccleshall and Vincent Geoghegan (eds), Political thought in Ireland since the seventeenth century, Routledge, London, 1993, , pp 146-161. ISBN 0 415 01354 2
  • 'Parnellism and Crime: Constructing a Conservative Strategy of Containment, 1879-1891', Donal McCartney (ed), Parnell: the Politics of Power, Wolfhound Press, Dublin, 1991, , pp 102-24. ISBN 0 86327 317 3