Connolly, Sean

Prof Sean Connolly

Professor Emeritus of Irish History; Visiting Research Professor in Irish Studies



Sean Connolly was Professor of Irish History at Queen’s University, Belfast, 1996-2017.  He had previously taught at the University of Ulster, and before that worked as an archivist in what was then the Public Record Office (now the National Archives) of Ireland.  He was editor of the journal Irish Economic and Social History  from 1982 to 1990, and again from 2000 to 2012.  He was elected a Member of the Royal Irish Academy in 1995, and in 2016 became a Fellow of the British Academy.  He is also a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, where he served on Council during 2007-10 and was a vice-president between 2014 and 2016.  In 2012 he was a Fernand Braudel Research Fellow at the European University Institute, Florence.


Research Statement

Sean Connolly’s original research was on the social history of Irish Ca‌tholicism in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.  His work then shifted back in time to focus on the distinctive religious, political and social history of post-Restoration Ireland. In 2007-8 he brought his work on early modern Ireland to a conclusion by publishing a comprehensive overview, forming two volumes of the Oxford History of Early Modern Europe and covering the period 1460-1800.  His next project was on the social history of late Georgian and Victorian Belfast.  He is now working on a history of the Irish diaspora, viewed in the context of the development of a world economy. 




Connolly, S.J., ‘Settler colonialism in Ireland from the English conquest to the nineteenth century’ in The Routledge Handbook of the History of Settler Colonialism, Cavanagh, E. and Veracini, L. (eds), London: Routledge, pp 49-64



Connolly, S.J., ‘Patriotism and nationalism’ in The Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish History. Jackson, A. (ed.), Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp 27-44



Connolly, S.J. & Holmes, A.,'Popular culture, 1600-1914', Ulster since 1600: Politics, Economy and Society. Kennedy, L. & Ollerenshaw, P. (eds.). Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 106-20

Connolly, S.J., 'Religion and society 1600-1914', in Ulster since 1600: Politics, Economy and Society. Kennedy, L. & Ollerenshaw, P. (eds.). Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 74-89

Connolly, S.J., 'The limits of democracy: Ireland 1778-1848', in Re-imagining democracy in the age of revolutions: America, France, Britain, Ireland 1750-1850. Innes, J. & Philp, M. (eds.). Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 174-188



Connolly, S.J., 'Belfast: the rise and fall of a civic culture?', in  Belfast: The Emerging City 1850-1914. Purdue, O. (ed.). Dublin: Irish Academic Press, p. 25-48

Connolly, S.J., 'Improving town, 1750-1820', in Belfast 400: People, place and history. Connolly, S. J. (ed.). Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, p. 161-198

Connolly, S.J. (ed.), Belfast 400: People, Place and History. Liverpool University Press.

Connolly, S.J., '”Like an old cathedral city”: Belfast welcomes Queen Victoria, August 1849’ In : Urban History. 39, 4, p. 571-589



Connolly, S.J., 'Cardinal Cullen’s other capital: Belfast and the "devotional revolution"’, in Cardinal Paul Cullen and his World. Keogh, D. & McDonnell, A. (eds.). Four Courts Press, p. 289-307



Connolly, S.J., 'Old English, New English and Ancient Irish: Swift and the Irish past' in Politics and Literature in the Age of Swift: English and Irish Perspectives. Rawson, C. (ed.). Cambridge University Press, p. 255-269



Bryan, D. & Connolly, S.J., 'Identity, social action and public space: defining civic space in Belfast', in Theorizing Identities and Social Action . Wetherell, M. (ed.). Palgrave Macmillan, p. 220-237 

Connolly, S.J., 'Kingdom, crown and parliament: patriot myth and the origins of the Irish union' in Forging the State: European State Formation and the Anglo-Scottish Union of 1707. MacKillop, A. & Siochru, M. O. (eds.). Dundee University Press, p. 133-152



Connolly, S.J., Divided Kingdom: Ireland 1630-1800. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (Oxford History of Early Modern Europe)

Connolly, S.J., 'Swift and history' in Reading Swift: Papers from the Fifth Münster Symposium on Jonathan Swift. Real, H. J. (ed.). Wilhelm Fink, Munchen, p. 187-202



Connolly, S.J., Contested Island: Ireland 1460-1630. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Connolly, S.J., ‘Religion and nationality in Ireland: an unstable relationship’, in Religion und Nation. Altematt, U. & Metzger, F. (eds.). Kohlhamer, p. 119-134



Connolly, S.J., 'The moving statue and the turtle dove: approaches to the history of Irish religion', In : Irish Economic and Social History. 31, p. 1-22



Connolly, S.J., 'Tupac Amaru and Captain Right: a comparative perspective on eighteenth-century Ireland', in  Refiguring Ireland: essays in honour of L.M. Cullen. Dickson, D. O. & Grada, C. (eds.). Lilliput Press, p. 94-111

Connolly, S.J., 'The Church of Ireland and the royal martyr: regicide and revolution in Anglican political thought c.1660-1745', In : The Journal of Ecclesiastical History. 54 (3), 3, p. 484-506

Connolly, S.J., ‘Jacobites, Whiteboys and republicans: varieties of disaffection in eighteenth-century Ireland’, In : Eighteenth-Century Ireland. 18, p. 63-79



Connolly, S.J., 'A Woman's life in mid-eighteenth-century Ireland: the case of Letitia Bushe', In : Historical Journal. 42(2), p. 433-451

Connolly, S.J. (ed.), Political Ideas in Eighteenth-Century Ireland. Dublin: Four Courts Press.

Connolly, S.J., 'Reconsidering the Irish Act of Union', In : Transactions of the Royal Historical Society. 10, p. 399-408

Connolly, S.J., 'The Irish Rebellion of 1798: an end or a beginning?', in  Religious Thinking and National Identity. Metzger, H-D. (ed.). Philo, p. 108-122



Connolly, S.J. (ed.), Kingdoms United? Great Britain and Ireland since 1500: Integration and Diversity. Dublin: Four Courts Press.

Connolly, S.J. (ed.),The Oxford Companion to Irish History. Oxford: Oxford University Press.



Connolly, S.J. (ed.), Conflict and Identity: Scotland and Ireland 1500-1939. Carnegie Publishing.



Connolly, S.J., Religion, Law and Power: The Making of Protestant Ireland. Oxford: Oxford University Press.



Connolly, S.J., Religion and Society in Nineteenth-Century Ireland. Dublin: Economic and Social History Society of Ireland.



Connolly, S.J., Priests and People in Pre-Famine Ireland. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan.