Skip to Content

All Working Papers

QUB Irish Studies Working Papers

All working papers listed by date of submission / amendment, with abstracts and publication information.


AuthorTitle, Abstract and Publication InformationVersion No.Subject AreaPDF Text
Colvin, Christopher (QUB), McLaughlin, Eoin (UCC) and Richmond, Kyle (QUB)

Cohort component population estimates for Ireland, 1911-1920: A new county-level dataset for use in historical demography

Abstract: This paper introduces a new dataset of vital statistics and cohort component population estimates at a spatially-disaggregated level for the island of Ireland for the period 1911-1920. The raw data were digitised by the authors using official UK government statistics. The population estimates were then derived by the cohort component method from demography. These data provide novel intercensal population estimates at the county level that will be beneficial for researchers working in historical demography, as well as in economic and social history. The data provided can be readily reused and extended by other researchers to produce further series and indicators. An example application of the data in this manner is Colvin and McLaughlin (2021), who combine these population estimates with mortality statistics from the Spanish flu pandemic to demonstrate how demographic composition affects the interpretation of data on public health crises.

2 (Mar. 2022) Economic History/ History ColvinMcLaughlinRichmond 2.v2
Gillespie, Gordon (QUB)

Flags of our Fathers?: An Inner East Belfast Flags Survey 2001-2021

Abstract. A survey of the number, type and location of flags in some loyalist areas of inner east Belfast since 2001. It was decided to do the survey on the day after the Twelfth parades which would be when the greatest number of flags would be on display.

1 (Dec. 2021) Politics and Conflict Studies Gillespie1.v.1 
Dobrianska, Nadia (QUB)

Finding aid: Digital sources on the inter-communal violence in Belfast in 1920-1922. 

Abstract: The inter-communal conflict in Belfast in 1920-1922 was, arguably, one of the most violent episodes of the Irish Revolution. It claimed lives of up to 500 people, up to 10,000 workers were expelled from their jobs and 23,000 people became homeless. This finding aid presents the digitised primary sources available on the conflict in the two collections of the Military Archives of Ireland: Bureau of Military History (BMH) and the Military Service Pension Collection (MSPC).


1 (Apr. 2021) History / Politics and Conflict Studies Dobrianska1v1 
Colvin, Christopher (QUB) and McLoughlin, Eoin (UCC)

Death, Demography and the Denominator: Age-Adjusted Influenza-18 Mortality in Ireland

Abstract: Using the Irish experience of the 1918-19 Spanish flu pandemic (“Influenza-18”), we demonstrate that pandemic mortality statistics are sensitive to the demographic composition of a country. We build a new spatially disaggregated population database for Ireland’s 32 counties for 1911-20 with vital statistics on births, ageing, migration and deaths. Our principal contribution is to show why, and how, age-at-death data should be used to construct the age-standardised statistics necessary to make meaningful comparisons of mortality across time and space. We conclude that studies of the economic consequences of pandemics must better control for demographic factors if they are to yield useful policy-relevant insights. For example, while Northern Ireland had a higher crude death rate during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, it also has an older population; age-adjusted mortality paints a very different picture.

This paper has been published in Economics and Human Biology, 41 (2021).

1 (Jan, 2021) Economic History; History ColvinMcLaughlin 1.v.1 
Kennedy, Liam (QUB) & Solar, Peter (Bruxelles)

The famine that wasn't: 1799-1801 in Ireland

Abstract: As the 19th century opened the Irish poor had far more immediate and important concerns than controversies relating to the Act of Union. In the wake of two successive bad harvests in 1799 and 1800 food prices in Ireland soared to heights, relative to pre-crisis levels, that exceeded those of the Great Famine of the 1840s. The mystery, therefore, is why excess mortality turned out to be light relative to the repeated shocks to people’s living standards.  The answers lie in the realms of political economy, epidemic disease, and the nature of Irish rural society circa 1800.


1 (Dec. 2020) Economic History; History Kennedy & Solar 1.v.1
Gray, Peter (QUB)

Representations of Irish Famine and Rebellion in the British Satirical Press, 1845-49

Abstract: This paper considers the representation of the Great Irish Famine (1845-50) and the Young Ireland Rebellion of 1848 through the prism of several lesser-known British satirical periodicals of the period, principally Joe Miller the Younger (1845), The Man in the Moon (1847-8) and The Puppet Show (1848-9). It compares their treatment of Irish issues to that of the more successful Punch (to which they emerged as rival publications), and assesses the likely impact of such satirical visual outputs on British debates about the Irish crisis. The paper gives particular attention to the work of the French satirical artist Paul Gavarni in The Puppet Show.

1 (Dec. 2020) History Gray 1.v.1 

Guidelines, Citation and Copyright