2021 Conference – details

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Economic and Social History Society of Ireland

Annual Conference 3-4 December 2021

Draft timetable 22 November

The sessions will be held online via Zoom.

Registration is here and links are below.

For the abstracts of the papers click here

Friday 3rd December 2021

Session 1: 2.30-4.00

Panel A) Deeds, Debts and Discovery: New approaches to the Registry of Deeds 

Chair: Aidan Kane (NUIG)


Patrick Walsh (TCD) Andrew MacKillop (Glasgow), Property, Power and Profit: A Comparative Digital Humanities Approach to the Irish Registry of Deeds and the Scottish Sasines.

Brendan Twomey (TCD), Putting money out at interest; secured lending and borrowing in early eighteenth-century Ireland.

Dr John Bergin (UCD), The Operation of Ireland’s Popery Laws: Evidence for the ‘Discovery’ Procedure in the Registry of Deeds.

Panel B) Family and identity

Chair: James Kelly (DCU)


Shannon Devlin ‘Many a time I wish you were a stranger’: cousin courtship in nineteenth-century Ireland.

Emma Lyons ‘Why mourne you so, you that be widdowes?’: Widows’ inheritance in seventeenth-century Ireland.

Clair McDonald (DCU), Warders of a colony? Stradbally, Co. Laois, in 1641.

Session 2: 4.30-6.00

Panel C) The urban environment and public health

Chair: John Cunningham (NUIG)


Lesley E E Donaldson (independent), ‘Dirt, disease and smells’: Belfast Town Council and Public Health c.1845–1850.

Joseph Rodgers (DCU), Carlisle Bridge and the socio-economic transformation of Dublin’s city centre, 1790s-1870s.

Matthew Potter (Limerick Museum), The material culture of an Irish MP: Robert Potter’s residence at 45 George’s Street, Limerick.

Panel D) Transnational relationships

Chair: Kevin O’Sullivan (NUIG)


James Akpu (DCU), Irish Missionaries and the British Colonial Administration in Nigeria, 1929-1955.

Seamus Nevin (Oxford), What was the financial relationship between Cecil Rhodes and the Irish Home Rule Party?

Ann Wilson (MTU), ‘”English made scurrilities”: the picture postcard and national identity in early twentieth-century Ireland.


The K.H. Connell Memorial Lecture

Chair: James Kelly (DCU)


David Dickson (TCD), Ireland and the Caribbean in the Eighteenth Century.

Saturday 4th December

Session 3: 9.30-11.00

Panel E) Urban labour and politics

Chair: Laurence Marley (NUIG)


Luke Dineen (UCC), Industrial crisis in Derry, 1924.

Eliza McKee, (QUB), ‘I bought from her in the factory’: women’s illicit clothing networks and the unregulated working-class clothing trade in industrial Belfast, c. 1880-1910.

Luke Watson (UCC), Divided Paths of Radicalism – the Divergent Reception to Radicalism in Belfast and Cork in the late-Eighteenth Century.

Panel F) Changing dynamics in pre-independence Ireland

Chair: Tomás Finn (NUIG)


Brian Griffin (Maynooth), Ireland and the Great War: Mr Punch’s View.

Anna Devlin (TCD), Ireland’s economic future imagined:  Economic reality and planning for separation 1918-21.

Elaine Callinan (Carlow) Ireland at the cross-roads: the impact of election propaganda on ordinary men and women in Irish society, 1917-20.

Session 4: 11.30-1.00

Panel G) Food and society in the nineteenth century

Chair: Colum Kenny (DCU)


Charles Read (Cambridge), The market effects of Sir Robert Peel’s Repeal of the Corn Laws during the Irish famine.

Noel Carolan (DCU), Taking the political heat out of Ireland’s last food supply crisis of the nineteenth century.

Mary Hatfield (UCD), ‘Eating like Irishmen’: promoting Irish agriculture and nineteenth-century science at the Royal Dublin Society.

Panel H) Social policy and the law in the 20th century

Chair: Catherine Cox (UCD)


Brian Casey (Durham), Bishop Peter Birch, Catholic social teaching and the establishment of the Kilkenny Social Services in the 1960s and 1970s.

Abigail Fletcher (Edinburgh), From Partition to the Sexual Offences Act: Homosexuality and the Law in Northern Ireland 1921-1967

Suzanne Jobling (QUB), ‘The Impetus for Change’: Legislating for Equality in 1970s Ireland.

Session 5: 2.00-3.30

Panel I) Economic policy and independence

Chair: Anna Devlin (TCD)


Colum Kenny (DCU), Arthur Griffith, the economy and the Anglo-Irish Treaty agreement 1921.

Trisha Oakley Kessler (Cambridge), The lived experience of protectionism: new voices and possibilities both dashed and realised.

Michael Loughman (DCU), Fianna Fáil agricultural policy 1932-39.

Panel J) Prisons and society

Chair: Catherine Cox (UCD)


Louise Brangan (Strathclyde), ‘Pastoral Penality’: Exploring imprisonment and political culture in 1970s Ireland.

Gerri O’Neill (DCU), ‘Handle with care’: parcels for female political prisoners during Ireland’s Civil War, 1922-23.

Susie Deedigan (QUB) ‘Her whole life will be spoiled’: employment, education and political imprisonment in Ireland, 1939-45.

Session 6: 4.00-5.30

Panel K) The economics of hospitals

Chair: Ella Kavanagh (UCC)


Joe Curran (TCD), Creating an ‘educational endowment’? The state, hospital finance, and medicine in nineteenth-century Dublin.

Triona Waters (NUIG), ‘They were just part of the community’: an economic and social history of an Irish Psychiatric Hospital, 1940-2000.

Panel L) Popular culture in 20th-century Ireland

Chair: Breandán Mac Suibhne (NUIG)


Sile Hunt (UCC), Dancehalls and the Jazz age in 1920’s Cork.

Sarah O’Brien (Mary Immaculate), The Púca of Ennistymon: An excavation of social memory in a North Clare town.

Conor Heffernan (Ulster),  Smash Potatoes, modernity and nationalism in 1970s Ireland.

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