Dr Ciara Breathnach

Lecturer in History

Keywords: History of Medicine the Medical Humanities Gender Social Hstory Life cycles

Dr Ciara Breathnach, is lecturer in history at the University of Limerick. She has published on Irish socioeconomic, cultural and health histories. Author of The Congested Districts Board of Ireland, 1891-1923, poverty and development in the West of Ireland (Dublin, 2005) and editor/co-editor of seven conference proceedings, she has published articles in several leading history and medical humanities’ journals. She has held visiting fellowships at Harvard University (2014), The University of Massachusetts (2013), Boston, and the Institute of Historical Research (2012-2013), London. She is an Associate Editor of Medical Humanities and series co-editor with Laurence M. Geary of the Society for he Study of Nineteenth-Century Ireland Series with Liverpool University Press.

Her most recent research project entitled Irish Record Linkage, 1864-1913 was funded by the Irish Research Council (2013-2016), it examined maternal and infant mortality in Dublin.  Her work continues to focus on the medicalization of Irish society and of the Irish in America. She has recently been awarded a New Foundations grant to coordinate the development of an exhibition entitled Incarcerated bodies: hunger striking and internment, 1912-1923.


  • Ciara Breathnach, ‘Handywomen and Birthing in Rural Ireland, 1851–1955’, Gender and History, 28:1 (2016): 36-58.
  • Ciara Breathnach, ‘Professional patienthood and mortality: Seán Ó Ríordáin’s diaries 1974–1977’, Medical Humanities, 0:1–5 (2016) doi:10.1136/medhum-2015-010828
  • Ciara Breathnach, ‘Medical officers, bodies, gender and weight fluctuation in Irish convict prisons, 1877–95’, Medical History, 58:1 (2014): 67-86.
  • Ciara Breathnach, ‘Heavier the interval than the consummation:’ bronchial disease in Seán Ó Ríordáin’s diaries’, Medical Humanities 40 (2014): 11-16.
  • Ciara Breathnach, ‘Medicalizing the female reproductive cycle in rural Ireland 1926-1956’, Historical Research: Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research, 85: 230, (2012): 674–690.
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