I am an Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of Limerick, where my teaching focuses on aspects of cultural history. My research is focused on the histories and heritages of religious architecture, as well as the performance of identities in public space through festival, ritual, procession, or everyday interactions. I am currently working on a monograph titled Ambition and Magnificence: Roman Catholic Architecture in Ireland, 1829-1936, and this is under contract with Liverpool University Press as part of their Reappraisals in Irish History series.

I am a member of History of Emotions in the Built Environment (HEBE) research network. HEBE is committed to considering the ways that the history of emotions can help us to better understand the built environment. It aims to facilitate inclusive cross-sectoral discussions between and across discipline and practice. In doing so, researchers will reflect on the methodological opportunities and challenges of using emotional frameworks in the study of the built environment over the next five years. The HEBE network will run a series of seminars and events exploring these topics.

I graduated with a degree in Art and Architectural History and English Literature from Trinity College Dublin in 2007, and after a valuable year with the National Gallery of Ireland education department and the Irish Museums Association, I completed my PhD at TCD under the supervision of Professor Roger Stalley as the doctoral fellow on the Irish Research Council-funded Reconstructions of the Gothic Past project. I was a postdoctoral researcher on the Monastic Ireland project (a collaboration between UCD, Fáilte Ireland, and the Discovery programme), which developed digital resources for accessing Irish medieval built heritage. In 2013, I joined the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick as the founding director of the MA Festive Arts programme, and I continue to teach a module on Critical Contexts for Arts Management and Cultural Policy for Academy students.
From 2018-2021, I was the Assistant Dean, Research for the Faculty of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at the University of Limerick.

I am an experienced supervisor, and welcome expressions of interest from research students in the areas of Irish art and architectural history; religious architectural history; antiquarianism; the history of exhibitions and cultural institutions; aspects of festivity; heritage and cultural policy, and the creative industries.

I am a committee member of the Catholic Historical Society of Ireland, and a former committee member of the Society for the Study of Nineteenth-Century Ireland. From 2019-21, I was Vice-Chair and then Chair of the Irish Humanities Alliance.

Research Interests

My current research focuses on Roman Catholic architecture in Ireland between 1828 and 1936, and I am currently working on a monograph (under contract with Liverpool University Press.)
I lead the Religious Spaces in Transition project, which focuses on new and changing uses for religious architectural heritage in Ireland and internationally (funded by the Irish Research Council under the New Foundations scheme), and I also convene the MCHRI - Material and Cultural Heritages of Religion in Ireland research network.

My research interests also include the dynamics of urban public space and festivity; the history of respectability in Irish culture; cultural entrepreneurship; public history; and interdisciplinary research practices.
I also regularly work as a curator and writer on contemporary art.

Research MA and PhD supervision:
My current PhD research students are working on nineteenth-century architectural history, Irish festival cultures, and aspects of the creative economy.
I have been lucky to supervise PhD theses on the subjects of audience engagement; creative pedagogy; measurement and value in the visual art gallery; and on a range of issues relating to festival, festive practices, public space and identity.

I welcome new research proposals on these and related topics, and am very happy to support postgraduate or postdoctoral researchers in developing their funding applications.

Professional Activities


  • 2019 Committee member, Society for the Study of Nineteenth Century Ireland
  • 2012 Member of editorial board, Irish Journal of Arts Management and Cultural Policy


  • 2019 - New Foundations Grant Strand 2
  • 2017 - Publication grant from TRIARC: the Irish Art Research Centre at Trinity College Dublin
  • 2016 - Publication grant from Irish Cistercians
  • 2015 - Gradireland Best New Postgrad Course Award
  • 2015 - NUI Publication Grant
  • 2015 - Research grant from Limerick County Council for work on Limerick 2020 bid
  • 2015 - Funding from the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht for the Designing Commemoration conference
  • 2015 - Publication Grant from the National Monuments Service
  • 2015 - Publication grant from the Office of Public Works
  • 2014 - Marc Fitch Foundation
  • 2014 - CIRCUS+ ERASMUS+ Award
  • 2014 - HSE project grant for World Within Walls
  • 2014 - Exhibition development grant for WATERMARK
  • 2013 - Monastic Ireland - Research Grant from Failte Ireland
  • 2013 - Seed Funding Award - Innovation and the Humanities
  • 2012 - Graduate Certificate in Innovation, Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Scholarship
  • 2010 - Trinity College Dublin Travel Fund Award
  • 2009 - Desmond Guinness Scholarship Award
  • 2008 - Irish Research Council Posgraduate Scholarship
  • 2006 - Homan Potterton Award
  • 2003 - Anne Crookshank Award
  • 2003 - Trinity College Dublin Foundation Scholarship Award


  • 2016 Judging panel, 2016 Allianz Business to Arts awards, The Allianz Business to Arts Awards recognise and champion the spirit of collaboration between businesses, artists and arts organisations that develop creative partnerships; bringing the arts and artists into mutually beneficial relationships across society.
  • 2015 Research Academic Panel (RAP) Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, Reviewing incoming PhD and MA by research applications, leading and working collaboratively on initiatives surrounding research direction, strategy and supports within the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance.
  • 2015 Cultural Policy Research Observatory - An all-Ireland network - initial steering group member, Member of this steering group which defined the direction of this new cross-disciplinary research network, designing the initial conference held in Belfast in November 2015.
  • 2015 Timetabling Group, Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, Working on timetabling issues, advising on the purchase of timetabling software, supporting admin staff when the need arises around timetabling issues.
  • 2015 Irish Museums Association, Member of the Board of Directors.
  • 2015 Light Moves Screen Dance Festival - advisory board, Member of group advising on the development of the Light Moves Screen Dance Festival, based at Dance Limerick.
  • 2014 Open House Limerick steering group, Member of the Open House Limerick architecture festival steering group
  • 2013 'World Within Walls' exhibition steering group, Member, as curator of the exhibition and commissioned historian, of a steering group appointed to manage the World Within Walls project. This comprised members of the HSE, management figures within history and heritage at Monaghan county council, as well as the members of Stair: An Irish Public History Company Ltd. (of which I was a founding director), who had been comissioned to carry out this large, multi-strand research project.
  • 2012 Artefact - editorial board, Member of the editorial board for Artefact, the journal of the Irish Association of Art Historians


  • External examiner for the Postgraduate Research Group Taught Module (MARE700) at the University of Plymouth (2020-2024) External examiner, Technological University Dublin for the BA Contemporary Visual Culture and the BA Creative and Cultural Industries (2019-2022) External Examiner, MA Arts and Heritage Management, Waterford Institute of Technology
    (2014 - 2017)

    In my role as external examiner for the MA Arts and Heritage Management at WIT, I am involved in examining all programme assessments, and in reviewing programme content, facilities and research direction. This role involves engagement with the overall curriculum, and an assessment of its position with regard to international standards in the fields of arts management education.

    Member of Programme Review panel, BA (Hons) Commercial Modern Music at BIMM Dublin (DIT)
    (March 2016)

    As a member of this review panel, I was tasked with assessing all programme content, interviewing students and faculty members, reviewing facilities, and making recommendations regarding the ongoing quality of the programme, and suggestions for future development. I was one of two external review panel members, the other being a music industry representative.

    Member, editorial board of the Irish Journal of Arts Management and Cultural Policy

    Steering Committee member and affiliate researcher, Cultural Policy Observatory of Ireland

    Member, editorial board of Artefact, the journal of the Irish Association of Art Historians.

    Establishment of LANDscape: history, theory, praxis, practice interdisciplinary research cluster with Dr. Anna Ryan (SAUL) at UL
    (2014 - present)

    Member of Limerick2020 research network

    During the development of Limerick's bid to be European City of Culture in 2020, I contributed to the campaign by attending a range of meetings and panel discussions on the direction of the bid, assessing tender applications for leadership positions within the campaign on behalf of Limerick City Council, and was involved in the IU Culture Lab project which made a significant contribution to the successfully short-listed bid proposal. During 2014, I was the liaison between the the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance and the Limerick 2014 National City of Culture team. I also led the November 2014 'Hackathon' based at Fablab in Limerick's City Centre as part of an audience research initiative around the 2014 Limerick City of Culture. (…)

    Member of steering group, Open House Limerick (within Limerick City Council)

    As a member of the steering group for this architecture festival, organised by Limerick City Council, I was involved in the development of the strategic direction of the festival, the management of volunteers, and developed a seminar aimed at first and second level educators interested in bringing architecture into the classroom.

    Contribution to the development of regional and national cultural policy and strategy documents

    In my role as Course Director of the MA Festive Arts programme, I regularly make submissions and give feedback on regional and national cultu

Peer Reviewed Journals


Book Chapters


"Stokes, Margaret McNair"

Niamh NicGhabhann and Colleen Thomas (2022) "Stokes, Margaret McNair". New York City : Springer International Publishing The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Victorian Women's Writing


Gabriel Beranger

Niamh NicGhabhann (2014) Gabriel Beranger. New Haven and Dublin : Yale University Press and the Royal Irish Academy Art and Architecture of Ireland


Antiquarian Artists

Niamh NicGhabhann (2014) Antiquarian Artists. New Haven and Dublin : Yale University Press with the Royal Irish Academy Art and Architecture of Ireland


Ancient and Modern

Niamh NicGhabhann (2009) Ancient and Modern. Drogheda and Banbridge : The Highlanes Gallery and the FE McWilliam Gallery Nano Reid and Gerard Dillon


A Delicate Line

Niamh NicGhabhann (2008) A Delicate Line. Dublin : House Projects and Atelier Projects House Projects - artworks, documents, analysis

Edited Books


IU Culture Lab

Grainne Hassett, Stephen Kinsella, Niamh NicGhabhann, Annmarie Ryan (2015) IU Culture Lab. Limerick : University of Limerick

Other Journals


Museum Ireland - the journal of the Irish Museums Association

Philippe de Montebello, Nigel Rolfe, Matthew Parkes, Paula Murphy, Nicholas Johnson, Patrick Duffy, Linda Ballard, Suzanne Bardgett, Anne Hodge, Donal Maguire, Kieran Burns, Jayne Clarke, Nathalie Weadick, Simon Lincoln, Padraic E. Moore, Shirin Johnson, Lizanne Jackman, Rosemary Ryan, Mike Maguire, David Snook, Marie Louise Blaney, Michael Harrison, Sarah Campbell, Liam Bannon, Luigina Ciofi, Marc McLoughlin, Kurshid Ahmed, Daniel Isemann, Maighread McParland, Marie Bourke (2009) Museum Ireland - the journal of the Irish Museums Association. Dublin : The Irish Museums Association Museum Ireland

Conference Publications

This author has not written any publications of this type yet.

Conference Contributions


Health Research Futures Showcase

Annmarie Ryan, Niamh NicGhabhann, Muireann McMahon, Jazmin Chiodi, Marilyn Lennon, Tracy Fahey (2016) Health Research Futures Showcase.


Innovation and the Humanities

Niamh NicGhabhann, Stuart McLaughlin, CEO, Business to Arts, Dr Ciara Leonard, UCD Innovation, Brian Donovan Director, Eneclann Ltd, Dr Kelly Fitzgerald, Sruth/ Irish Folklore Commission, Dr Danielle O'Donovan and Jennifer McCrea, Marisa Ronan, Aidan Pender, Director of Strategic Development, Fáilte Ireland, Dr Paul Rouse, UCD School of History and Archives, Dr Marc Caball, UCD Humanities Institute of Ireland. (2012) Innovation and the Humanities.

Published Reports


CIRCUS+ Research on youth and social circus pedagogy

ERASMUS+ working group - an international group including UL authors Niamh NicGhabhann, Stephen Cadwell and Shane Holohan (2016) CIRCUS+ Research on youth and social circus pedagogy. Brussels : Caravan - European Youth and Social Circus Network


This author has not written any publications of this type yet.

Book Reviews

Other Publications


‘Church of Ireland: restorations and representations in 19th century Ireland' Irish Architectural Archive, as part of the Representative Church Body library exhibition, Visual Window to an Ecclesiastical World Exhibition, 23 August 2019

Niamh NicGhabhann (2019) ‘Church of Ireland: restorations and representations in 19th century Ireland' Irish Architectural Archive, as part of the Representative Church Body library exhibition, Visual Window to an Ecclesiastical World Exhibition, 23 August 2019.


Music Industry Day 2018

Professor Mel Mercier, Karan Casey, Sheena Keane, Valerie Dolan (2018) Music Industry Day 2018.


IU Culture Lab

Grainne Hassett, Stephen Kinsella, Niamh NicGhabhann, Annmarie Ryan (2015) IU Culture Lab. Limerick : University of Limerick


Making it happen: a vibrant and sustainable arts environment for Ireland

Niamh NicGhabhann, Dr. Michelle O'Dwyer (Associate Dean, Director of the Corporate MBA Programme and Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Kemmy Business School, UL), Rowena Neville (Business to Arts) and Dr. Annmarie Ryan (Lecturer, Kemmy Business School, UL) (2014) Making it happen: a vibrant and sustainable arts environment for Ireland.


Vertical Dance Symposium

Niamh NicGhabhann, CIE Retouramont will join Fidget Feet and Aeriosa Dance Society (Canada), Gravity & Levity (UK), Histeria Nova (Croatia), Il Posto Vertical Dance Company (Italy), Kate Lawrence Vertical Dance (UK) (2014) Vertical Dance Symposium.


Waking St. Munchin

Niamh NicGhabhann, Gothicise Art Collective, MA Festive Arts Students (2014) Waking St. Munchin.