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Dr. Ruan O'Donnell


Originally from Dublin, I received a BA and MA (Major Thesis)from UCD and a PhD from the Australian National University. I have lived and worked in Limerick since 1998. I am a full member of the National Union of Journalists (Freelance Branch, Dublin). I am a Director of the Irish Manuscripts Commission and was appointed to the Universities Ireland Decade of Commemoration Committee.

Research Interests

The history of Irish republicanism worldwide, 1791-1998. My early research and writing focussed on the United Irishmen in Ireland, Australia, Britain, France and North America. I am now working on a number of linked projects featuring the Irish Republican Army from 1948 to 1998. The first major book arising from this new work will deal with the 'Border' or 'Resistance Campaign' of 1956-62. I am currently completing a short volume on the Great Irish Famine.

Teaching Interests

In the Spring Semester of 2014 I am teaching three modules in full: HI5012; HI4148 and HI4102. This encompasses international strategic history; the history of early colonial Australia and the history of the modern Irish Troubles (1898-1948).

Professional Activities


  • 2006 Irish Manuscripts Commission,
  • 1998 Editorial Board, Irish Academic Press,


  • 1998 Feature writer, National Union of Journalists
  • Member of Board of Directors, Irish Manuscript Commission


  • Member of Irish Universities Committee on the Decade of Commemorations



Book Chapter


The Provisional IRA: History, politics and memory
Ruan O'Donnell
Remembering the Troubles


'The Australian press and the IRA Border Campaign, 1956-61'
O'Donnell, R
Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, History, Politics and Culture


'The military committee of the United Irishmen, 1798-1803'
O'Donnell, R
Unrespectable Radicals? Popular politics and the Age of Reform

Conference Publication

Edited Book


The Irish Volunteers, 1913-1915


On the run, The story of an Irish Freedom Fighter

Other Publication


O'Donnell, R

Peer Reviewed Journal


'John Foster, an uncommon man'
O'Donnell, R
Irish Arts Review


'The Liberator: Images of Daniel O'Connell'
O'Donnell, R
Irish Arts Review