About me




In September 2016 I was awarded a NUI Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in the Humanities and will be based in An Foras Feasa, Maynooth University. Between 2015 and 2016 I was Associate Lecturer in Modern History at the University of Exeter's Cornwall Campus.
I was awarded a PhD in Modern Irish History from Trinity College Dublin in April 2014 for a thesis supervised by Dr Anne Dolan.
From 2014 to 2015 I was a Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of History, Trinity College Dublin. I was also a research assistant on 'Contested Memories: The Battle of Mount Street Bridge', a collaborative digital history project based in An Foras Feasa, Maynooth University.
Previously, I was a postdoctoral researcher with the 'Letters of 1916' project, Ireland's first crowd-sourced public humanities project, based in An Foras Feasa, Maynooth University.
In 2012 I published a biography of executed 1916 leader Michael Mallin as part of the O'Brien Press' '16 Lives' series. A monograph based on my PhD thesis was published by Liverpool University Press in October 2016. I have also edited a memoir by Gaelic scholar and revolutionary Eoin MacNeill for the Irish Manuscripts Commission, published in September 2016.

Areas of expertise

My primary research interest lies in the impact of the Irish Revolution on individuals and communities and specifically the use of intimidation and coercion by the Irish Republican Army (IRA) at a local level. My PhD thesis examined violence, threat and punishment in terms of its nature, its victims and its influence on local popultions. By extension, it considered notions of civilian behaviour, popular support and loyalty during irregular war.
I am also interested in the 1916 Easter Rising in Ireland and its effects. In 2012, I published the first biography of Michael Mallin, one of the sixteen men executed for his part in the Rising, and in 2016 edited a memoir by Gaelic scholar and revolutionary, Eoin MacNeill, published by the Irish Manuscripts Commission. I have worked as a researcher on two innovative digital projects, based around the Rising, at Maynooth University: 'Letters of 1916: Creating History' and 'Contested Memories: The Battle of Mount Street Bridge'. These projects have encouraged me to consider the value of 'digital history' and the potential use of digital humanities tools to study and research history.
This research is the result of a broader interest in the nature of irregular war, guerrillas and counter-insurgeny. In Spring 2015 I co-convened a Trinity College Dublin Centre for War Studies workshop, 'Unconventional warfare: guerrillas and counter-insugency from Iraq to Antiquity.' An edited volume arising from this workshop, 'Unconventional Warfare from Antiquity to the Present Day', will be published by Palgrave in May 2017.
I am also interested in the legacies of violence and exploring the experiences of displaced minorities, particularly southern Irish loyalists, in the interwar years.


modern Ireland; 1916 Easter Rising; Irish Revolution; guerrilla warfare; counter-insurgency; social history; digital humanities

Member Details

Full Name

Brian Hughes (Professional Historian)

Membership Type

Professional Historian



2014: PhD in Modern Irish History (TCD)
2009: MPhil in Modern Irish History (TCD)
2007: BA (Double Hons.) in History and English (NUI Maynooth)


NUI Fellow in the Humanities, Maynooth University;
Associate Lecturer in Modern History, University of Exeter, Cornwall Campus (2015–16);
Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellow (2014–15);
DRI Postdoctoral Researcher and Associate Editor, 'Letters of 1916: Creating History' (2013–14)

Consultancy work

In 2014 I researched and wrote a short history of Abbottstown House in Dublin, commissioned by National Sports Campus Ireland.


*University of Exeter, Cornwall
Level 1 Lecturer and Seminar Leader:
People's History 1 & 2
World History 1 & 2
History Foundation

Level 3 Module Coordinator:
Guerrillas and Counter-insurgency since 1900

*Teaching Assistant, TCD, 2010-2015:
HI2131, Ireland and the Union
HI2132 Twentieth Century Ireland
Semester Start Up Programme (History; Literature)

*Teaching Assistant, UCD, 2013-Present:
IRST 30150, Ireland Uncovered
AEHE 1100, Themes in Irish History: from Rising to Republic (Adult Ed, course convenor)

*Guest Lecturer, Maynooth University, 2014
AFF260 – Digital Humanities: Analysis and Creation
AFF615A – Doing Digital History

Outreach activities

I am the convenor of 'Southern Irish Loyalism in Context', a free, public conference held in Maynooth University in July 2017.

Between January 2015 and August 2016 I worked as part of a team at An Foras Feasa, Maynooth University creating augmented reality applications and related tools based on the virtual world created as part of the 'Contested Memories: The Battle of Mount Street Bridge' project (mountstreet1916.ie), of which I was also a part. One set of tools will be used to teach secondary school children about the battle, the other will form be a 'Walking Tour' for the general public.

I have given talks and lectures to local histories societies, special interest groups, and public societies. During 2015 and 2016 I will be offering several more lectures to, among others, Fingal County Council, Dun Laoghaire 1916 Committee, the 1916 Clubs and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.
I appeared on Abu Media and TG4's award winning Seachtar Dearmadta (2013) and have been interviewed on Talking History on Newstalk and the Marian Finucane Show on RTÉ. I will be also be appearing in two RTÉ documentaries in 2016. I formerly presented a history show on 92.5 Phoenix FM in Dublin 15.
Through my work on 'Letters of 1916: Creating History', Ireland's first crowd-sourced public history project, I was part of a team that conceptualised and facilitated outreach events across Ireland. The project collaborated with local interest groups, public libraries and secondary schools to host events that encouraged public participation in the project and generated knowledge about the history of the period and the use of digital technology.

In 2014 I was commissioned by National Sports Campus Ireland to produce a walking tour and publish a short history of Abbotstown House in Dublin for free circulation to the local public.

I have also taught history to adult learners through UCD Adult Education and the South County Dublin VEC.

Committees & Associations

Member, Centre for the Study of War, State, and Society, University of Exeter
Member, Centre for War Studies, TCD
Member, Association for Documentary Editing, 2014-15


TCD School of Histories and Humanities Postgraduate Studentship, 2011-13 (€8,000 per annum plus fees)
Association for Documentary Editing, Institute for the Editing of Historical Documents 2014, Louisville, Kentucky ($1,200 stipend plus attendance and registration)
Centre for Contemporary Irish History Travel Grant, 2012 (€500)
Grace Lawless-Lee Research Travel Grant, 2011 (€90)

Other activities

Research Assistant, Maynooth University, January-September 2016: ‘Contested Memories: The Battle of Mount Street Bridge’: historical research as part a collaborative research project to create a virtual world visualation of one of the key engagements of the 1916 Rising.



*with Fergus Robson (eds.) Unconventional warfare from antiquity to the present day (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming, 2017). [https://www.palgrave.com/de/book/9783319495255]

* Defying the IRA? intimidation, coercion, and communities during the Irish Revolution (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2016) [http://liverpooluniversitypress.co.uk/collections/subject_category-history_irish-studies/products/80767]

* (ed) Eoin MacNeill: memoir of a revolutionary scolar (Dublin: Irish Manuscripts Commission, 2016) [http://www.irishmanuscripts.ie/servlet/Controller?action=publication_item&pid=161]

* 16 Lives: Michael Mallin (Dublin: O'Brien Press, 2012) [http://www.obrien.ie/michael-mallin]

Book Chapters

*‘Defining loyalty: southern Irish Protestants and the Irish Grants Committee, 1926–31’, in Ian d’Alton and Ida Milne (eds.), Passage to Irishness: the Protestant search for place in independent Ireland (Cork: Cork University Press, forthcoming, 2017).

*with Fergus Robson, ‘Introduction: guerrillas and counterinsurgency in history’, in Brian Hughes and Fergus Robson (eds.), Unconventional warfare from antiquity to the present day (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming, June 2017).

*‘“The entire population of this God-forsaken island is terrorised by a small band of gun-men”: guerrillas and civilians during the Irish Revolution’ in Brian Hughes and Fergus Robson (eds.), Unconventional warfare from antiquity to the present day (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming, June 2017).

*'"Well may we be proud of him": living with the deaths of the leaders of the Easter Rising' in Lisa Marie Griffith and Ciaran Wallace (eds), Grave matters: death and dying in Dublin 1500-2000 (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2016)

* 'Persecuting the Peelers' in David Fitzpatrick (ed), Terror in Ireland, 1916-1923 (Dublin: Lilliput, 2012)

Peer Reviewed Journals

*‘Making the terror behind greater than the terror in front: internal discipline, forced participation, and the I.R.A., 1919–21’, Irish Historical Studies (forthcoming, Summer 2018).

*with Billy Campbell and Susan Schreibman, ‘Contested memories: revisiting the Battle of Mount Street Bridge, 1916’, British Journal for Military History (forthcoming, Spring 2017).

*'Loyalists and loyalism in a southern Irish community, 1920-21', The Historical Journal, 59/4 (December 2016), pp 1075–1105
[DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0018246X15000576

Other Journals

*The Mallin family and the Army Pension, An Cosantóir, 73:8 (October 2015)

*‘The people’s war’, The Revolution Papers, 1 (December 2015); ‘Driving a wedge between the police and the people’, The Revolution Papers, 21 (May 2016); ‘Press review: an incendiary act’, The Revolution Papers, 37 (September 2016); ‘A charter for a new Ireland’, The Revolution Papers, 50 (December 2016); ‘“An empty formula”’, The Revolution Papers, 58 (February 2017); ‘Ireland’s fascist future?’, The Revolution Papers, 67 (April 2017); ‘A destructive leader’, The Revolution Papers, 68 (April 2017).


Seamus Mallin, Dictionary of Irish Biography (added December 2015.