About me




I joined the Department of History at Mary Immaculate College, Limerick in August 2017. Previously, I was NUI Research Fellow in the Humanities at An Foras Feasa, Maynooth University (2016–17), Associate Lecturer in Modern History at the University of Exeter's Cornwall Campus (2015–16), a Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of History, Trinity College Dublin (2014–15), and a postdoctoral researcher with the 'Letters of 1916' project at TCD and Maynooth University (2013-14)
I was awarded a PhD in Modern Irish History from Trinity College Dublin in April 2014 for a thesis supervised by Dr Anne Dolan.

In 2018 I joined the committee of the IAPH and was appointed executive secretary in 2020.

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'.
This research is the result of a broader interest in the nature of irregular war, guerrillas, and counterinsurgeny. I am co-editor (with Fergus Robson) of 'Unconventional Warfare from Antiquity to the Present Day' (Palgrave, 2017).
My current research is interested in the legacies of unconventional violence. Specifically, it explores the experiences of displaced southern Irish loyalists after 1922 and the history and work of the Southern Irish Loyalists Relief Association, a London-based lobby group. I am also working on the Dublin book for the Four Courts Press 'Irish Revolution, 1912–23' series.


modern Ireland; 1916 Easter Rising; Irish Revolution; guerrilla warfare; counter-insurgency; southern Irish loyalism; social history; Dublin

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)


Lecturer, Department of History, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, 2017–
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.


I currently teach the following modules:
* BA
HI4716 Controversies in History (team taught)
HI4771 From Revolution to Integration: Europe, 1789–2000 (co-taught)
HI4772 Unconventional Warfare in the Twentieth Century
HI4782 Society, Culture, and Politics in Twentieth-Century Ireland
HI4768 Politics, Culture, and Society in Independent Ireland
*Taught MA in History
HI6722 The Irish Revolution, 1912-1927
*MA in Local History (with UL)
Sources and Cases in Modern Irish History (co-taught).

I also supervise theses at undergraduate and MA level and am supervisor or co-supervisor to four current PhD candidates.

Outreach activities

In September 2018 I convened a free, one-day conference at Mary Immaculate College entitled 'Limerick 1918–23: New Approaches'

I also devised and convened of 'Southern Irish Loyalism in Context', a free, public conference held at Maynooth University in July 2017 (funded by an IRC 'New Foundations' award).

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

Committee Member, IAPH (2018–)
Executive Secretary, IAPH (2020–)


*IRC New Foundations (Decade of Centenaries Strand) (€14,523) for 'Southern Irish Loyalism: Identities, Definitions, Experiences'
*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)
*Nomination, Best Lecturer, Students' Guild Teaching Awards, University of Exeter, 2016

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 Conor Morrissey (eds) Southern Irish loyalism, 1912–49 (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2020)

*with Fergus Robson (eds) Unconventional warfare from antiquity to the present day (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017, 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

* with Conor Morrissey, 'Southern Irish loyalism, 1912–1949: an introduction' in Hughes & Morrissey (eds), Southern Irish loyalism, 1912–49 (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2020)

* with Conor Morrissey, 'Afterword: layers of loyalty' in Hughes & Morrissey (eds), Southern Irish loyalism, 1912–49 (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2020)

*‘Defining loyalty: southern Irish Protestants and the Irish Grants Committee, 1926–31’, in Ian d’Alton and Ida Milne (eds.), Protestant and Irish: the Protestant search for place in independent Ireland (Cork: Cork University Press, 2019).

*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

*'"Make the terror behind greater than the terror in front"?: internal discipline, forced participation, and the I.R.A., 1919–21’, Irish Historical Studies, Vol. 42, No. 161 (May 2018), pp 64–86 [https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/irish-historical-studies/article/make-the-terror-behind-greater-than-the-terror-in-front-internal-discipline-forced-participation-and-the-ira-191921/7DFEB78F5B3EAC3B0C9F35A73DD12538]

*with Billy Campbell and Susan Schreibman, ‘Contested memories: revisiting the Battle of Mount Street Bridge, 1916’, British Journal for Military History, Vol 4., No 1 (Nov. 2017) [http://www.bjmh.org.uk/index.php/bjmh/article/view/192]

*'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).

* '"Penniless refugees'? the plight of southern Irish loyalists abroad, The Irish Revolution, 1919–21: a global history (History Ireland special edition, 2019)

Electronic Publications

*'"it might interest you – when this miserable business is all over": John Dillon's Easter Rising narrative', Changed Utterly Blog (https://www.tcd.ie/library/1916/it-might-interest-you-when-this-miserable-business-is-all-over-john-dillons-easter-rising-narrative/)

*'Leaders of the Rising', Inspiring Ireland Exhibition (http://inspiring-ireland.ie/1916/leaders-of-rising)


*Heroes or Traitors? Experiences of Southern Irish Soldiers Returning from the Great War, 1919–39. By Paul Taylor. Journal of Social History, 52/4 (2019) [https://doi.org/10.1093/jsh/shx130]

*County Louth and the Irish Revolution, 1912–1923. Edited by Donal Hall and Martin Maguire. Irish Historical Studies, 43/163 (2019)

* The Abbey rebels of 1916: a lost revolution. By Fearghal McGarry – Remembering 1916: the Easter Rising, the Somme and the politics of memory in Ireland. Edited by Richard S. Grayson and Fearghal McGarry. Irish Historical Studies, 42/162 (2018)

* Proclaiming a republic: Ireland, 1916 and the national collection . By Darragh Gannon – Making 1916: material and visual culture of the Easter Rising. Edited by Lisa Godson and Joanna Brück, Irish Historical Studies, 42/162 (2018).

* Judging Redmond and Carson. By Alvin Jackson. Irish Literary Supplement (2018).


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