About me




I recently received my PhD in history from QUB. The thesis examined popular collective action in Ulster and its various forms (Ribbonism, Fenianism, the Confederate Clubs and agrarian and sectarian mobilisation). Prior to that I completed both my BA (History, Irish) and MA in History at the National University of Ireland, Galway. I am fully fluent in Irish.

My interests are primarily 19th and 20th century Irish history, most specifically; secret societies, revolutionary nationalism and popular protest.

My undergraduate dissertation addressed pre-Famine Ribbonism, while my MA dissertation was entitled ‘Rathcoole and the United Irish Rebellions’, which examined the impact of the 1798 and 1803 rebellions in politicising locals and polarising communal relations in my home town.

My PhD thesis traced the hitherto downplayed influence of the early Fenians in Ulster, while also looking at older, more localised conspiratorial groupings such as the Ribbon Societies and the role they may have played in stunting or facilitating the growth of the newly emergent working-class republicanism.

Areas of expertise

Early Ulster Fenianism
Post-Famine Ribbonism
Young Ireland in Ulster
Anti-Orange Catholic collective action 1848-1867
The agrarian disturbances of 1849-1852


Social movements and revolution, Fenianism, Ribbonism,
Social history, Politicisation, Irish Associational Culture, Irish Republicanism, 19th Century History, Irish Nationalism, Modern History, 1798, United Irishmen, Agrarian violence, Communal violence in Ulster

Member Details

Full Name

Kerron Ó Luain (Professional Historian)

Membership Type

Professional Historian



2011-2016 – PhD at Queen's University Belfast
2009-2010 – MA at National University of Ireland, Galway
2006-2009 – BA at National University of Ireland, Galway


Office Assistant, ESB International

2007, 2009

Data entry and filing. Microsoft Office and Excel.

Management & Administrative experience

Seminar series organiser, Queen's University Belfast


Chairing seminars and arranging funding/reimbursement for travelling speakers.


History Tutor, Queen's University Belfast


Tutoring second year undergraduates in different aspects of 19th century Irish history. This included assessing student contributions, advising on assignments, and providing appropriate feedback.

Outreach activities

Expertise Inquiries:
2017, Amanda Gale, 10th grade student at Claremont high school. Consulted me with regards the Irish Revolution, 1916-23.
2017, Dan Martucci, writing history thesis at Colgate University, New York. Consulted me with regards history of Irish pub culture.
2017, South Dublin County Council. Advised on history and location of important buildings in locality for erection of historical information sign.
2016, Jerome Devitt, historian. Advised on aspects of Ribbonism for a play set in nineteenth-century Ireland.
2016, Rathcoole Community Centre. Advised on history of Irish Revolution in south-west Dublin to be used during centenary and for the erection of a memorial stone.
2015, Michael McCartan, amateur historian, County Down. Advised on history of Ribbonism and the Battle of Dolly’s Brae 1849.
2015, Jessie Melia, journalism student at DIT. Held interview on current state of history in educational institutions and wider society.

Genealogical Inquiries:
2016: Neil Curran, descendent of family who lived in locality during time of Easter Rising. Inquiry originated in talk I gave during centenary.
2014: Paul Magill, amateur historian and descendant of Belfast Fenian Frank Roney. Provided information which helped elaborate on Roney’s role during Belfast riots of 1857 and 1864.

Committees & Associations

The Four Districts Remembers 1916 Centenary Committee: acted as secretary and general organiser/manager of seminar series and Easter commemoration.

Other activities

Conference papers and seminars:
• 'Forléargas ar Éireann, 1916-2016', Ceardlann Cruthaitheach, Béal Feirste, Feabhra 2017.
• 'The Four Districts and the Irish Revolution, 1916-23', Rathcoole and Brittas Community Centers, March and May, 2016.
• 'The persistence of nationalist and anti-state sentiment in Ulster, 1848-67', IHS Conference, Galway, February 2016.
• 'Ribbonmen, Fenians and lower-class nationalism in 19th century urban Ulster', SSNCI Irish urban spaces in the nineteenth century conference, Queen's University Belfast, June 2014
• 'Ribbonism & Fenianism; conflict and conformity within working-class Irish nationalism', Minority Histories & other Republicanisms conference, Queen's University Belfast, May 2014
• 'Ribbonism & Fenianism; conflict and conformity within working-class Irish nationalism', annual Irish History Students (IHS) conference, MIC Limerick, March 2014
• 'Post-Famine Ribbonism', TCD post-graduate seminar series, January 2014
• 'Ribbonism in the 1850s; a spent force?', annual conference of the Economic and Social History Society of Ireland, NUI Galway, November 2013
• 'The agrarian disturbances of 1849-1852; landlord/tenant conflict on the South Ulster borderlands', Landlords, Tenants and their Estates in Ireland: 1600-2013 conference, Moore Institute NUI Galway, September 2013
• 'Secret Societies in the South Ulster Borderlands, 1849-1852: a transitional period in Ribbonism?' SSNCI Crime, Violence and the Irish in the Nineteenth Century conference, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, June 2013
• 'Post-Famine Ribbonism in Ulster', post-graduate seminar series at Queen's University Belfast, April 2012



• (Forthcoming) 'Rathcoole and the United Irish Rebellions, 1798-1803' (Four Courts Press, Dublin, 2018).

Other Journals

• (Forthcoming) 'The Four Districts and the Irish Revolution, 1916-23' in Journal of the Kildare Archaeological Society, October 2017.

• 'The Ribbon Societies of Louth and Armagh, 1848-1864' in Seanchas Ard Mhacha: Journal of the Armagh Diocesan Historical Society, Volume 25, 2014


• 'Ulster's Forgotten Fenians: the dog that didn't bark in 1867' in History Ireland, March/April 2017.
• 'An pobal ag déanamh neamhaird ar an stát' i Mionlach: irisleabhar de chuid Minseach, uimhir.6 (Mí Feabhra, 2017).
• 'Misneach: ag dul ó neart go neart' i Mionalch: irisleabhar de chuid Misneach, uimhir.5 (Samhain, 2016).
• 'Éirí Amach na Cásca agus gluaiseacht luath na Gaeilge: Liam Ó Maolruanaidh, 1873-1901' i Mionlach: irisleabhar de chuid Minseach, uimhir.3 (Samhain, 2015).
• 'Athneartú phobal Gaeilge Bhrí Chualann' i Mionlach: irisleabhar de chuid Misneach, uimhir.2 (Bealtaine, 2015).
• 'Picking at the carcass: the Irish state and foreign vulture funds' in Carn: a link between the Celtic nations, no. 167 (Spring, 2017).
• 'Peadar O'Donnell Forum – a way forward for the Left in Ireland?' in Carn: a link between the Celtic nations, no.166 (Winter, 2016).
• 'The Apple tax saga' in Carn: a link between the Celtic nations, no.165 (Autumn, 2016).
• 'Celtic League 1916 commemorative programme' in Carn: a link between the Celtic nations, no.164 (Summer 2016).
• 'Debates within Irish language movement' in Carn: a link between the Celtic nations, no.163 (Winter, 2015).
• 'Irish Famine as comedy' in Carn: a link between the Celtic nations, no. 161 (Spring, 2015).