About me




An alumnus of NUI Maynooth where I was an Irish Research Council postgraduate scholar, my main research interests are 20th century Irish political, social and cultural history, European integration and post-war global decolonisation. I am the author of one monograph, several peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. I have gained extensive lecturing experience in UCD, NUI Maynooth and DCU where I have designed, delivered and assessed a variety of undergraduate modules, lectured at postgraduate level and supervised both undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations. I have been nominated for teaching and learning wards in both UCD and DCU.

Areas of expertise

The politics of the Irish Free State, 1922-37; the Cumann na nGaedheal party; the Irish Revolution and its aftermath; European political history, 1918-39; Decolonisation, 1945-1994; Christian Democracy and post-war European integration.


Irish Free State; Elections; Democracy; Irish politics and elections; Inter-War Europe; Political Parties; Party Politics; Cumann na nGaedheal; Fianna Fáil; Decolonisation; Southern Africa.

Member Details

Full Name

Mel Farrell (Professional Historian)

Membership Type

Professional Historian



Sept. 2008-Sept. 2012 NUI MAYNOOTH

• Ph.D. in Irish history awarded for ‘“Few supporters and no organisation”? Cumann na nGaedheal party organisation and policy, 1923-33’. This reappraisal of Cumann na nGaedheal positioned it as a moderate-conservative party anchored in mainstream British and European ideological currents.
• The dissertation was developed into a book and published by Palgrave in 2017.

Sept. 2004- Sept. 2007 NUI MAYNOOTH

• B.A. (Joint Honours) English and History
• Result: II.I


Dec. 2016-present: served as Director of Irish Humanities Alliance. In this role I have forged interdisciplinary networks and have:

• Coordinated all aspects of IHA activities including IHA responses to requests for feedback on draft national & European funding calls
• Liaised with IHA member institutions and relevant stakeholders, including the Irish Research Council, within the Irish research system.
• Project managed various IHA projects including the research and drafting of a national strategy for the humanities.
• Managed IHA website and social media accounts. Acted as editor-in-chief for content uploaded to the IHA website.
• Delivered a comprehensive strategy statement on the humanities entitled By Imagination We Live and documents relating to: humanities perspectives on migration; the AHSS in Horizon Europe and the Cultural Case for the European Union.
• Promoted the value of the humanities by supporting the work of the IHA Board and its various Working Groups.

Sept. 2016-present: Part-time Lecturer, School of History, UCD. Designed, delivered and assessed third-year, ten credit undergraduate module "End of Empire" and a study abroad course entitled "Celtic Dawn to Celtic Tiger".

Sept. 2015-Aug. 2016: Teaching Fellow in History, St. Patrick's Campus, DCU. Designed delivered and assessed a two third-year elective modules – 'The Irish Free State, 1922-37' and 'Decolonisation: a southern African perspective, 1945-1994'. I also served as module co-ordinator on a team-taught first year skills course 'Turning Points in History' and supervised theses by students taking the MA in Irish history.

Sept. 2013 -June 2015: Occasional Lecturer, Tutor & Executive Assistant, Dept of History, Maynooth University (NUI). Designed, delivered and assessed the following undergraduate courses: "The Origins of Modern Nationalism, 1789-"; "Ireland, 1800-to the present"; "Irish Cultural Nationalism, 1842-1949". Designed, delivered and assessed MA skills course: "The Purpose and Practice of History". Tutor on core undergraduate modules relating to: Early Modern Europe; Sixteenth-Century Ireland and Europe from 1800.

Oct. 2012- Sept. 2013: Postdoctoral Fellow, "Landed Estates of Ireland Project", NUIM/NLI a collaboration on nineteenth-century landed estate sources.

Oct. 2011 –Oct. 2012 Research Assistant, 'Defying the Wind of Change', Dept. of History, Maynooth University (NUI).

Management & Administrative experience

Dec. 2016-present: served as Director of Irish Humanities Alliance.

Sept. 2013-May 2015: served as Executive Assistant, Dept. of History, NUI Maynooth with responsibility for monitoring student attendance.


• UCD, 2016- to the present:
- Designed, delivered and assessed a 10-credit module for final-year undergraduates: ‘End of Empire: A Southern Hemisphere Perspective, 1945-1994’. The module introduces students to the transnational links between Portugal, Southern Rhodesia (post-UDI) and apartheid-era South Africa as they resisted the ‘Winds of Change’ in the continent and explores the shrinking of a global British identity in the era of decolonisation.
- Presented a survey course for study abroad students that treated key themes in Irish history over two millennia: ‘Celtic Dawn to Celtic Tiger’.
- Nominated for a Teaching & Learning Award in May 2017.

• DCU, August 2015- August 2016:
- Designed, delivered and assessed two final year undergraduate modules: ‘Decolonisation in Southern Africa, 1960-1994’ and ‘The Irish Free State, 1922-37’.
- Module co-ordinator, on a team-taught, first year undergraduate skills course: ‘Turning Points in History’ which introduced students to primary source material.
- Conducted intensive small-group tutorials in European, Irish and global history.
- Nominated for the institution’s annual ‘Lecturer of the Year’ award, in April 2016.

• (NUI) Maynooth University, January 2013-May 2015
- Designed, delivered and assessed a range of undergraduate survey and thematic modules related to modern Irish history, 1798-2000: ‘Ireland, 1800-to the present’ and ‘Cultural Nationalism, 1840-1922’.
- Co-ordinated a Postgraduate skills module, ‘The Purpose and Practice of History’ taken by MA students.
- Conducted intensive small-group tutorials in European, Irish and global history

Outreach activities

- Extensive involvement with Local History societies.
- Participation in numerous Decade of Commemoration events, 2013-2018.

• Featured in the Irish Times on 21 May 2019, 16 Aug. 2018 and 14 Feb. 2018.
• Interviewed for RTÉ One television production ‘Sixteen Letters’ in Mar. 2016.
• Contributed a piece to the Irish Humanities Alliance blog on the implications of Brexit, Aug. 2016.
• Interviewed for Newstalk’s ‘Talking History’, Mar. 2015.
• Newspaper article, ‘Longford and Dáil elections’, Longford Leader, 9 Mar. 2016.
• Contributed a piece to the Irish Politics Forum blog on Irish general elections, Feb. 2011.
• Interviewed for Ocean FM documentary on Leitrim/Sligo TD, John Jinks, Feb. 2010.


2009-2011: Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship: Awarded by the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS) for completion of PhD thesis entitled '"Few supporters and no organisation"? Cumann na nGaedheal organisation and policy, 19223-33'.



Mel Farrell, Party Politics in a New Democracy: the Irish Free State, 1922-37 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017)

Mel Farrell, Jason Knirck and Ciara Meehan (eds), A Formative Decade: Ireland in the 1920s (Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 2015).

Book Chapters

‘Stepping stones to freedom: Pro-Treaty rhetoric and strategy during the Dáil Treaty Debates’, in Mícheál Ó Fathartaigh and Liam Weeks (eds.) The Treaty: Debating and Establishing the Irish State (Irish Academic Press, 2018).

‘Cumann na nGaedheal: A New ‘National Party’, in Mel Farrell, Jason Knirck and Ciara Meehan (eds), A Formative Decade: Ireland in the 1920s (Irish Academic Press, 2015).

Peer Reviewed Journals

‘Structures and Members: the Cumann na nGaedheal party organisation, 1923-33’, Parliamentary History [in press, autumn 2019].

‘“The tide had definitely turned”: The Irish Party’s campaigns in Longford, 1917-18’, New Hibernia Review, vol. 21, no. 3 (Autumn 2017), pp 83-104.

From Cumann na nGaedheal to Fine Gael: the foundation of the United Ireland Party in September 1933’, Éire-Ireland, vol. 49, 3 & 4 (Fall/Winter 2014), pp 143-171.

Renewing the party: Cumann na nGaedheal’s Executive Organising Committee, 1924-25’, New Hibernia Review, vol. 18, 3 (Autumn 2014), pp 58-76.

‘A cadre-style party? Cumann na nGaedheal organisation in Clare, Dublin North and Longford/Westmeath, 1923-27’, Éire-Ireland, vol. 47, 3 & 4 (Fall/Winter 2012), pp 91-110.

Other Journals

‘Revolution and Politics: The defeat of the Home Rule Party in County Longford, 1917-18’, in Teathbha, vol. iv, no. 3 (2016).

Ending Civil War Bitterness? Frank MacDermot and the Foundation of the United Ireland Party, September 1933’, Co. Roscommon Historical and Archaeological Society Journal, vol. 13

‘September 1933: From Cumann na nGaedheal to Fine Gael, a Longford perspective’, Teathbha, County Longford Historical Society Journal, vol. iv, no. 2 (2015), pp190-197.

‘A cadre-style party? Cumann na nGaedheal organisation in the constituencies of Clare and Dublin North 1923-27’, History Studies, University of Limerick History Society Journal, vol. 12 (2012), pp 85-99.

‘Treatyite politics in County Longford, 1923-1933: an analysis of the Cumann na nGaedheal organisation’, Teathbha, County Longford Historical Society Journal, vol. 3, no. 4 (2011), pp 46-52.


Pat McCarthy, The Redmonds and Waterford: a political dynasty 1891–1952 (Four Courts Press, 2018), Irish Literary Supplement [forthcoming, autumn 2019].

Frances Flanagan, Remembering the Irish Revolution Dissent, Culture, and Nationalism in the Irish Free State (Oxford University Press, 2015), Irish Historical Studies, vol. 42 no. 162 (Nov. 2018), pp. 379-381.

Michael Laffan, Judging W. T. Cosgrave (Royal Irish Academy, 2014), Irish Historical Studies, vol. 39, no. 155 (May 2015), pp. 545-547.

Jason Knirck, Afterimage of the revolution: Cumann na nGaedheal and Irish politics, 1922–1932 (Wisconsin University Press, 2014), Irish Historical Studies, vol. 39, no. 155 (May 2015), pp. 547-549.

Donal P. Corcoran. Freedom to achieve freedom: the Irish Free State, 1922–1932 (Gill & Macmillan, 2013), Irish Historical Studies, vol. 39, no. 155 (May 2015), pp. 547-549.

Brendan Kelly, Ada English: Patriot and Psychiatrist (Irish Academic Press, 2014), The Irish Story, (Feb 2015).

Mark C. Nolan, Keynes in Dublin: exploring the 1933 Finlay Lecture (Cork: Maurice Sweeney Editorial and Publishing Services, 2013), The Economic History Review, vol. 68, no. 1 (Jan. 2015).