About me




Historian, and former Government of Ireland IRC Scholar, who has lectured in Maynooth University, Dublin City University and University College Dublin. Extensive teaching portfolio in Irish, European and Southern African history and twice nominated for teaching awards (DCU in 2016 and UCD in 2017).

My principle research interests lie in: Irish and European political history with a particular emphasis on the role of political parties and their organisations; the post- Second World War process of decolonisation; the Irish Revolution and its aftermath and the process of European integration in the latter half of the twentieth-century.

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



2007-2012: Maynooth University (NUI), PhD in History.
2004-2007: Maynooth University (NUI), graduated with a BA in History in English (II.I).


- Sept. 2016-present: Occasional Lecturer, School of History, UCD. Designed, delivered and assessed third-year, ten credit undergraduate module "End of Empire" and a study abroad course "Celtic Dawn to Celtic Tiger".
- Sept. 2015-Aug. 2016: Teaching Fellow in History, St. Patrick's Campus, DCU. Designed delivered and assessed a range of undergraduate modules and served as module co-ordinator on a team-taught first year skills course "Turning Points in History". Supervision of postgrad theses relating to modern 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

Outreach activities

- Extensive involvement with Local History societies.
- Participation in numerous Decade of Commemoration events, 2013-2018.
- Delivery of the annual Arthur Griffith/Michael Collins commemorative oration, Glasnevin cemetery, August 2013.
- March 2016: appeared as a guest on RTÉ One television production ‘Sixteen Letters’.
- March 2016 article in the Longford Leader, ‘Longford and Dáil Elections’.
- May 2015: appeared as a guest on Newstalk’s ‘Talking History’.
- February 2011: Blog Post on Irish general elections, Irish Politics Forum website.
- February 2010: contributed to Ocean FM documentary on Leitrim/Sligo TD, John Kinks.


- 2009-2011: Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship: Awarded by the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS).



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

One forthcoming, details to follow.

Peer Reviewed Journals

-‘ “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.


- Five book reviews in such journals as: Dublin Review of Books, Economic History Review and Irish Historical Studies.