About me

Email

Matthew.Potter@limerick.ie

Address

Limerick Museum
Limerick City and County Council
Merchants Quay
Limerick

Phone number

061-407413

Areas of expertise

The Anglo-Irish landed elite 1700-1921; nineteenth-century Irish politics; urban history; local government; chambers of commerce; death and cemeteries; Irish textiles industry, especially lace and tweed; local history of Limerick, Donegal, West Cork and Roscommon; modern Ireland.

Keywords

Anglo-Irish; landed elite; landlords; William Monsell; Irish Liberal Party; urban history; local government; municipal councils; borough corporations; chamber of commerce; death; burial; cemeteries; textiles industry; lace; tweed; Limerick; Donegal; West Cork; Clonakilty; Skibbereen; Boyle; Roscommon; modern Ireland

Member Details

Full Name

Matthew Potter (Professional Historian)

Membership Type

Professional Historian

Experience

Education

BA University of London (First Class Honours) 1989
Ph.D National University of Ireland, Galway 2002

Employment

2012: Historian in Limerick Museum and Archives with Limerick City and County Council.
2009-2012: Post-Doctoral Fellowship with the Department of History, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick.
2006- 2009: Post-Doctoral Fellowship with the Department of History, University of Limerick
2003- 2006: Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship with Limerick City Council.

Consultancy work

1. Historical advisor to Limerick City Council. I have acted as a consultant and produced reports for Limerick City Council on a number of matters including the Honorary Freedom of the City, the Mayoralty and other civic traditions. In 2009, on my recommendation, the coat-of-arms of Limerick City Council were officially registered with the Chief Herald of Ireland. In addition I have edited and updated two booklets for the City Council: one on the mayors, bailiffs, sheriffs, and recipients of the honorary freedom of the city and the other on the principal mayoral chain.
2. Historical advisor to Limerick Civic Trust. I have acted as an advisor on a number of matters including the Mayoralty and other civic traditions. In addition I have contributed chapters to David Lee and Debbie Jacobs (eds.), Made in Limerick. Vol. II, A History of Trades, Industries and Commerce, (Limerick: Limerick Civic Trust, 2006).
3. Historical consultant to Association of Municipal Authorities of Ireland (AMAI) on its history and heritage.
4. Historical consultant to various local authorities, including the town councils of Clonakilty, Skibbereen, Boyle and Monaghan and Roscommon County Council.
5. Historical consultant to Donegal Town Community Chamber Ltd.

Management & Administrative experience

As curator of Limerick Museum I manage its collections of artefacts, one of the largest in Ireland. This includes dealing with the acquisition, care and display of items with the aim of informing and educating the public. My duties include other activities, such as public relations, marketing, fundraising and education programmes. I also prepare budgets, manage staff and build relationships with both internal and external partners and stakeholders.

In 2016 I co-curated an exhibition on Limerick in 1916. In 2015 I co-curated an exhibition on Limerick's military heritage, 1691-1918. In April 2014, I co-curated two exhibitions marking the merger of Limerick City and County Councils, dealing with their respective histories. From 2003- 2006, as Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship with Limerick City Council, my role included raising funds, organising the publication of two books and arranging for their distribution. I have also organised two conferences in the University of Limerick.

Teaching

Courses taught include: Education and Society in Modern Ireland; Nationalism and Unionism in Ireland 1800-1922; Introduction to Irish History from 1800 to the Present; Early Modern Europe; Early Modern Ireland; Imperialism and Decolonisation 1492-1997; Early Modern America and Modern/Contemporary Ireland.

Outreach activities

1.Public lectures to various groups, including local history societies, university history societies and in public libraries.
2.Guided tours of Mount Saint Lawrence Cemetery and other locations in Limerick City.
3. Interviews in local and national media outlets.

Committees & Associations

Member of the Thomond Archaeological and Historical Society
Member of the County Donegal Historical Society
Member of the Society for the Study of Nineteenth Century Ireland
Member of Eighteenth Century Ireland Society
Member of Economic and Social History Society of Ireland
Member of the Limerick Chapter of the Irish Georgian Society
Member of the Catholic Historical Society of Ireland
Member of the Political Studies Association of Ireland
Member of the Group for the Study of Historic Irish Settlement
Member of the Society for Court Studies
Member of the World History Association
Member of the Classical Association of Ireland

Awards

1. In 2016, I was appointed an Honorary Fellow of the Department of History, University of Limerick for a three-year term. The University of Limerick Adjunct Appointment process is designed to recognise individuals of superior achievement and distinction in their primary professional endeavours, who have been recognised by peers as outstanding in their fields and who make a significant contribution to the University of Limerick (UL) through teaching, mentoring, research programmes and Faculty development activities.

2. €215,000 in Research Funding to Date
Donors include Association of Municipal Authorities of Ireland; Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences; JP McManus Charitable Foundation; Limerick City Council and various municipal councils.

Other activities

I am a member of Toastmasters International since 2003 and have served President, Secretary and PRO of Raheen Toastmasters Club. Toastmasters International is an educational organization that operates clubs worldwide for the purpose of helping members improve their communication, public speaking and leadership skills. It has helped me to become a successful public speaker, an effective communicator and an assured and confident leader.

Publications

Books

1. They Dreamed and are Dead: Limerick 1916 (Joint Author with Brian Hodkinson and William O’Neill) (Limerick: Limerick City and County Council, 2016).
2. Limerick’s Merchants, Traders and Shakers: Celebrating Two Centuries of Enterprise (Joint Author with Sharon Slater) (Limerick: Limerick Chamber of Commerce, 2015).
3.City and Cemetery: A History of Mount Saint Lawrence, Limerick (Limerick: Limerick City and County Council, 2015).
4. Amazing Lace: A History of the Limerick Lace Industry (Limerick: Limerick City and County Council, 2014).
5.Skibbereen Town Council: A History (Skibbereen: Skibbereen Town Council, 2014).
6. The Curious Story of the Limerick (Limerick: Limerick Writers Centre, 2013)
7.Boyle, Roscommon and Tulsk 1613-2013, 400 Years of Municipal Government in County Roscommon (Roscommon: Roscommon County Council, 2013)
8.A Century of Service, A History of the Association of Municipal Authorities of Ireland 1912-2012 (Nenagh: Association of Municipal Authorities of Ireland, 2012).
9.The Municipal Revolution in Ireland. A Handbook of Urban Government in Ireland since 1800. (Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 2010).
10. Limerick – History and Society Interdisciplinary Essays on the History of an Irish County (Joint Editor with Liam Irwin and Gearóid O Tuathaigh) (Dublin: Geography Publications, 2009).
11. William Monsell of Tervoe 1812-94: Catholic Unionist, Anglo-Irishman. (Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 2009).
12. First Citizens of the Treaty City. The Mayors and the Mayoralty of Limerick, (Limerick: Limerick City Council, 2007).
13. The Government and the People of Limerick. The History of Limerick Corporation/City Council 1197-2006, (Limerick: Limerick City Council, 2006).
14. A Catholic Unionist. The Life and Times of William Monsell, first Baron Emly of Tervoe (1812-1894). A Centenary Essay, (Limerick: Treaty Press, 1994).

Book Chapters

1.‘The Establishment and Evolution of Limerick City Municipal Library, 1889-1938’ in Leeann Lane and William Murphy (eds.), Leisure and the Irish in the Nineteenth Century (Liverpool University Press, 2016), pp 99-116.
2. ‘In the Shadow of Castle and Abbey: Aspects of the History of Donegal Town since 1600’ in John Cunningham and Niall Ó Ciosáin (eds), Culture and Society in Ireland since 1750: Essays in Honour of Gearóid O Tuathaigh (Dublin: Lilliput Press, 2015), pp 131-43.
3. ‘The most important town in Mayo: Local Government in Ballina since 1723’ in Gerard Moran and Nollaig Ó Muiraíle (eds), Mayo – History and Society Interdisciplinary Essays on the History of an Irish County (Dublin: Geography Publications, 2014), pp 257-76.
4. 'The Tuam Charter of 1613' in Glimpses of Tuam through the Centuries. Proceedings of a Seminar, 28th September 2013 (Tuam: Old Tuam Society, 2014), pp 35-43.
5. ‘The Most Perfect Specimen of Civilised Nature: the Shannon Estuary Group- Elite Theory and Practice’ in Ciaran O'Neill (ed.) Irish Elites in the Nineteenth Century (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2013), pp 113-24.
6. ‘Keeping an Eye on the Tsar: Frederick Potter and the Skibbereen Eagle’ in Kevin Rafter (ed.), Irish Journalism before Independence, More a Disease than a Profession (Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 2011), pp 49-61.
7. ‘The Evolution of Local Government in Limerick City Since 1800’ in Liam Irwin, Gearóid O Tuathaigh and Matthew Potter (eds.), Limerick – History and Society Interdisciplinary Essays on the History of an Irish County (Dublin: Geography Publications, 2009), pp 401-35.
8. Entry on ‘William Monsell’ in James Maguire and James Quinn (eds.), Dictionary of Irish Biography, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009).
9. ‘The Urban Local State in Scotland and Ireland to 1900: Parallels and Contrasts’ in Frank Ferguson and James McConnel (eds.), Ireland and Scotland in the Nineteenth Century, (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2009), pp 108-18.
10. ‘A Roman Catholic Francophile Anglo-Irishman: William Monsell 1812-94’ in Colin Graham and Leon Litvack (eds.), Ireland and Europe in the Nineteenth Century, (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2006), pp 77-88.
11. ‘Limerick Corporation and the Economy of the Medieval City’ in David Lee and Debbie Jacobs (eds.), Made in Limerick. Vol. II, A History of Trades, Industries and Commerce, (Limerick: Limerick Civic Trust, 2006), pp 31-50.
12. ‘Limerick City Halls’ in David Lee and Debbie Jacobs (eds.), Made in Limerick. Vol. II, A History of Trades, Industries and Commerce, (Limerick: Limerick Civic Trust, 2006), pp 65-73.

Peer Reviewed Journals

1. 'Municipal Government in Donegal Town: The Two Charters of 1612-13' in The Donegal Annual, Vol. 66 (2013), pp 50-62.
2. 'Three Donegal Towns that Received Charters in 1613' in The Donegal Annual, Vol. 65 (2013), pp 45-47.
3. ‘Both by Position and Talents a Leading Man: William Monsell and the Waging of the Crimean War’ in the Irish Sword, Vol. XXIX (2013), pp 101-13.
4. 'The first decade of an Irish local government association: the Association of Municipal Authorities of Ireland, 1912-22' in The International Journal of Regional and Local Studies, Series 2, Vol. 7, Nos. 1&2 (2011-12), pp 90-114.
5. ‘The Earls of Arran and their estates in County Donegal’ in The Donegal Annual, Vol. 60 (2008), pp 102-33.
6. ‘Limerick Corporation and the Provision of Social Housing 1887-2005’ in History Studies, Vol. 6, (2005), pp 91-106.
7. ‘Lord Emly and Pope Pius IX’ in Studies, Vol. 92. No. 368, (Winter 2003), pp 396-404.
8. ‘The Architectural Legacy of Eyre Massey, third Lord Clarina (1798-1872)’ in North Munster Antiquarian Journal, Vol. 42, (2002), pp 11-20.
9. ‘William Monsell: An Irish Catholic Unionist’ in North Munster Antiquarian Journal, Vol. 41, (2001), pp 65-74.

Other Journals

1. ‘The Greatest Gerrymander in Irish History? James I’s Forty Towns of 1612-13’ in History Ireland, Vol. 21, No. 2, (March/April, 2013), pp 14-17.
2. ‘Geographical Loyalty? Counties, Palatinates, Boroughs and Ridings’ in History Ireland, Vol. 20, No. 5, (September/October, 2012), pp 24-27.
3. ‘The Establishment of Skibbereen Town Council’in Skibbereen and District Historical Society Journal, Vol.8 (2012), pp 52-57.
4. ‘The Rise and Fall of Local Democracy’ in History Ireland, Vol. 19, No. 2, (March/April, 2011), pp 40-43.
5. ‘The Life and Times of Eyre Massey, first Baron Clarina of Elm Park (1719-1804)’, in The Old Limerick Journal, No. 34, (summer, 1998), pp 20-23.
6. ‘William Monsell, first Baron Emly’ in The Old Limerick Journal, Famine Edition, No. 32, (winter, 1995), pp 58-63.

Other

1. ‘Governing Georgian Limerick’ at ‘City Engage’ conference held by Limerick City and County Council in conjunction with the School of Architecture at the University of Limerick (SAUL) in a number of venues, Limerick City 28 February-3 March 2017.
2. ‘Limerick Lace 1829-2017’ at ‘Missing Persons: contemporary histories of textile knowledge, skills, technologies and materials’ conference at Nottingham T rent University, Nottingham, 16-17 January 2017.
3. ‘Ancient Superpowers: Rome and China’ at the Classical Association of Ireland Summer Conference, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, 19 and 20 August 2016.
4. ‘Salt and Pepper Herringbone: Donegal Tweed in the Context of the Textile and Clothing Industry in County Donegal’ 2014’at the Annual Conference of the Economic and Social History Society of Ireland, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, 27 and 28 November 2015.
5. ‘Mount Saint Lawrence Cemetery, Limerick 1855-2014’at the Annual Conference of the Economic and Social History Society of Ireland, St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, 21 and 22 November 2014.
6. ‘The Impact of Social Housing in Urban Ireland 1879-1914’ at Urban Spaces in the Nineteenth Century, an international multidisciplinary conference hosted by the Society for the Study of Nineteenth Century Ireland, Queens University Belfast, 26-27 June 2014.
7. ‘Funerary Art in an Irish Cemetery 1855-2014’ at the Fifteenth Colloquium on Cemeteries, University of York, 17 May, 2014.
8. 'The Political Role of Mount Saint Lawrence Cemetery in Limerick 1867-2013' at the Annual Conference of the Economic and Social History Society of Ireland, NUI Galway, 22 and 23 November 2013.
9. ‘Irish Cemeteries since 1830: A Survey’ at the Fourteenth Colloquium on Cemeteries, University of York, 17 May, 2013.
10. ‘James I’s Forty Chartered Towns of 1613’ at the second Tudor and Stuart Conference, University College Dublin, 31 August-1 September 2012.
11. ‘The Five Good Emperors: The Nerva-Antonine Dynasty 96-180 AD’ at the Classical Association of Ireland Summer Conference, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, 17 and 18 August 2012.
12. ‘The Evolution of Municipal Libraries in Ireland, 1855-1925’ at Leisure and the Irish in the Nineteenth Century, an international multidisciplinary conference hosted by the Society for the Study of Nineteenth Century Ireland, Mater Dei Institute of Education, 28-29 June 2012.
13. ‘A Co-operative Project in Cemetery Research: Mount Saint Lawrence Cemetery, Limerick City 1855-2010’ at the Thirteenth Colloquium on Cemeteries, University of York, 11 May, 2012.
14. “Mount Saint Lawrence Cemetery: Limerick’s Necropolis 1849-2009’ at the Mary Immaculate College Research Showcase, Clarion Hotel, Limerick, 30 August 2011.
15. ‘The Shannon Estuary Group’ at Irish Elites in the Nineteenth Century, an international multidisciplinary conference hosted by the Society for the Study of Nineteenth Century Ireland, Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool, 30 June – 01 July, 2011.
16. ‘Alternative Local Authorities: Improvement Commissioners in Ireland, 1757-1854’ at the conference of the Eighteenth-Century Ireland Society, University of Limerick, 25-26 June 2010.
17. ‘Keeping an Eye on the Tsar: Frederick Potter (1839-1906) and the Skibbereen Eagle’ at the inaugural conference of the Newspaper and Periodical History Forum of Ireland, National University of Ireland Galway, 31 October-1 November 2008.
18. ‘The Paradox of Pomp and Circumstance: Civic Pageantry in Limerick 1750 to the Present’, at the workshop Civic Culture and Governance in Ireland and Europe since 1800, the Centre for Historical Research in the University of Limerick, 2-3 May 2008.
19. ‘The Civic Revolution in Ireland 1828-99’ at the conference Society and Politics in Irish Towns c.1750-1914, Queens University, Belfast, 18 April 2008.
20. ‘The Urban Local State in Limerick since the Norman Invasion’, plenary address at postgraduate conference, Limerick through the Ages, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, 9 February 2008.
21. ‘The Evolution of Urban Government in Ireland since 1800’, at the workshop, Civic Governance and Power in Ireland and Europe since 1800, Centre for Historical Research in the University of Limerick, 12-13 October 2007.
22. ‘A Local Monarchy: The Mayoralty of Limerick 1691-1841’, at the conference of the Eighteenth-Century Ireland Society, Queens University, Belfast, 15-17 June 2007.
23. ‘The Reform of the Boroughs in Nineteenth Century Scotland and Ireland’ at Across the Water: Ireland and Scotland in the Nineteenth Century, a conference hosted by the Society for the Study of Nineteenth Century Ireland, Magee College, University of Ulster, Derry, 16-18 June 2006.
24. ‘Improving Limerick: The Activities of Improvement Commissioners in Limerick City in the Long Eighteenth Century’ at the conference of the Eighteenth-Century Ireland Society, Magee College, University of Ulster, Derry, 16-17 June 2006.
25. ‘The Monsells and the Massys: Land and Landscape in the Clarina/Ballybrown area of County Limerick’ at the annual conference of the Society for the Study of Nineteenth Century Ireland, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, 17-18 June, 2005.
26. ‘A Handsome Vulgar Forward Irishman: Charles Vereker, 2nd Viscount Gort 1768-1842’ at the conference of the Eighteenth-Century Ireland Society, University of Limerick, 9-12 June, 2005.
27. ‘An Ignominious Reign of Audacity and Spoliation: Limerick Corporation and its Critics 1691-1853’ at a seminar held by the Centre for Historical Research, University of Limerick, 25 November, 2004.
28. ‘William Monsell and the Media: A Nineteenth Century Spin-doctor at Work 1847-1874’at the Economic and Social History Society of Ireland Conference, NUI Maynooth, 12-13 November 2004.
29. Limerick Corporation and its Critics 1760-1853’ at the conference of the Eighteenth-Century Ireland Society, Trinity College Dublin, 17-20 June, 2004.
30. ‘A Catholic Unionist and the Empire: William Monsell, Under Secretary for the Colonies 1868-71; at Enemies of Empire, a conference held by the Centre for Historical Research, University of Limerick, 11-13 June 2004.
31. ‘A Roman Catholic Francophile Anglo-Irishman: William Monsell 1812-94” at Ireland & Europe in the Nineteenth Century an international multidisciplinary conference hosted by the Society for the Study of Nineteenth Century Ireland, Queens University, Belfast, 20-22 June, 2003.
32. ‘The Irish Catholic Unionists in the Nineteenth Century’ at the Irish Conference of Historians, Magee College, University of Ulster, Derry, 22 – 25 May 2003.
33. ‘A Tale of a Town. The Earls of Arran and the Borough of Donegal (1692-1800)’ at the conference of the Eighteenth-Century Ireland Society, Trinity College, Dublin, 2-4 May 2003.