About me



Areas of expertise

My doctoral research reconstructed and critically examined the history of Irish involvement in the policing of the British Palestine Mandate between 1922 and 1948 to provide the first detailed case-study of Irish involvement in the administration of the British Empire in the post-independence period. As part of this process, it challenged the historiography on a series of related issues such as the policing of the Palestine Mandate; the causes of police brutality in revolutionary Ireland, the Palestine Mandate and wider British Empire; and the influence of the RIC on colonial policing in the twentieth century.

My current research explores the more general question of Irish participation in the British imperial project after 1922. Focussing on the Indian Civil Service and the British Colonial Service, it maps recruitment by these services in 'Southern Ireland' during this period, evaluates the Irish contribution to the administration of a range of British overseas possessions, and assess the extent to which, if any, their ‘Irishness’ impacted on the personal and professional experience of Irish imperial servants and led to the creation of an distinct Irish-imperial identity.

In addition to the history of Ireland and Empire, the British Palestine Mandate, and British colonial policing, my research interests include the fate of the ‘losers’ in the Irish Revolution (particularly the R.I.C. and the Coastguard), police counterinsurgency, Irish foreign policy, Irish-Jewish history, Irish-Israeli relations, and the history of Zionism and the Israeli state.


Ireland and Empire, Royal Irish Constabulary, Colonial policing, Police counterinsurgency, Irish Revolution, British Palestine Mandate, Zionism, Israel Studies.

Member Details

Full Name

Seán William Gannon (Professional Historian)

Membership Type

Professional Historian


Committees & Associations

Military History Society of Ireland
Oral History Network Ireland
British Palestine Police Association
Transnational Ireland
Thomond Archaeological Society


Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, 2016-17.
M.I.C. Doctoral Award, 2012-14.

Other activities

*'I have done nothing to merit this [fate]': the RIC in LImerick during the Irish revolutionary endgame (Limerick 1918-1923: New Approaches conference, Mary Immaculate College, 1 Sept. 2018).
*'Paddy will continue to scrap: Irish imperial policing in the interwar years (The Disbandment of the Irish Regiments, 1922: Consequences and Continuities conference, TCD Centre for Contemporary Irish History, 11 Nov. 2017).
* 'My Colonial Office pass would have proved a pass to the next world': Irish colonial servants and the Irish Revolution' (Southern Irish Loyalism in Context conference, Maynooth University, 21-22 July 2017).
* 'If an Irish "wrong-un" should ever slip through …': Colonial Service recruitment in Independent Ireland' (Trinity College, Centre for Contemporary Irish History: Seminar Series 2016-17, 5 Apr. 2017).
* 'A repeat of the Irish show?': The Black and Tans in Palestine, 1922-48 (Trinity College, Centre for Contemporary Irish History: Seminar Series 2014-15, 26 Nov. 2014).
* 'The Royal Irish Constabulary's Immediate Legacy?': Police brutality in the Palestine Mandate, 1922-48 (M.I.C. and University of Limerick, Centre for Historical Research: Seminar Series 2013-14, 25 Feb. 2014).
*'The Irish way of things': Force indiscipline in the British (Palestine) Gendarmerie, 1922-26 (NUIG, Moore Institute, History Postgraduate Forum, 16 Apr. 2012).



*The Irish Imperial Service: Policing Palestine and Administering the Empire, 1922-1966 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018).

Book Chapters

*'Southern Irish loyalists and imperial service' in Brian Hughes & Conor Morrissey (eds), Southern Irish Loyalism, 1912-1949 (Liverpool UP, 2020), pp 155-172.
*'"From the Isle of Saints to the Holy Land": Irish encounters with Zionism in the Palestine Mandate' in Aidan Beatty & Dan O'Brien (eds), Irish questions and Jewish questions: crossovers in culture (Syracuse UP, Aug. 2018).

* '"Black-and-Tan tendencies": policing insurgency in the Palestine Mandate, 1922-48' in Brian Hughes and Fergus Hoban (eds), Unconventional warfare from antiquity to the present day (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), pp 67-88.

Peer Reviewed Journals

*'"Irish … but nothing Irish": The performance of Ireland on the British colonial stage', Scene, 8 (2020), 135-47.
*‘The formation, composition and conduct of the British Section of the Palestine Gendarmerie, 1922-26’, Historical Journal, 56 (2013), 977-1006.

* ‘“Sure it’s only a holiday”: the Irish contingent of the British (Palestine) Gendarmerie, 1922-1926’, Australasian Journal of Irish Studies, 13 (2013), 64-85.

Other Journals

*'I accuse …': District Inspector L.H.P Ibbotson and the Limerick Curfew Murders (Old Limerick Journal, 55 (2020), pp 28-34.
*Eugene Hoade: Jerusalem's turbulent Irish priest, 1928-56 (History Ireland, 27/6 (2019).
* Limerick policemen in the Palestine Mandate, 1922-48 (Old Limerick Journal, 53 (2018), pp 46-55.
* 'Very cruel cases': the post-Truce campaign against the Royal Irish Constabulary in County Limerick (Old Limerick Journal, 51 (2016), pp 15-25.

* 'Schools of corruption': the sources for Sean South's Antisemitism (Old Limerick Journal, 44 (2010), pp 16-24.

Electronic Publications

*Deconstructing the 'Dreaded Auxiliaries' (Irish Humanities Alliance, 2020)
*The Royal Irish Constabulary and Colonial Policing: Lessons and Legacies (Century Ireland, 8 Dec. 2020)
*'The Green Frame of British Rule?': The Irish in the Indian Civil Service (The Irish Story, 27 Nov. 2020)
*The Spanish Influenza in Limerick, 1918-1919 (Digital exhibition for Limerick City and County Library Service Decade of Centenaries programme, 2020)
*The Police in Revolutionary Limerick, 1919-1922 (Digital exhibition for Limerick City and County Library Service Decade of Centenaries programme, 2020)
*Revisiting the 'Limerick Pogrom' of 1904 (The Irish Story, 5 July 2020)

*Henry Hugh Tudor – His Life and Times (The Irish Story, 16 Apr. 2020).

*The Black and Tans in Palestine: Irish Connections to the Palestine Police, 1922-1948 (The Irish Story, 20 Feb. 2020).

*The Black and Tans and Auxiliaries: An Overview (The Irish Story, 13 Jan. 2020)

*Ireland's Imperial Elites (Dublin Review of Books, no. 116, Nov. 2019)

*‘Had we Englishmen in their places …’: Sir Michael O'Dwyer and Amritsar (Irish Diaspora Histories Network, Mar. 2019)

*‘Hybridized Britons’ or ‘irredeemably Irish’? Irish-imperial identities in the twentieth century (Irish Diaspora Histories Network, Nov. 2018) https://irishdiasporahistory.wordpress.com/2018/11/05/hybridized-britons-or-irredeemably-irish-irish-imperial-identities-in-the-twentieth-century/)