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Personal Information
College Photo Name O'Halpin, Eunan
College Address School of Histories & Humanities,
Main Department History
College Title Professor
College Tel +353 1 896 3473
Eunan O'Halpin is Bank of Ireland Professor of Contemporary Irish History, and Director of the Centre for Contemporary Irish History. He was previously Professor of Government at Dublin City University (1998-2000). Educated at UCD and Cambridge, he has written widely on aspects of 20th Irish and British history and politics, his most recent monograph being 'Spying on Ireland: British Intelligence and Irish Neutrality during the Second World War (Oxford, 2008). His current research interests include Afghanistan and the belligerents during the Second World War, and fatalities during the Irish revolution, 1916-1921. He is a Member (2003) of the Royal Irish Academy and a Fellow (2003) of Trinity College Dublin. From October to December 2012 he was Visiting Fellow at the Jawaharlal Nehru University Institute of Advanced Studies in Delhi, carrying out research in the National Archives of India and in the Nehru Memorial Library. An article drawing on this research will shortly appear in Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and other publications will follow. Since coming to Trinity in 2000 Professor O'Halpin has supervised twenty Ph.Ds on recent Irish history, many of which have since been or are in the process of being reworked for publication as monographs with university presses in Ireland or the UK. Professor O'Halpin is Director of the M.Phil in Modern Irish History, and was (July 2005-December 2007) Director of Teaching and Learning (Postgraduate) in the School of Histories and Humanities. He was a member (2005-12) of the Board of Trinity College, and chairman (2006-12)of the Library and Information Policy Committee of Board. He is a member of the Department of Justice Archives Advisory Group, a member and former chairman of the Royal Irish Academy National Committee for the Study of International Affairs and its National Committee for Historical Studies, and a member of its Irish Constitution project board (2009-12). He is a joint editor of the Royal Irish Academy Documents on Irish Foreign Policy series (1996-_, and from 2000 to 2014 was a member of the Advisory Board of The Historical Journal and of the International Board of 20th Century British History. Together with Dr Anne Dolan (TCD), Dr Michael Kennedy (Royal Irish Academy), and Dr Deirdre McMahon (University of Limerick), he convenes the weekly Research Seminar in Contemporary Irish History. He is a member of the government's Expert Advisory Group on Commemorations (2012-), and of the Barristers Professional Standards Appeals Board Board (2012-). Professor O'Halpin has just completed research for a major study of The Dead of the Irish Revolution 1916-1921,and is preparing a number of articles on aspects of Afghan history during the Second World War.
Teaching interests and responsibilities
Teaching in 2014/15 as follows: 'Research Seminar in Contemporary Irish History' (weekly) HI3442 'Ireland, Britain and America during the Cold War and beyond, 1948-1998' HI7123 'Understanding the Irish civil war, 1922-3' (M.Phil in Modern Irish History special subject)
Professional Qualifications
Qualification Institution Class of Degree Title of Dissertation Date Conferred
BA University College Dublin     1975
MA UCD     1978
Ph.D Cambridge     1982
Details Date
Member, National Archives Advisory Council 2002-07
Member, Katherine Kavanagh Trust Since 1998
Secretary, Military Heritage of Ireland Trust 2000-5
Department of Justice Archives Advisory Group 2006
Member, Royal Irish Academ National Committee for History, since 1989 (Chairman, 2001-3) Member, Royal Irish Academy National Committee for the Study of International Relations, since 1993 (Chairman, 1996-99)
Administrative Functions
Details Level Date From Date To
Director, M.Phil in Modern Irish History, 2005-8, 2009-12, 2014- 2
TCD Restructuring Working Group, 2006, and Restructuring Advisory Group, 2007 Representative of Board 2006
Member of Board of Trinity College Elected member 2005 2012
Library and Information Policy Committee of Board Chairman 2008-12
Provost's Advisory Committee on Communications Member 2006 2011
Membership of Professional Institutions, Associations, Societies
Details Date From Date To
Member, Royal Irish Academy 2003
Awards and Honours
Award Date
Albert College Award for Research, Dublin City University 1999-2000
Education Details
School/College Date From Date To
University College Dublin 1972 1978
University of Cambridge 1979 1982
Language Skill Reading Skill Writing Skill Speaking
English Fluent Fluent Fluent
French Basic Basic Basic
Research Institutes / Centres / Groups
Research Institutes / Centres / Groups Description of Role Date From Date To
Centre for Contemporary Irish History Director 01-OCT-02 31-DEC-16
Institute for International Integration Studies Research Associate 01-JAN-03 31-DEC-12
Employment Details
Position Held Job Description Where Date From Date To
Civil Servant   Department of Industry, Commerce and Energy 1977 1979
Assistant Lecturer to Professor   NIHE Dublin/Dublin City Unversity 1982 2000
Description of Research Interests
Irish and British 20th century political and administrative history; unnatural infant death in Ireland (with Dr Ciara Breathanch, University of Limerick); intelligence history; international relations, with particular reference to intelligence and terrorism in the twentieth century; belligerent competition in Afghanistan during the Second World War; British policy towards Afghan and Central Asian Jewish communities, 1933-47
Research Interests
Afghanistan Anglo-Irish relations Intelligence Studies Irish History
Research Projects
Project title Afghanistan and the Second World War
Summary This project has grown considerably in scope over the last four years. The overall aim remains to explore the impact of the war on Afghanistan, and to examine the means by which she avoided being drawn into the conflict despite her proximity to key belligerents - British India, and the Soviet Union - and the activities and plans of the Axis powers. It is based largely on research in British and American government records, which include a large amount of intercepted communications of the Afghan and other neutral and Axis states, as well as on significant private collections. Research in the National Archives of India and the Nehru Memorial Library in 2012 has enabled the further development of the project. It also opened up an unexpected vein of enquiry into the fate of Jews in Afghanistan, which has resulted in the acceptance for publication of an article by Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and an invitation to co-author entries with Dr Sara Koplik for the revised Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World (1st ed., Brill, 2010). Further papers are in preparation dealing with Axis and with British intelligence concerning Afghanistan.
Funding Agency TCD Arts and Social Sciences Benefactions Fund; IIIS
Programme Personal research
Type of Project Monograph
Date from 2006
Date to 2015
Person Months 60

Project title British Intelligence and the Northern Ireland crisis, 1965-98
Summary This project explores explore the role of intelligence in British and Irish management of the Northern Ireland crisis from 1969 onwards. It also looks at how the two states negotiated understandings on security issues, on how their dealings in this delicate area were managed, and on how such dealings were managed at the professional interagency level as well as at the top intergovernmental table. The study also explores the extent to which security and terrorism issues were reflected in the diplomatic activities of both governments in the United States, as well as probing the changing perspective of successive American governments on the broader Northern Ireland issue. Drawing largely on British, Irish and American official records, it looks both at the highest levels of assessment and task setting in Whitehall, and at the operational performance of intelligence gatherers and assessors. It addresses questions arising from problems of leakage and collusion between the security forces and paramilitary groups, and issues surrounding the interrogation regime for prisoners and detainees. The latter problems were particularly significant in terms of Anglo-Irish relations, as London felt that Dublin played these issues up gratuitously. I hope to complete a monograph based on this research in 2011.
Funding Agency IRCHSS
Programme Small Projects
Type of Project Individual
Date from 1 Dec. 2007
Date to 30 June 2010
Person Months 20

Project title The Dead of the Irish Revolution
Summary This project aims to establish who died where and in what circumstances and at who's hands as a result of Irish political violence between 1912 and 1923. The first volume arising from the project, by Eunan O'Halpin and Dr Daithi O Corrain, covering the years 1917 to 1921, will be published by Yale University Press in 2011.
Funding Agency IRCHSS
Programme Major Projects
Type of Project
Date from Nov 2003
Date to
Person Months 40

Publications and Other Research Outputs
Peer Reviewed
Eunan O'Halpin (with Catriona Crowe, Ronan Fanning, Michael Kennedy, Dermot Keogh and Kate O'Malley (eds.) , Documents on Irish Foreign Policy: Volume IX, 1948-1951, 1st, Dublin, Royal Irish Academy, 2014, 1 - 349pp
Ireland and World War II in, editor(s)Alvin Jackson , Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish History, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2014, pp719 - 735, [Eunan O'Halpin]
The Military Service Pensions Project and Irish History: a personal perspective in, editor(s)Patrick Brennan and Catriona Crowe , Giode to the Miltiary Service (1916-1923) Pensions Collection , Dublin, Department of Defence, 2014, pp144 - 165, [Eunan O'Halpin]
Eunan O'Halpin and Ciara Breathnach, Scripting blame: Irish coroners' courts and unnamed infant dead, 1916-32, Social History, 39, (2), 2014, p210 - 228
Problematic Killing in the Irish War of Independence: the kiling of spies and informers in, editor(s)James Kelly and Marian Lyons , Death and Dying in Ireland, Britain and Europe: Historical Perspectives, Dublin, Irish Academic Press, 2013, pp173 - 198, [Eunan O'Halpin]
More Publications and Other Research Outputs >>>

Last updated 12 July 2010 (Email).