Researchers at UCD

Lindsey Earner-Byrne

School of History



PhD NUI 2001

Post-Doctoral Fellow, Hertford College, Oxford Univeristy, 2001-2002


Honours and Awards

Year: 1996.
Title: Open Postgraduate Scholarship
Year: 1997.
Title: Lord Edward Fitzgerald Memorial Fund Postgraduate Bursary
Year: 1998.
Title: Government of Ireland Higher Education Scholarship, 1998/9-1999/2000
Year: 2001.
Title: Irish Government Senior Scholarship in the History and Culture of Ireland
Year: 2016.
Title: National University of Ireland Publication Award


Association: Editorial Board of Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, Function/Role: Member of Editorial Board
Association: Irish Association of Professional Historians, Function/Role: member
Association: Economic and Social History Society of Ireland, Irish Association, Function/Role: member
Association: Women's History Association of Ireland, Function/Role: member
Association: UCD Press, Function/Role: Member of Editorial Board
Association: Royal Irish Academy, Function/Role: Historical Sciences Committee

Conference Contributions

Lindsey Earner-Byrne (2016) 'Artefacts of poverty: Letters of the Irish Catholic poor 1920-40'. [Invited Lecture], Modern Irish History Seminar Series, Cambridge University , 09-NOV-16 - 09-NOV-16.
Lindsey Earner-Byrne (2016) [Invited Oral Presentation], Irish Record Linkage, 1864-1913, University of Limerick , 10-FEB-16 - 10-FEB-16.
Lindsey Earner-Byrne (2015) 'A discriminating culture: priests and the role of charity in forging class distinctions in Ireland'. [Invited Lecture], Class and Culture in Twentieth-Century Ireland,, Cambridge University , 17-APR-15 - 19-APR-15.
Lindsey Earner-Byrne (2015) Why history matters, why gender matters¿. [Roundtable Participant], Revolting Women: Women in Feminist, Labour & Nationalist Movements in Ireland, 1913-1923, Newman House, UCD , 16-OCT-15 - 16-OCT-15.
Lindsey Earner-Byrne (2015) [Chaired Session], Law and the Family, 1750-1950, Sutherland School of Law, UCD , 13-MAR-15 - 13-MAR-15.
Lindsey Earner-Byrne, Carole Holohan and Mary E. Daly (2014) 'Personalising Poverty: Irish Charity Cases, 1920s-1940s. [Conference Organising Committee Member], The Meaning of Poverty, School of History and Archives, UCD , 05-SEP-14 - 05-SEP-14.
Lindsey Earner-Byrne (2014) 'Father my health has broken down': Writing Health in Irish Charity Letters, 1920-1940. Medical Humanities, New Frontiers: Back to the Pasts, Royal Irish Academy, Dublin, Ireland , 06-MAR-14 - 06-MAR-14.
Lindsey Earner-Byrne (2014) Finding the Child in Twentieth-Century Irish History. [Keynote Address], History of Irish Childhood Conference, St Patrick's College, Drumcondra, Dublin, Ireland , 09-JUN-14 - 11-JUN-14.
Lindsey Earner-Byrne (2014) The Unmarried Mother and Irish Society. [Invited Lecture], Stoneybatter and Smithfield People's History Project, Stoneybatter and Smithfield, Dublin, Ireland , 27-SEP-14 - 28-SEP-14.
Lindsey Earner-Byrne (2013) 'A History of Poverty in independent Ireland: The Voices of the Poor'. [Invited Lecture], Dublin History Festival 2013, Dublin , 26-SEP-13 - 09-OCT-13.
Lindsey Earner-Byrne (2007) [Conference Organising Committee Chairperson], The Evolution of the Irish Constitution, 1937-2007, University College Dublin , 09-MAR-07 - 09-MAR-07.
Catherine Cox, Lindsey Earner-Byrne, Ivar McGrath (2013) Unravelling Violence: Historians, Narratives and Meanings. [Conference Organising Committee Member], Irish Conference of Historians, School of History and Archives, UCD , 07-JUN-13 - 08-JUN-13.
Lindsey Earner-Byrne; (2011) Child Sexual Abuse, History and Society. [Invited Lecture], Childhood and Society, Mater Dei Institute of Education, Dublin City University , 17-APR-11 - 18-APR-11.
Lindsey Earner-Byrne; (2011) Improving Ireland. [Conference Organising Committee Member], Social and Economic Society of Ireland Annual Conference, School of History and Archives, University College Dublin , 10-NOV-11 - 12-NOV-11.
Lindsey Earner-Byrne; (2008) Family, Gender and Reputation in the Irish welfare Debate between 1922 and 1944. [Invited Lecture], Sixteenth Conference of the Irish Historians in Britain: Women, Gender and Nation, University of Warwick , 12-SEP-08 - 14-SEP-08.
Earner-Byrne, L.; (2006) Practices and Representations of Health: Historical Perspectives. [Invited Oral Presentation], Social History of Medicine Annual Conference, Warwick University , 01-JAN-06.
Earner-Byrne, L.; (2006) Sister? Women, Religion and Voluntary Organisations in Ireland, 1922-72. [Invited Oral Presentation], Voluntary Organisations to NGO?: Voluntary Action in Britain since 1900, London , 01-JAN-06 - 02-FEB-06.
Earner-Byrne, L.; (2005) Double Vision Conference: Liminal Irish Identities. [Invited Oral Presentation], Double Vision Conference: Liminal Irish Identities, University College Dublin , 01-JAN-05.
Lindsey Earner-Byrne; (2002) The unspeakable crime: Irishwomen and moral transgression in the twentieth century. [Invited Lecture], Thirteenth Conference of Irish Historians in Britain, University of Stirling , 01-JUN-02.
Lindsey Earner-Byrne; (2001) The boat to England: why single expectant Irishwomen emigrated to Britain in the twentieth century. [Invited Lecture], The Annual Conference of the Irish Economic and Social History Society, Royal Irish Academy, Royal Irish Academy , 01-NOV-01.
Lindsey Earner-Byrne; (2000) The citizenship of poverty: women and welfare in modern Ireland. [Invited Lecture], Womens History Association of Ireland Conference, University College Dublin , 01-SEP-00.
Lindsey Earner-Byrne; (1999) In respect of motherhood: and Irish Catholic social service, 1930-1954. [Invited Lecture], Irish Historical Society, Trinity College Dublin , 01-NOV-99.
Lindsey Earner-Byrne; (1998) Pen to paper: Irish Catholic mothers and their support network, 1920-1940. [Invited Lecture], Economic and Social History Society of Ireland Annual Conference, Dublin , 01-NOV-98.


Committee : Research Innovation & Impact Group (RIIG)
Committee : UCD Seed Funding Committee
Committee : Seed Funding Steering Committee
Committee : Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee
Committee : Royal Irish Academy Committee for Historical Sciences



Outreach Activities

Contributor to Tuam and Irish Mother and Baby Homes, BBC Scotland, Eorpa, screened February 2016
Contributor to 'Seven Women' Tile Films documentary screened RTE 1, 20 March 2016
Contributor to RTE Prime Time 'Tuam Baby Scandal', June 2014
Contributor to RTE Marian Finucane Show 'Mother and Baby Homes' 7 June 2014
Contributor to BBC Our World 26, 27, 28 September 2014
Contributor to Big Mountain Production Documentary 'The Tenements' (TV3) aired August 2011

Contributor to Scannall (RTE 1) documentary on the Mother and Child Scheme aired 11 April 2011

Contributor to Scannall (RTE 1) documentary on the Mother and Child Scheme aired 11 April 2011

Co-Presenter of 'Talking History' on Newstalk 106-108 FM - a two hour history programme every Sunday evening from 7 to 9


Other Activities

External examiner for the Diploma in Genealogy at University College Cork (2017-2020)

External examiner for the MA in Family History at University of Limerick (2011-2015)     



Lindsey Earner-Byrne (2017) The Letters of the Catholic Poor: Poverty in Independent Ireland, 1920-1940. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [Details]
Earner-Byrne, L.; (2007) Mother and Child: Maternity and Child Welfare in Dublin, 1920s-1960s. Manchester: Manchester University Press. [Details]

Book Chapters

L. Earner-Byrne (2017) ''Behind closed doors': Society and Domestic Violence in Ireland, 1922-1995' In: Niamh M. Howlin and Kevin Costello (eds). Law and the Family in Ireland, 1750-1950. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. [Details]
Lindsey Earner-Byrne (2017) 'The Family, 1880-2016' In: Tom Bartlett (eds). The Cambridge History of Ireland: Volume Four Modern Ireland, 1880-2016. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [Details]
Lindsey Earner-Byrne and Diane Urquhart (2017) 'Gender and Irish Society' In: Mary E. Daly and Eugenio F. Biagini (eds). Cambridge Social History of Ireland. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [Details]
Lindsey Earner-Byrne (2015) 'Should I take myself and Family to another Religion [?]: Irish Catholic women, protest and conformity, 1920-1940' In: Cara Delay and Christina Brophy (eds). Women, Reform, and Resistance in Ireland, 1850-1950. New York: Palgrave. [Details]
Lindsey Earner-Byrne (2013) ''Twixt God and geography: the development of maternity services in twentieth- century Ireland'' In: Janet Greenless and Linda Bryder (eds). Western Maternity and Medicine, 1880-1990. London: Pickering & Chatto. [Details]
Lindsey Earner-Byrne; (2011) 'Child sexual abuse, history and the pursuit of blame in Modern Ireland' In: Katie Holmes and Stuart Ward (eds). Exhuming Passions: Memory and the Pressures of the Past in Australia and Ireland. Dublin: Irish Academic Press. [Details]
Lindsey Earner-Byrne; (2010) 'Moral perscription: the Irish medical profession, the Roman Catholic church and the prohibition of birth control in twentieth-century Ireland' In: Catherine Cox and Maria Luddy (eds). Cultures of care in Irish medical history, 1750-1950. London: Palgrave. [Details]
Lindsey Earner-Byrne; (2010) ''Aphrodite rising from the waves'?: women's voluntary activism and the women's movement in twentieth-century Ireland' In: Pat Thane and Esther Breitenbach (eds). Women and Citizenship in Britain and Ireland. London: Continuum Books. , pp.95-112 [Details]
Earner-Byrne, L. (2008) ''Parading their Poverty': Widows in Twentieth-Century Ireland' In: B. Farago & M. Sullivan (eds). Facing the Other: Interdisciplinary Studies on Race, Class and Gender in Ireland. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press. [Details]
Earner-Byrne, L.; (2004) 'Moral Repatriation': The Response to Irish Unmarried Mothers in Britain, 1920s-1960s'' In: Patrick Duffy (eds). To and From Ireland: Planned Migration Schemes c. 1600-2000. Dublin: Geography Publications. , pp.155-173 [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

Lindsey Earner-Byrne (2015) 'The Rape of Mary M.: A Mircrohistory of Sexual Violence and Moral Redemption in 1920s Ireland'. Journal of the History of Sexuality, 24 (1):75-98. [Details]
Lindsey Earner-Byrne (2015) ''Dear Father my Health has Broken Down': Writing Health in Irish Charity Letters, 1922-1940'. Social History of Medicine, 28 (4):849-868. [Details]
Lindsey Earner-Byrne; (2008) ''Reinforcing the Family: Understandings of Gender and Sexuality in the Irish Welfare Debate, 1922-44'. History of the Family: International Quarterly Journal, 13 (4):360-369. [Details]
Earner-Byrne, L.; (2006) 'Managing Motherhood: Negotiating a Maternity Service for Catholic Mothers in Dublin, 1930-54'. Journal Social History of Medicine, . [Details]
Earner-Byrne, L.; (2003) 'The Boat to England: An Analysis of the Official Reactions to the Emigration of Single Expectant Irishwomen to Britain, 1922-1972'. Irish Economic and Social History, XXX :52-70. [Details]
Earner-Byrne, L.; (2002) 'In Respect of Motherhood: Maternity Policy and Provision in Dublin City, 1922-1956'. History Review, XIII :194-198. [Details]

Electronic Publication

Lindsey Earner-Byrne (2015) Humanities and Me. On line: Electronic Publication [Details]

Book Reviews

Lindsey Earner-Byrne (2015) Margaret H. Preston and Margaret OhOgartaigh, (eds.), Gender and Medicine in Ireland, 1700-1950. Book Reviews [Details]
Lindsey Earner-Byrne (2015) Laura Kelly, Irish Women in Medicine c. 18802-1920s (Manchester University Press 2012). Book Reviews [Details]
Earner-Byrne, L (2012) Miss Cutler and the Case of the Resurrected Horse: Social Work and the Story of Poverty in America, Australia, and Britain. Book Reviews [Details]
Earner-Byrne, L (2010) THE IRISH SWEEP: A HISTORY OF THE IRISH HOSPITALS SWEEPSTAKE, 1930-87. Book Reviews [Details]


Lindsey Earner-Byrne; (2001) The citizenship of entitlement: gender and welfare in Ireland, 1922-1960. Seminar [Details]

Radio Presentation

Lindsey Earner-Byrne (2014) Unmarried Mothers and Irish Society. Radio Presentation [Details]
Lindsey Earner-Byrne (2014) The History of Unmarried Mothers in Ireland. Radio Presentation [Details]


Research Interests

Research Interests:

Areas of Research Expertise:

·      History of welfare policy in Ireland and Europe

·      Migration\Emigration from and to Ireland and Europe

·      Gender history and social policy

European Trajectories in the Quest for Welfare and Democracy: Voluntary Associations, Families and the State, 1880s-1990s 
I am a member of this international research network orgainsed by Profs Pat Thane (King's College, London), Clarisse Berthezene (Université de Paris-Diderot) and Laura Lee Downs (EUI/EHESS). This project explores the Europe's welfare regimes focusing on the relationships between voluntary associations, families and states. This project combines fine-grained local studies with a comparative and transnational scope in order to make a constructive contribution to current debates on the politics and policies of welfare in the EU. I will be contributing to the project's second workshop in Florence in May 2016 on religion and welfare policy. 

The Liverpool-Ireland Abortion Corridor: History, Activism and Medical Practice Project, Wellcome Trust Seed Fund Scheme, 2015-2016. 
I am a collaborator on this project directed by Deirdre Duffy of Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, Manchester Metropolitan University. My role is to provide the historical context to the abortion debate in Ireland with a particular focus on the portrayal of and debate about women traveling to Britain for abortions. 

Director of the Evolution of the Irish States Project, 2008-2012: Poverty and the Poor in Modern Ireland

The notion that the Irish revolution was more political than social has been articulated by many historians of modern Ireland, most recently in Ferriter's The transformation of Ireland 1900-2000 (2004). Descriptions of poverty and the reality of destitution in modern Ireland are not hard to come by from contemporary cases, such as the starvation of a mother in Adrigole (1927), to modern day fictional portrayals like McCourt's Angela's Ashes (1996). There have been notable historical studies on the geography and conditions of poverty, for example, J Prunty's Dublin's Slums, 1800-1925, but there is a serious lacuna in our historical understanding of the poor themselves. What did Independence mean to those on the financial margins of Irish society? How did those struggling to survive in modern Ireland negotiate the assistance available to them? How did they articulate their poverty and need?

This project goes to the heart of the Irish revolution to investigate its social consequences at ground level. Hence this is a 'bottom up' study of poverty and its protagonists. The project is based on over 3,000 begging letters written to the Archbishop of Dublin, Edward Byrne, between 1921 and 1939. These letters will provide the framework for an examination of poverty, religion, and begging in modern Ireland. This project will cast some light on the nature of contemporary understandings of poverty and its connections to institutional religion, charity and the State in the formative pre-welfare years of the Irish State. The project will address fundamental questions about poverty in modern Ireland: Who were the poor? How fixed was the category of 'poor'? Did contemporaries expect to move in and out of poverty? What if any was the bargaining power of those in financial need? Was there a gendered expression of poverty? How did the 'poor' prioritise and articulate their need/s?

General Research Areas:
Modern Irish social and political history; gender and welfare history of Ireland and Europe; Irish demographic and emigration history

Research Projects

Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : Gender Matters: A Gender History of Ireland, 1800 to the Present
Start Date / End Date : 01-APR-16 / 30-SEP-17
Sponsor : The Wellcome Trust (WT)
Title : Liverpool-Ireland Abortion Corridor: History, activism and medical practice
Start Date / End Date : 01-MAY-16 / 30-APR-17
Sponsor : Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS)
Title : The Church of Ireland and the Irish State: Institution, Community and State Relations, 1950-1972
Start Date / End Date : 01-SEP-10 / 31-DEC-12

Recent Postgraduates

Caitriona Foley, BA, TCD

Robbie Roulson, BA, UCD 

Current Postgraduate Students

Trisha Oakley Kessler, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)   -   Thesis Supervisor


Teaching Philosophy

I believe that teaching is about empowerment. My main aim is to enable students to reach their own potential. I find history can be taught in so many innovative ways, but the most important thing is to inspire curiosity, instil confidence and provide accessible avenues to learning.

Modules Coordinated

201600   HIS20960     History: The Irish Experience
201600   HIS41970     History: Medical History Project
201600   HIS42020     History: Disseminating History
201600   HIS31290     History: Gender, Sexuality and Family


Internal Collaborators

Associated Staff, Centre for the History of Medicine in Ireland

External Collaborators

Collaborator on the Liverpool-Ireland Abortion Corridor: History, Activism and Medical Practice Project, directed by Deirdre Duffy of Edge Hill University, Liverpool and funded by the Wellcome Trust Seed Fund Scheme, 2015-2016.

A member of the Research Network: European Trajectories in the Quest for Welfare and Democracy: Voluntary Associations, Families and the State, 1880s-1990s, organised by Profs Pat Thane (King's College, London), Clarisse Berthezene (Université de Paris-Diderot) and Laura Lee Downs (EUI/EHESS).