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ConventCollections Research Team

Friday, 7 August, 2020

Professor Deirdre Raftery


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Dr Catriona Delaney

Catriona Delaney is a graduate of the University of Limerick, where she completed her PhD at the Department of History. She is currently the M. T. Ball / ConventCollections Postdoctoral Fellow at the School of Education, University College Dublin. Research interests include the history of women religious, the history of Irish education, and education policy. In 2018, she published her first (co-authored) book, Nano Nagle: the life and the legacy. Catriona has also written for scholarly journals including History of Education and Irish Studies Review. At present, she is researching the Mercy Sisters and their involvement in second-level education in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Twitter: @CatrionaMDelane

Ruth Ferris


Ruth Ferris is the M. Michael Corcoran IBVM Doctoral Fellow at the School of Education, UCD. Her PhD examines the pioneering educator and Loreto Superior General, Mother M. Michael Corcoran. Research interests include history of education (particularly the role of women religious), leadership in initial teacher education, and history methodologies in the post-primary school. Ruth is also involved in tutoring and lecturing with the School of Education, UCD and has been Placement Supervisor in the School for over ten years. She has experience in Development Education and was appointed project manager for PINNACLE in December 2018.

Dr Catherine Nowlan-Roebuck

 Dr Catherine Nowlan-Roebuck

Catherine Nowlan-Roebuck has been engaged in research into the history of women religious and their involvement in education in nineteenth-century Ireland for over twenty years. In that time she has worked on the archives of the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Areas and projects on which she has worked include the foundation of Presentation schooling for the Irish poor; development of the network of Presentation Convents and Schools; National Education in nineteenth-century Ireland; the Photographic Collection of Mother Michael Corcoran IBVM; early foundations of the IBVM and Mother Concepcion Lopez as Sister Builder.

Deirdre Bennett

Deirdre Bennett is a PhD student in the School of Education, UCD, under the supervision of Professor Deirdre Raftery. Her research interests lie in eighteenth and nineteenth-century education for girls and particularly in the history of women religious. Her thesis examines the commitment of Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (PBVM) to Irish education circa 1775-1875. Deirdre has conducted research in archives in Ireland and the USA and has presented at conferences in Ireland, the UK, Berlin, Portugal and the USA. She is also a three-time recipient of funding from the UCD Graduate Research and Innovation Fund (2016, 2018, 2019) and in 2018 she received the History of Education Society (UK) Brian Simon Bursary award.

Dr Ellen Regan

Ellen Regan recently completed her PhD in the School of Education, UCD under the supervision of Professor Deirdre Raftery. Her PhD thesis ‘Irish women as missionaries and volunteers in education and health settings, 1950-2015: an oral history approach’ is an investigation of how twentieth century schooling and society shaped mission and volunteer participation. Her research areas are history of education, oral history, women’s history, mission history and volunteerism.

Geraldine Noonan

Research Team Noonan

Geraldine Noonan is a PhD student in the School of Education, UCD, under the supervision of Professor Deirdre Raftery. Geraldine completed a Masters in Education in UCD in 2020 and her minor thesis examined the work of the La Sainte Union des Sacré Coeurs (LSU) congregation in education provision in Ireland since the mid-1860s. Her research interests include the provision of education to poor Catholic girls in eighteenth and nineteenth-century Ireland and the contribution of continental congregations of women religious to education in Ireland. A development from her MA studies, Geraldine's PhD research focuses on the role of LSU in their three schools in Ireland, as well as their involvement in one of the first Community Colleges in Blanchardstown, which spans a period from 1863-1970s.