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The Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool

Contact: Dr. Kevin Bean
Liverpool, United kingdom

The Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool


The Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool, is the centre of excellence for the study of Ireland in Britain. Staffed by a welcoming team of world-class researchers working on various aspects of Irish history, politics and literature, the Institute offers undergraduate and Masters level degrees in Irish Studies. It also offers students the opportunity to study in Ireland, Europe and globally, and gain valuable work experience including through the highly prestigious Washington Ireland Program.  It has a flourishing doctoral programme on a wide variety of subjects spanning literature, history, culture and politics. Student satisfaction is consistently high.  The Institute produces high quality graduates who have used the transferrable skills they developed during their studies to gain prestigious internships and careers.

Founded in 1988 in response to the signing of the Anglo-Irish agreement, the Institute has a public role to educate, inform and examine all aspects of Irish life and particularly those that are pertinent to Anglo-Irish relationships. As such it works closely with the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and has a strong relationship with the Irish Embassy in London. Institute staff are also high profile media commentators regularly contributing to RTE, BBC Radio 4, BBC 5 Live, BBC news and cultural programmes, Radio Ulster, CNN and print media such as the Irish Times, The Guardian, New York Times, Washington Post, Le Monde and El Pais.  Consisting of 7 permanent academic staff and 2 support staff, the Institute prides itself on being a centre for world-class research, teaching and impact.



Director of Centre: Professor Peter Shirlow, FAcSS, Director

Head of Department: Professor Frank Shovlin

Dr Diane Urquhart

Dr Clare Downham

Dr Lauren Arrington

Dr Maria Power

Dr Kevin Bean

Dorothy Lynch

Viola Segeroth


Research interests

Contemporary Irish politics; social justice; post-conflict resolutions; peacebuilding; history of religion; women’s history; history of divorce; political patronage; Viking-age Ireland; Irish Sea studies; contemporary Irish literature in English; James Joyce, W. B. Yeats; modernist literature; periodical culture; John McGahern; Anglo-Irish relations.



below is a small sample of publications undertaken by members of the Centre: t

  • Lauren Arrington, Revolutionary Lives: Constance and Casimir Markievicz (2015)
  • Lauren Arrington, W.B. Yeats, the Abbey Theatre, Censorship, and the Irish State (2010)
  • Kevin Bean, The New Politics of Sinn Féin (2007)
  • Clare Downham, Medieval Ireland (2017)
  • Clare Downham, Viking Kings of Britain and Ireland (2008)
  • Maria Power, From Ecumenism to Community Relations: Inter-Church Relationships in Northern Ireland 1980-2005 (2006)
  • Maria Power (ed.), Building Peace in Northern Ireland (2011)
  • Peter Shirlow, The End of Ulster Loyalism? (2012)
  • Peter Shirlow (ed.), Beyond the Wire: Former Prisoners and Conflict Transformation in Northern Ireland (2008)
  • Frank Shovlin, Journey Westward: Joyce, Dubliners and the Literary Revival (2012)
  • Frank Shovlin, Touchstones: John McGahern’s Classical Style (2016)
  • Diane Urquhart (ed.), Irish Women at War: the Twentieth Century (2010)
  • Diane Urquhart, The Ladies of Londonderry: Women and Political Patronage (2007)

PhD Projects

As an active Centre in Irish Studies, below is a small sample of doctoral work currently under way:

  • Joyce’s Gnomon
  • Manchester and the Middle Class Irish in the Nineteenth Century
  • A History of the Leeds Irish
  • A Biography of Jim Phelan
  • Northern Ireland and the British Labour Party
  • The Bohemian Literary Scene in mid-Twentieth-Century Ireland
  • Young People and Democracy: A Post-Conflict Study
  • Irish Women’s Writing and Anti-Imperialism 1890-1920

Courses taught

BA in Irish Studies; BA in Irish Studies and History; BA in Irish Studies and Politics; BA in Irish Studies and English; MA in Irish Studies


For further information on the Institute of Irish Studies, please contact Dr. Kevin Bean (Kevinb@liverpool.ac.uk).

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