Photo of Caoimhe Nic Dháibhéid.Dr Caoimhe Nic Dháibhéid

B.A. (UCC), M.A., Ph.D. (Queen’s University Belfast)

Senior Lecturer in Modern History

Irish and British History; Political Violence; The History of Terrorism; The History of Childhood

+44 (0)114 22 22553| Jessop West 2.04

Semester One 2019/20 Office Hours: Tuesdays 12:00-13:00 and Thursdays 11:00-12:00



Caoimhe Nic Dháibhéid joined the department in the summer of 2013. She studied History and French at University College Cork, before undertaking an M.A. and Ph.D. in Politics at Queen’s University Belfast. In 2009-10 she was a Research Fellow at the Institute of Irish Studies, Queen’s University Belfast, and from 2010-2012 she was Rutherford Research Fellow at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. She works primarily on Irish history, the history of political violence, and the history of terrorism since the nineteenth century.



Caoimhe is currently engaged in two research projects. The first, entitled ‘Writing Terrorist Lives’ is a study of individual engagement with varieties of political violence from the late nineteenth to the twenty-first century. It considers journeys from radicalisation, to mobilisation, to activism, and beyond to disengagement and re-engagement. Ranging across both geographical and historical locations and the ideological spectrum, it aims to explore the range of human experience which lies behind the blunt label of ‘terrorist’.

Caoimhe’s second project is in the field of Irish history, and is a study of the children of the executed men of the Easter Rising of 1916. This explores issues of memory, state commemorative practices, the forging of personal identities in the shadow of national foundational myth, as well as the legacies of political violence.

Research Supervision

Caoimhe welcomes enquiries from prospective students interested in pursuing research into the history of political violence, Irish history, and terrorism studies.

Current students:

  • Rebecca Mytton - Republican masculinities and lived experience in the Irish revolutionary period 1916-1923.
  • Leo Bird (second supervisor) - The British Comedy Industry: Prosperity and Decline in Live Comedy Performance, 1945-65.
  • Gareth Roddy (second supervisor) - Into the West: The Literature of Travel in the Western Peripheries of the British-Irish Isles, c.1880-c.1940.

Completed students:

  • Philip Back (second supervisor) - ‘If you build it, they will come': the origins of Scotland’s Country Parks.

All current students by supervisor | PhD study in History


Full list of Publications to follow


Terrorist Histories: Individuals and Political Violence since the Nineteenth Century (Routledge, 2016)

Terrorist Histories CoverTerrorist Histories: Individuals and Political Violence since the Nineteenth Century

The book sits at the juncture between terrorism studies, historical biography and ethnography. It comprises case studies of ten individuals who have engaged in political violence in the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries, in a number of locations and with a variety of ideological motivations, from Russian-inflected anarchism to Islamist extremism. Through detailed empirical research, crucial themes in the study of terrorism and political violence are explored: the diverse individual radicalisation pathways, the question of disengagement and re-engagement, various counter-terrorist and counter-insurgency strategies adopted by governments and security forces, and the changing nature and perception of terrorism over time.

Sean MacBride: A Republican Life (Liverpool University Press, 2011)

Nic Dhaibheid Sean MacBride book coverSean MacBride: A Republican Life

This book critically examines the republican career of one of Ireland’s more controversial political figures, Seán MacBride (1904-1988), focusing on his subversive activities prior to his reinvention as a constitutional politician.

MacBride, a Nobel and Lenin prize-winning humanitarian, was a youthful participant in the Irish Revolution of 1916-1923. He was an active member of the Dublin Brigade of the Irish Republican Army during the War of Independence, and found himself on the losing side of the 1922-23 Civil War. Rising through the ranks of the depleted and demoralised post-revolutionary republican movement, MacBride occupied a leadership position in the Irish Republican Army for fifteen years, bridging the difficult formative years of the Irish Free State to the ascent of de Valera and Fianna Fáil. Leaving behind an active part in the republican movement in 1938, MacBride moved into legal circles, carving out a successful career at the Irish Bar through the years of the Emergency, while maintaining links with both the IRA the German legation in Dublin.

As well as providing the first scholarly assessment of MacBride’s political career within the Irish republican movement, this book offers wider reflections on the transition from violent republicanism to constitutional politics. The book also analyses internal tensions and strategic shifts within the Irish republican community in the post-revolutionary period, in particular the oscillations between politics and militarism, and considers the political, ideological and moral challenges that the Second World War presented to Irish political culture.

Edited Collections

From Parnell to Paisley: Constitutional and Revolutionary Politics in Modern Ireland, (edited with Colin Reid) (Irish Academic Press, 2010)

Nic Dhaibheid Parnell to Paisley book coverFrom Parnell to Paisley: Constitutional and Revolutionary Politics in Modern Ireland

Unionist and Nationalist politics in modern Ireland have been defined by their use of both constitutional and revolutionary methods. From the battles over the land question and Home Rule in the 1880s to contemporary Northern Ireland’s troubles and the ensuing peace process, Irish political life has witnessed lengthy periods of constitutional and revolutionary struggle – and, at times, a significant blurring of the two. This book represents the first sustained engagement with the concepts of constitutional and revolutionary politics in Ireland from Parnell to Paisley

Journal Articles

‘Schooling the National Orphans: The Education of the Children of the Easter Rising Leaders’, Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth, vol. 9 no. 2 (Spring 2016), pp. 261-276.

'The Irish National Aid Association and the radicalisation of public opinion in Ireland, 1916-1918’, The Historical Journal, vol. 55 no. 3 (September 2012), pp.725-729.

‘“This is a case in which Irish national considerations must be taken into account”: the breakdown of the MacBride-Gonne marriage, 1904-1908’, Irish Historical Studies, vol. xxxvii no. 144 (November 2010), pp. 64-87.

Book Chapters

‘Political Violence and the Irish Diaspora since 1740’ in Eugenio Biagini and Mary Daly (eds), The Cambridge Social History of Modern Ireland (Cambridge, forthcoming 2017)

'Fighting their Fathers' Fight: The Post-Revolutionary Generation in Independent Ireland’ in Senia Paseta (ed.), Uncertain Futures: Essays about the Irish Past for Roy Foster (Oxford, 2016), pp. 148-160

‘Throttling the IRA: Fianna Fáil and the subversive threat, 1939-1945’, in Caoimhe Nic Dháibhéid and Colin Reid (eds.), From Parnell to Paisley: Constitutional and Revolutionary Politics in Modern Ireland (Dublin: Irish Academic Press, 2010), pp.116-138.


Module Leader

The Making of the Twentieth Century, HST117 (Level 1 module)

The Making of the Twentieth Century, HST117

This course looks back at key developments in the political, social and cultural history of the twentieth century. Its aim is to broaden students´ views of twentieth-century history by highlighting the ways in which barbarism and civilising forces went hand in hand in forging twentieth-century history. Rather than proceeding purely chronologically, this module focuses on a series of key themes that have shaped twentieth-century history, such as, for example, globalisation and fragmentation; revolutions; the political, social and cultural history of war; and democracy and mass politics. Each topic is introduced by a series of four lectures given by a subject specialist. An accompanying seminar programme allows for the in-depth discussion of specific issues and case studies.

The History of Terrorism, HST295 (Level 2 Option module)

The History of Terrorism, HST295

In the aftermath of 9/11 and 7/7, the rhetoric of the war on terror has been one of the most significant political vocabularies of the twenty-first century. Yet, terrorism is not a new phenomenon: the history of the modern world, particularly during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, has been marked by violent challenges to political authority by non-state actors. This module will consider in detail the phenomenon of terrorism in a historical setting, considering various manifestations (geographically, chronologically and ideologically) as well as the related areas of state terror and counter-terrorist strategies.

The Irish Revolution, 1912-1923, HST3136/3137 (Level 3 Special Subject module)

The Irish Revolution, 1912-1923, HST3136/3137

This module explores Ireland’s revolutionary decade, from the Ulster Crisis of 1912 to the end of the Civil War in 1923. That period saw the demise of the Home Rule ideal, the rise of republicanism and the partition of the island amidst bloody sectarian and political violence. Among the issues examined are the paramilitarisation of political culture, the impact of the Great War and Easter Rising, the nature and dynamics of revolutionary violence, and the entrenchment of divisions – intra-communal as well as inter-communal. The controversial historiography of the Irish revolution, its place in public history and its cultural representations form an important aspect of the module. Above all, the sense of what it was like to live through a revolution, as a rebel, a policeman, a soldier or a civilian, is a key unifying theme of this module.

Public Engagement

Public Engagement

To follow

In The Media

To follow

Administrative Duties

Administrative Duties

Admissions Tutor (2014-2016)

Widening Participation Officer (2013-2016)

Schools Liaison Officer (2013-2016)