Members of the Network

The History of Irish Childhood Research Network was established by the committee members of the History of Irish Childhood Conference in St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, Dublin, in June 2014: Gaye Ashford (St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra), Sarah-Anne Buckley (NUI Galway), Marnie Hay (St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra), Mary Hatfield (Trinity College Dublin), Jutta Kruse (University of Limerick), and Ríona Nic Congáil (St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra). All scholars interested in the history of Irish childhood are very welcome to join this network by emailing

Dr Gaye Ashford graduated with a BA (Hons) in Humanities from St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, Dublin in 2007 and was conferred with the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in November 2012. Her PhD, ‘Childhood: studies in the history of children in eighteenth-century Ireland incorporating the digital humanities project ‘Irish children in eighteenth-century schools and institutions’’ was funded by An Foras Feasa. Her most recent publication is ‘Sources for a study of childhood in 18th century Ireland’ in Irish Archives, vol. 20 (2013). Gaye’s research interests embrace eighteenth-century childhood, Irish emigration, and local and family research.

Dr Sarah-Anne Buckley lectures in the Department of History, NUI Galway. Her research interests include the history of childhood and child welfare, nineteenth and twentieth-century Irish and British social history, gender history and welfare history. Her forthcoming book, The Cruelty Man: Child Welfare, the NSPCC and the State in Ireland, 1889-1956 will be published by MUP in November 2013. She has published chapters and articles on child neglect, incest, nurse children and children in care. She is co-founder of the Irish Centre for the Histories of Labour and Class and her current research is focused on youth culture in twentieth-century Ireland.

Mary Hatfield is a PhD student in the Department of History, Trinity College Dublin and an Irish Research Council Postgraduate Scholar. Her research interests focus on Irish childhood and gender in nineteenth-century Ireland, particularly the construction of normative bourgeois childhood and aspects of children’s education, recreation, and material cultures. She has published on boyhood masculinities, Dublin boarding schools, and photographic depictions of Irish childhood. She received the James E Todd award from Queen’s University Belfast and is a committee member for the History of Irish Childhood Research Network and the Society for the History of Childhood and Youth.

Dr Marnie Hay is a teaching fellow in the Department of History at St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra. Her present research focuses on Irish nationalism and youth in the early twentieth century. As part of this project, she is currently writing a monograph on the nationalist youth group Na Fianna Éireann during the years of the Irish revolution. Her previous publications include Bulmer Hobson and the nationalist movement in twentieth-century Ireland (Manchester University Press, 2009) and many articles in journals and edited collections.

Jutta Kruse holds a B.A. in History of Science, Technology and Medicine from the Open University and an M.A. in History of Family from the University of Limerick. At present, she is submitting her Ph.D. thesis entitled ‘Social construction of infancy in Ireland, 1900-1930 – the role of medicine’.  Her interests lie with biomedical agency in power relations and its impact on consequent social constructions such as adult/child dualities and romanticisation of specific demographic cohorts.

Dr Ríona Nic Congáil is a lecturer in the Irish Department of St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra. Her first monograph, Úna Ní Fhaircheallaigh agus an Fhís Útóipeach Ghaelach (2010), was awarded a National Oireachtas Award and the ACIS Prize for Research Book of the Year in the Irish Language. Since then, she has edited two collections of essays on Irish-language children’s literature and culture: Codladh Céad Bliain (2012) and Laethanta Gréine & Oícheanta Sí (2013).

Is léachtóir le Gaeilge í an Dr Ríona Nic Congáil i gColáiste Phádraig, Droim Conrach. Ba é Úna Ní Fhaircheallaigh agus an Fhís Útóipeach Ghaelach (2010) an chéad leabhar acadúil óna peann, agus bronnadh duais an Oireachtais agus leabhar Gaeilge na bliana an ACIS ar an leabhar sin. Bhí sí ina heagarthóir ar dhá chnuasach aistí ar litríocht agus ar chultúr na n-óg, mar atá, Codladh Céad Bliain (2012) agus Laethanta Gréine agus Oícheanta Sí (2013).


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