IRC awardee contributes to new volume on history and society in County Kerry

Posted: 24 September, 2020

The research of an IRC PhD scholar features in a new volume of essays on the history of County Kerry. Kerry: History and Society is the twenty-eighth volume in the Irish County History & Society series published by Geography Publications and features a chapter by Owen O’Shea, who is a 2019 awardee under the IRC Employment-Based Programme.

The volume is edited by Maurice J. Bric, a former chair of the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS) and Emeritus Professor of History at University College Dublin, and features almost thirty essays on a wide variety of topics dealing with the history of the county from prehistoric to recent times.

Owen O’Shea’s essay, entitled ‘Party organisation, political engagement and electioneering in Kerry, 1927-1966’, deals with the political developments in Kerry between the June 1927 general election and the Kerry South by-election of 1966 with a particular focus on party politics, political communication, electoral trends and election campaigns.

The essay is closely related to Owen’s current research, in the UCD School of History, which is supported by the Irish Research Council’s Employment-Based Programme. The focus of his PhD research is the impact of the Civil War on politics and electioneering in the county in the period between 1923 and 1933 and how the trauma and bitterness of the conflict impacted on political activism and behaviours. Among the main subject areas being researched are party organisation, election campaigning, political communication and engagement, and the transition made by many of those involved in the revolutionary movement to the parliamentary and party-political system.

The new essay collection is available at:

Owen has also co-authored, with Gordon Revington, a history of politics in Kerry entitled A Century of Politics in the Kingdom: A County Kerry Compendium (Merrion Press, 2018) and will soon publish Anatomy of an Ambush: Ballymacandy 1921 (Merrion Press, forthcoming), which examines an IRA ambush that occurred near his home in Milltown, County Kerry during the War of Independence.

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