Browse the latest blog posts from the Dictionary of Irish Biography

A rising tide: women and the natural sciences in nineteenth-century Ireland (Part 2)

Gallagher, Niav
8 September 2023

Part 1 of our blog on the contribution of Irish women to the natural sciences in nineteenth-century Ireland focused on the lives and careers of…

A rising tide: women and the natural sciences in nineteenth-century Ireland (Part 1)

Gallagher, Niav
1 September 2023

Children’s education in Ireland has long been influenced by gender, class and religion. During the nineteenth century, girls from the lower classes – if they were educated at all – were taught basic reading, writing and arithmetic, and domestic skills such as needlework. For middle- and…

Renaming (and legalising) an army

Kinsella, Eoin
28 July 2023

This week sees the centenary of the Defence Forces (Temporary Provisions) Act, signed into law on 3 August 1923. Not only did it rename the state’s military forces (dropping the original moniker of…

A short history of Irish jazz

Evers, Liz
27 June 2023

During an interview with the Irish Times in August 1979, Louis Stewart declared that ‘The best thing you can do for jazz in Ireland is to make it illegal’. Stewart, considered Ireland’s greatest jazz guitarist, was lamenting the limitations of a jazz scene during what was…

‘Irish sporting lives’ launch speech by Dr Katie Liston

Clavin, Terry
16 December 2022

We are very grateful to Dr Katie Liston for permission to publish the speech (lightly edited for publication) she delivered at the launch of Irish sporting lives, edited by…

'Irish sporting lives': showcasing the range of Irish sports history

O'Riordan, Turlough
16 November 2022

We were delighted to publish Irish sporting lives this month. The latest in the Dictionary of Irish Biography’s (DIB) ongoing Lives series and edited by us (…

Researching and writing the Dictionary of Irish Biography – a personal view

Maume, Patrick
7 October 2022

The Dictionary of Irish Biography (DIB) was originally proposed in the early 1980s; Dr Linde Lunney began compiling data on possible entries in 1984 and an editorial committee was formally established in May 1985 under the auspices of the Royal Irish Academy (RIA), with a…

Skirting the issue: women and the Royal Irish Academy

Gallagher, Niav
8 March 2022

When the Royal Irish Academy (RIA) was established in 1785, it was founded for the promotion and investigation of the sciences, polite literature and antiquities, and the encouragement of discussion and debate between scholars of diverse backgrounds and interests. However, this being…

Ireland's banned authors in the DIB

Evers, Liz
14 June 2021

To mark Bloomsday (16 June), the annual commemoration of James Joyce…

Aran: a place of pilgrimage

Clavin, Terry
14 March 2021

Aran of the Saints In what was to prove a recurring theme, the history of the Aran Islands begins with the arrival of a restless idealist seeking spiritual renewal amid the wilds of the Atlantic. Little is known for certain about St