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Dr Niamh Gallagher

Dr Niamh Gallagher

University Lecturer in Modern British and Irish History

Fellow of St Catharine's College

St Catharine's College,
Trumpington Street,

Twitter: @NiamhGal

Office Phone: ​0044-1223-746603


Niamh Gallagher is a historian of modern Britain, with a particular interest in the social and political history of modern Ireland.  She read Anthropology and Geography at University College London before completing her postgraduate studies in History at Cambridge.  Her forthcoming book, Ireland and the Great War: A Social and Political History, will be published by Bloomsbury in November 2019.  Her next research project will explore the history of organised humanitarianism from the long nineteenth century until the Second World War.

Subject groups/Research projects

Modern British History:

Research Interests

Britain and Ireland since the 1830s, nationalism, identity politics, humanitarianism, transnational histories, social history

Research Supervision

I supervise Masters students in modern British and Irish political and social history from 1800, and welcome enquiries from students in these fields.  Past students have written dissertations on anti-imperialism in interwar Britain, Irish propaganda in WWI, working-class women in education during the interwar period, and Scottish ex-patriates in India from 1880-1914.

For Part II students writing dissertations, I welcome enquiries from students writing on any aspect of Irish history from 1800, as well as students writing on British history.  In British history I am happy to consider topics within both political and social history from 1880 to the 1960s, and to make recommendations if I feel a colleague is more suitable. Past students have written dissertations on topics including interwar domestic violence in Britain and changing attitudes to masculinity within the post-WW2 East End Jewish community.


I convene Paper 6 'British Political History Since 1880' and offer a Specified on Modern Ireland entitled 'Ireland and the Irish Since the Famine'.  At the MA level I teach an option on modern Ireland.  I supervise Part I students for Paper 6 across colleges. At St Catharine's I am Director of Studies in History for Part II.

Other Professional Activities

Discussant on Radio 4 show 'In Our Time' hosted by Melvyn Bragg on subject of The Great Irish Famine (04.04.19). Why were so many Irish people vulnerable to the potato crop failures of the 1840s? What was Westminster's response? How did mass emigration affect Irish history and memory? Joined by Cormac O'Grada and Enda Delaney. To download/listen, visit


  • Modern British History

Key Publications

My forthcoming book, Ireland and the Great War: A Social and Political History (Bloomsbury, 2019), is a revisionist history of Ireland and the Irish in the Great War. It takes the emphasis of the field away from the political history of Unionism and Nationalism to a focus instead on social history on the home front, and it uses social history to illuminate political history in this important period. From an examination of how Irishwomen engaged in voluntary activities to assist the war effort and exploring Irish attitudes towards Germany, to exploring Irish emigrant (and their descendants') responses to the war and Irish attitudes to the Allies, this book makes a case for greater and more sustained engagement in the war effort from Irish Nationalists than is commonly believed. Moreover, it illuminates important cross-confessional collaboration between both Protestants and Catholics in aid of the war effort (even in Ulster), demonstrating that these groups, which were politically divided over domestic issues, held some shared political beliefs towards the international conflict, so much so that they could put the international before the domestic throughout the war. It explores the political complications that arose between Nationalists and Westminster after the 1916 Rising and 1918 conscription crisis, and the impact of these tensions on the war effort itself; it also explores responses to the Armistice of 1918, interwar commemoration, and the subject of memory to bring together a more holistic, balanced and long-term view of Irish engagement in the world's first total war.

Other Publications

Select book reviews