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Dr Georgina Laragy

Glasnevin Trust Assistant Professor in Public History and Cultural Heritage

I am an Irish historian focused largely on social history, in particular the history of suicide, death and poverty in nineteenth and twentieth century Ireland. I am fascinated by how the state acquired knowledge about its citizens in the nineteenth century and used that information to construct massive amounts of data about mortality, disease and welfare during the period up to the foundation of the Irish Free State. I am also interested in the history of institutions, including workhouses, psychiatric hospitals, prisons and Magdalen asylums. Before coming to Trinity College I worked at Queen’s University in Belfast and Oxford Brookes University on two research projects related to the history of the Irish Poor Law. Prior to that I worked at the University of Limerick on a project exploring the medicalisation of maternity through general and psychiatric hospital records in early 20th century Ireland. I received my Ph.D. from NUI Maynooth in 2005.

Part of my job involves working with the Glasnevin Trust at Glasnevin Cemetery and Museum developing their public history, education and research activities.

Selected Publications


  • Suicide in Ireland, 1795 - 1923: a social and cultural history’ (under contract with Liverpool University Press)
  • City Child: children, poverty and the poor law in industrial Belfast 1880-1939’ (co-author with Dr Olwen Purdue, Queen’s University Belfast) (in discussions with publisher)

Articles / Chapters

  • 'The suicides of Thomas Judkin Fitzgerald (1864) and Lord Waterford (1895)' and 'The city morgue in Cork and Dublin' in Salvador Ryan (ed.) Death and the Irish: a miscellany (Wordwell, 2016)
  • ‘‘For whose benefit these burdens must be taken’: children, employment and the law in Northern Ireland, 1921-39’, Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth: Special Edition on Ireland, Spring 2016, pp. 277-293
  • ‘Suicide in the city; gossip, neighbours and newspapers’ Urban Spaces in nineteenth century Ireland Proceedings of the SSNCI 2014 (ed. O. Purdue, J. Wright & G. Laragy) - forthcoming with LUP
  • ‘Identifying the poor in Cavan, 1838-1911’, in J. Cherry & Br. Scott (eds) Cavan: history and society (Geography Publications, 2014)
  • ‘Wolfe Tone and the culture of suicide in eighteenth century Ireland’, History Ireland, Issue 6 (Nov. / Dec. 2013), vol. 21.
  • ‘A peculiar species of felony’: suicide, medicine and the law in Victorian Britain and Ireland’, Journal of Social History, (Spring, 2013), pp. 732-743.
  • A “hollow and unsubstantial prosperity”: poverty in nineteenth century Meath’ for Riocht na Midhe (2013)
  • ‘Narratives of poverty among Irish suicides between the Great Famine and the First World War’, in Poverty and sickness in modern Europe: Narratives of the sick poor 1780-1938, eds. A. Gestrich, E. Hurren & S.A. King (Continuum, 2012)
  • ‘The Cavan Workhouse, 1842-1922’ in B. Scott (ed.) Cavan Town, 1610-2010: a brief history (Cavan County Council, June 2012)
  • ‘Poor relief in the south of Ireland, 1850-1921’ in Poverty and welfare in Ireland, 1838-1948, V. Crossman & P. Gray (eds) (Irish Academic Press, 2011)
  • 'Suicide and insanity in post-Famine Ireland' in Culture of Care in Irish Medical History, 1750-1950, C. Cox & M. Luddy (eds) (Palgrave, 2010).
  • With V. Crossman, S. Lucey and O Purdue, ‘Sources for the study of the Irish poor Law, 1850-1921’ Visual, material and print culture in Nineteenth-Century Ireland (Four Courts Press, 2010).
  • ‘Murder in Cavan, 1809-1891’ in Breifne: Journal of Cumann Seanchais Bhréifne, (2009)


I have taught a wide range of courses on 19th and 20th century Irish history, and specialist modules on the history of poverty, welfare and public health, and the global history of suicide. At the moment I teach a module on 'Institutions and public history in Ireland and beyond' as part of the M.Phil. in Public History and Cultural Heritage, and I contribute to the Core Module on the M.Phil. in Public History, 'Remembering, reminding and forgetting: public history, cultural heritage'. I also contribute to modules on the M.Phil in Irish History. I welcome research students interested in the social history of 19th and 20th century Ireland, the history of institutions and public history.

Dr. Laragy on the TCD Research Support System

Contact Details

Room 3108
Department of History
Trinity College
Dublin 2.

Telephone: +353 1 896 3398
Fax: +353 1 896 3995