Skip to main content

Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

Trinity Menu Trinity Search

Eunan O'Halpine

Professor Eunan O'Halpin


Professor of Contemporary Irish History

Research Interests

Twentieth century Irish and British political, administrative and military history; intelligence and security studies; Afghanistan and the Second World War

Select Publications


  • Spying on Ireland: British intelligence and Irish neutrality during the second world war (Oxford, 2008)
  • (with Michael Kennedy), Ireland and the Council of Europe: from isolation towards integration (Strasbourg, 2000)
  • Defending Ireland: the Irish state and its enemies since 1922 (Oxford, 1999)
  • Head of the Civil Service: a study of Sir Warren Fisher (London, 1989)
  • The Decline of the Union: British government in Ireland, 1892-1920 (Dublin, 1987)

Books edited

  • (with Robert Armstrong and Jane Ohlmeyer (eds.)) Intelligence, Statecraft and International Power (Dublin, 2006)
  • MI5 and Ireland, 1939-1945: the official history (Dublin, 2002)

Editorial Collections

  • (with C. Crowe, R. Fanning, M. Kennedy, D. Keogh, and K. O'Malley, eds.), Documents on Irish Foreign Policy volumes I-X (1998 to 2016)

Articles and chapters (2012-2017)

(for a full listing from 1981 to 2017 see

  • (with Guy Beiner), 'Epilogue', in Eugenio F. Biagini and Mary E. Daly (eds.), The Cambridge Social History of Modern Ireland [in press, due 30 June 2017]
  • 'British Cryptanalysis and China, 1937-1945: An Underused Source for Recent Chinese History?', Twentieth Century China, 42, (2), 2017 [in press, due May 2017]
  • 'Rethinking Irish civil military relations in the 21st century', Defence Forces Review (2016), pp 217-224
  • 'Ireland: Plus Ca Change, 1945-2015' in Bob de Graaff & James Nyce (eds.), Handbook of European Intelligence Cultures, Lanham, Maryland, Rowman & Littlefield, 2016), pp 183-195
  • 'The Fate of Indigenous and Soviet Central Asian Jews in Afghanistan, 1933-1951', Holocaust and Genocide Studies, 30, (2) (2016), pp 298-327
  • 'Augustine Birrell 1850-1933' in Lawrence White and James Quinn (eds.), 1916 Portraits and Lives (Dublin, 2015), pp 48-53
  • 'British intelligence, PIRA, and the early years of the Northern Ireland crisis: remembering, forgetting and mythologizing' in Paul Maddrell (ed.), The Image of the Enemy: intelligence analysis of adversaries since 1945 (Washington DC, 2015), pp 162 -191
  • '"I am sure there was confidence in Nero"' in Kevin Rafter and Mark O'Brien (eds.), The State in Transition: Essays in honour of John Horgan (Dublin, 2015), pp 318-325
  • 'Ireland and World War II' in Alvin Jackson (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Modern Irish History (Oxford, 2014), pp 719-735
  • (with Ciara Breathnach), 'Scripting blame: Irish coroners' courts and unnamed infant dead, 1916-32', Social History, 39, (2), 2014, pp 210-228
  • 'Problematic Killing in the Irish War of Independence: the killing of spies and informers', in James Kelly and Marian Lyons (eds.), Death and Dying in Ireland, Britain and Europe: Historical Perspectives (Dublin, 2013), pp 173-198
  • (with Ciara Breathnach), 'Registered 'unknown' infant fatalities in Ireland, 1916-32: gender and power' Irish Historical Studies, XXXVIII, (No. 149), 2012, pp 70-88
  • 'The Military Service Pensions Project and Irish History: a personal perspective' in Patrick Brennan and Catriona Crowe (eds.), Guide to the Military Service (1916-1923) Pensions Collection (Dublin, 2012), pp 144-165
  • 'Counting Terror: Bloody Sunday and "The Dead of the Irish Revolution"' in David Fitzpatrick (ed.), Terror in Ireland 1916-1923 (Dublin, 2012), pp 141-157

Teaching and Supervision

Teaching 2016-17

In Michaelmas Term 2016/17, MPhil module HI7123 (Exploring the Irish Civil War). On research leave in Hilary Term 2017.

Research Supervision

Since coming to Trinity in 2000 I have supervised twenty two PhDs (including three co-supervised), to completion. I currently supervise seven PhD candidates (including three co-supervised with colleagues).

Post-doctoral Fellows

I have supervised or mentored twelve post-doctoral fellows (eight funded by the IRCHSS, four by other sponsors). My current IRC post-doctoral fellow (2016-17) is Dr Sean Gannon.

Professor O'Halpin on the TCD Research Support System

Contact Details

Department of History
Trinity College
Dublin 2.

Telephone: +353 1 896 3473
Fax: +353 1 896 3995