Dr Alan McCarthy


Alan McCarthy is ACE Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the School of History and Adult Continuing Education Department (2021-2022). He was conferred with a PhD by UCC in 2019 where he completed his doctoral thesis under Dr Donal Ó Drisceoil. He has published his research in various book chapters in volumes produced by Four Courts Press and Liverpool University Press, alongside articles in publications like Éire-Ireland and the Holly Bough. He has contributed to radio and television documentaries regarding the Irish revolutionary period and modern Irish history and published his first book, Newspapers and Journalism in Cork, 1910-23: Press Politics and Revolution in 2020 with Four Courts Press. This book examined the newspapers and journalistic sub-culture in County Cork during the Irish Revolution, 1910–23.

County Cork was home to a diverse array of conservative and radical papers across the political spectrum, from the unionist Cork Constitution to the Sinn Féin-owned republican Southern Star. This book is not just concerned with the journalistic output of these papers and their diverse political outlooks, but also their staff, engaging with newsboys and editors alike. This inverts typical historical approaches which traditionally use newspapers primarily as historical sources, whereas this study showcases them as historical forces. While newspapers are constantly used as references in historiography, often the political orientation and behind-the-scenes machinations that produced this content goes unnoticed in historical analyses. This monograph was awarded a Special Commendation Award for the NUI Publication Prize in Irish History.


Presently, he is writing a history of adult education in the south of Ireland from 1946-2021 to mark the 75th anniversary of the Adult Continuing Education (ACE) Department in UCC. ACE played an essential role in democratising education and bringing non-traditional learners in the south of Ireland into a university environment, forging strong links with urban trade unions and rural organisations in the twentieth century and beyond. In addition to a monograph, this project will also result in a substantial body of primary source documents being deposited in the University Archives and the digitisation of dozens of oral history interviews conducted between 2005 and 2008.

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