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Professor Mike Cronin
Professor Mike Cronin, Academic Director BCI

Academic Director

Professor Mike Cronin has been the Academic Director of Boston College Ireland since 2005. He was educated at the University of Kent and Oxford University where he was awarded his D.Phil. He has published widely on various aspects of Irish history, and is a renowned scholar in the area of sport. He is a regular media commentator on aspects of Irish and sporting history. While at Boston College, Professor Cronin has developed a series of major public history projects based around Irish topics including the 2008-12 GAA Oral History Project, and since 2013, the major online repository and real time history project for the Irish Decade of Centenaries, Century Ireland.

Fields of Interest:
Irish history; Sports history; Irish identities and the diaspora; State Spectacles and commemoration.

Recent publications include:

Sport: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2014)

A History of Ireland (Palgrave, 2014)

Irish History for Dummies (Wiley, 2011).

Doesn't Time Fly? Aer Lingus - Its History (Collins Press, 2011)

The GAA: A People’s History (Collins Press, 2009)

Wearing the Green: A History of St Patrick’s Day (Routledge, 2002).

Phone: +353-1-614-7450

Thea Gillien
Thea Gillien, Head of Programmes


Thea Gilien is the Boston College Ireland Director of Programmes and responsible for internal operations and events, and for external relations at local, regional and national levels.

Thea oversees the Dublin Summer Internship Programme - work placements for the highly motivated Boston College students interested in developing independence, intra-personal social and professional skills, and international work experience before graduation.

As Secretary for the National Association of Study Abroad Providers in Ireland (ASAPI), Thea is interested in promoting the role and value of the American study abroad experience in Ireland - for both the BC college student and their host country.

Thea and her Dublin colleagues are very much looking forward welcoming the Boston College Football Team to Ireland for the Aer Lingus College Football Classic in September 2016.

Students, faculty, alumni and friends of Boston College who are in Dublin are very welcome to contact Thea.

Phone: +353-1-614-7450


Claire McGowan, Head of Student Affairs – Boston College Ireland
Claire McGowan, Head of Student Affairs – Boston College Ireland


Claire Mc Gowan is Head of Student Affairs at Boston College Ireland. Her responsibilities include the creation and management of the cultural and social programming for all OIP summer programs in Ireland, as well as for the Dublin Internship program, and for other scheduled classes and events throughout the year, including service projects. She works closely with faculty members from all across the University, and provides generous, professional and pastoral support to students.

Claire is also the Social Media Manager for Boston College Ireland. She oversees the BCI Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts, and is always eager to promote Boston College in Ireland, and further afield.

Claire holds a B.A. from the National University of Ireland, Galway, and a M.A. from University College Dublin. She is currently a PhD candidate at De Montfort University.

Alumni, faculty, students, parents and friends of Boston College are very welcome to contact Claire.

Phone: +353-1-614-7450

Mark Duncan, a Director or Century Ireland at BCi
Mark Duncan, a Director or Century Ireland at BCi


Mark Duncan is a Director of Century Ireland at Boston College-Ireland.

Previously a Director of the four-year GAA Oral History Project at Boston College-Ireland, he is also a founder of InQuest Research Group, whose work includes the publication of acclaimed books, the production of award-winning television documentaries, the delivery of premium-quality exhibitions and websites, the management of large-scale legal and research projects, and the provision of accurate, straightforward analysis of public policy.

The author of several books and major reports, he frequently contributes to Irish TV and radio programmes and has published regularly in national newspapers such as The Irish Times on issues of sport, history, education and public policy. He has also contributed reviews to such academic journals as Sport in History and the International Journal of the History of Sport. Prior to founding InQuest, Mark spent a decade as a freelance researcher and writer working mostly with RTÉ Current Affairs, exhibition design companies, law firms and third-level institutions. He has also acted as Head of Research for RTÉ Current Affairs on a broad array of political and state events, including its Election coverage, as well as sole researcher on numerous programmes in the Primetime Investigates series.

Books & Articles

·       Creating Ireland: Research & the Role of the Humanities & Social Sciences (Irish Research Council, 2014) with Paul Rouse    

·       Handling Change: A History of the Irish Bank Officials Association (Collins Press, 2012) with Paul Rouse

·       The GAA: County by County (Collins Press, 2011) with Mike Cronin & Paul Rouse

·       The GAA: A People’s History (Collins Press, 2009), with Mike Cronin & Paul Rouse

·       Transformations: How Research is Changing Ireland (Higher Education Authority, 2008) with Paul Rouse

·       MOSAIC: a celebration of Irish research in the humanities & social sciences (IRCHSS, 2008) with Paul Rouse

·       National College of Ireland: Past, Present & Future (2007) with Eoin Kinsella and Paul Rouse.

·        ‘The Camera & the Gael: The Early Photography of the GAA, 1884-1914’, in Mike Cronin, William Murphy & Paul Rouse    (Ed.), The Gaelic Athletic Association 1884–2009  (Irish Academic Press, 2009)

Select Exhibitions:

·       ‘Fame, Fortune & Sweet Liberty: the Irish in America’. Commissioned by the National Archives of Ireland and supported by the Irish Department of Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht., this exhibition was launched as part of the ifest festival in Boston in September 2014, before travelling to New York City and Washington D.C.

·       Ireland in the early 20th Century, Online exhibition for National Archives of Ireland contextualising the 1911 Irish Census Records Online,

·       ‘UCD & the Making of Modern Ireland,’ at the University College Dublin campus at Belfield, Dublin (2006)

Phone: +353-1-614-7450


Ben Shorten, Researcher Century Ireland, BCI
Ben Shorten, Researcher Century Ireland, BCI


After completing a B.A. in History and Irish at University College Dublin, Ben went on to earn an M.A. in Journalism (Scríobh agus Cumarsáid na Gaeilge).

He joined Boston College in 2009, working as a senior researcher on the GAA Oral History Project. He currently works on the Century Ireland project with responsibilities including research, film production and intern-management.

As a broadcaster he has contributed to numerous documentaries in English and Irish for R.T.É. and has also researched and presented his own music programme on Raidió na Life.

Phone: +353-1-614-7450


Alyson Gray, Researcher Century Ireland, BCI
Alyson Gray, Researcher Century Ireland, BCI


After completing her BA in History, Politics and International Relations at University College Dublin, Alyson undertook a Masters in History of the Media at UCD.

Alyson joined the Century Ireland research and production team in September 2013 and is currently the senior researcher on Century Ireland’s Gallipoli project, an online exhibition which tells the stories of Irishmen and women involved in the 1915 Gallipoli campaign.

Alyson has also worked as a researcher and writer for a number of different publications and as a part of the results team for RTÉ’s election and referendum coverage over the past two years.

Phone: +353-1-614-7450


Boston College Ireland Programmes
43 St. Stephen's Green,
Dublin 2, Ireland

Connolly House

Center for Irish Programs
300 Hammond Street,
Chestnut Hill, MA, 02467