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Arlene Crampsie

gaa oral history project

Arlene Crampsie
Arlene Crampsie


2003: BA (Mod) Geography and History, University of Dublin, Trinity College Dublin

2008: PhD Historical Geography, University of Dublin, Trinity College Dublin



Having completed a BA in Geography and History in 2003, Arlene embarked on a PhD under the supervision of Dr Mark Hennessy of the Geography Department, Trinity College Dublin. During my PhD, she received a Trinity Postgraduate Scholarship and a Government of Ireland Award from the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences. At this time Arlene also worked as a researcher on the Irish Historic Towns Atlas of Trim and on the Poor Law Union topic page of the "Ask About Ireland" website. Since September 2008, she has been employed as a postdoctoral research fellow on the GAA Oral History Project at Boston College-Ireland.



Arlene is currently working on the GAA Oral History Project, which was established in 2008 to chart the changing role of the GAA in the lives of Irish people from it’s inception in 1884 up to the present day. On a personal level, she is particularly interested in the geography of the GAA, the GAA in Donegal and the role of the GAA in the lives of Irish emigrants. Outside of this project, her main research interests lie in the historical geography of Ireland. Arlene's PhD thesis, entitled ‘Governmentality and Locality: An Historical Geography of Rural District Councils in Ireland, 1898 – 1925’, examined the role of local government in early twentieth century Ireland. The study of Irish rural district councils was situated in its broader international context thought the utilisation of Foucault’s theory of governmentality and theories of central-local relations. She is also interested in the introduction and operation of boards of guardians and their administration of the network of Irish workhouses and the poor law from 1838 until 1923. An investigation of these low level tiers of local government allows for an examination of the gap between the legislation enacted at a national level and its implementation at a local level. In addition, these sources provide an unparalleled level of information about the political, social, economic and cultural geography of Ireland in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.



Review Essay: Ní Bhroiméil, U., and Hooper, G (eds), Land and Landscape in Nineteenth Century Ireland (Dublin, 2008), in Irish Geography, 2008, 41(3), 368 - 370

Local Manifestation of National Conflict: the role of turf and gaming in landlord-tenant conflict in late nineteenth century Ireland, Atlas, 2005, 10, 75 – 82

Impacts of the Workhouse Network and Poor Relief: a Donegal Case Study, Geographical Viewpoint, 2004, 32, 42 – 50

Relieving the Destitute Poor – A history of Milford Workhouse, Donegal Annual, 2004, 56, 68 – 87
The Poor Law in Donegal: Milford Union, 2004, Available Online:



During and since completing her PhD Arlene has been involved in teaching on a range of courses in the Geography Departments at NUI Maynooth; St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra and Trinity College, Dublin. These included Geographical Research Methods, Historical Cartography, Rural Geography and fieldtrips in Ireland and Mallorca. She is a member of the Geographical Society of Ireland and a founding member of the Historical and Cultural Research Group based at Trinity College Dublin. Arlene has presented on a range of themes related to her PhD research and on sources available in local authority archives. She is currently involved in co-editing a volume of papers with the working title Governmentality and the Irish State and also the Meath Volume of the County History and Society Series from Geography Publications.