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Mike Cronin

academic director, boston college-ireland

Professor Michael Cronin
Professor Michael Cronin, Academic Director, BC-Ireland


BA History, University of Kent 1988
MA History, University of Kent 1990
D. Phil., Irish History, Oxford University 1994
Tel: 353 (0)1.614.7450
Fax: 353 (0)1.614.7459

Office Hours
M - F 9.00 am - 5.00 pm (GMT)


Having completed his D.Phil at Oxford on the history of the Blueshirt movement in Ireland, Professor Cronin worked for a number of years in the History department at Sheffield Hallam University. In 1998 he moved to take the post of Senior Research Fellow at the International Centre for Sports History and Culture at De Montfort University, Leicester. In 2003/4 Mike was awarded a Leverhulme Trust Study Abroad fellowship which he held at the Centre for Irish Studies at NUI Galway, and in the same year was also a Visiting Fellow at the Center for Irish Programs at Boston College. Since March 2005 he have been the Academic Director of the Centre for Irish Programmes at Boston College in Dublin.



Responsible for all academic programming at the Centre for Irish Programmes, Dublin, including the Summer School in Contemporary Irish History.


• (ed.) The Failure of British Fascism. The Far Right and the Fight for Political Recognition, Macmillian 1996.        

• The Blueshirts and Irish Politics, Four Courts Press Dublin, 1997.

• With David Mayall (eds.), Sporting Nationalisms: Identity, Ethnicity, Immigration, Assimilation, Frank Cass, 1998.

• Sport and Nationalism in Ireland: Gaelic Games, Soccer and Identity Since 1884, Four Courts Press Dublin, 1999.

• With John Regan (eds.), Ireland: The Politics of Independence, 1922-49, Macmillan, 2000.

• A History of Ireland, Palgrave, 2001; fully revised second edition forthcoming 2006.

• With Daryl Adair, Wearing the Green: A History of St. Patrick's Day, Routledge, 2002.

• With John Bale (ed.), Sport and Postcolonialism, Berg, 2003.

• Irish History for Dummies, Wiley, 2005.

• 'The Blueshirt Movement. Ireland's fascists?' in Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 30, No. 2, April 1994, pp 311-332.

• 'An Open Air Lunatic Asylum: Blueshirt opposition to the Anglo-Irish Economic War' in Bullán, Vol. 2, No. 1, Summer 1995, pp 61-79.

• 'Defenders of the nation? The Gaelic Athletic Association and Irish nationalist identity' in Irish Political Studies, Vol. 11, 1996, pp 1-19.

• 'Putting new wine into old bottles. The Irish right and the embrace of European social thinking in the early 1930s' in European History Quarterly, vol. 27, no. 1, 1997, pp 93-125.

• 'Which Flag, Which Nation? Boxing and National Identities in Ireland' in International Review for the Sociology of Sport, vol. 32, no. 2, June 1997, pp 131-46.

• 'Ignoring Postcolonialism: The Gaelic Athletic Association and the Language of the Colony' in Jouvert: a journal of postcolonial studies, Special Issue: IRELAND 2000,, September 1999.

• ‘Projecting the Nation Through Sport and Culture: Aonach Tailteann and the Irish Free State, 1924-32’ in Journal of Contemporary History, 38, 3, 2003, pp 395-412.

• ‘Irish Art and the Empire Marketing Board:Seán Keating’s Irish Free State Bacon (1929) and Margaret Clarke’s Irish Free State Butter (1930)’ in EIRE-Ireland, Fall 2004.

• ‘Visualizing Ireland: The Tailteann Art Competition, 1924’ in New Hibernia Review, Fall 2005.

• ‘Sam Maguire: Forgotten Hero and National Icon’ in Sport in History, 25, 2, 2005, pp 189-205.


I am currently working on a history of major spectacles in Ireland during the period of state formation. The study begins with the state funeral of Michael Collins (1922), and ends with that of Eamon de Valera (1975). In between, the research examines all the major spectacles paid for and organised by the state (e.g. Aonach Tailteann, the Eucharistic Congress, Irish Pavilion at the World’s Fair, An Tostal, and so on). Through the use of different microhistorical studies I am fascinated to understand how civil servants and artistic producers combined to define and display what official Irishness would be during the period of a major spectacle. Such research allows the changing state conception of national identity to be tracked, and demonstrates who the various spectacles were aimed at.


• Historical advisor on the Irish state broadcaster RTE's documentary, Patriots to a Man (screened January 2000), which was an oral history of the Blueshirt movement and was based on my doctoral thesis.

• Historical advisor for Ian Hislop’s BBC Radio 4’s series, Patron Saints (first broadcast January 2003).

• Historical advisor to the St Patrick’s Festival in Dublin (2000 – 2004).

• Have appeared on a wide range of media including US and Irish television, as well as US, Irish and British radio discussing various aspects of Irish history.

• Written several articles and been interviewed for publication in newspapers and magazines including Irish Times, Guardian, Boston Globe , Financial Times, Macleans (Toronto), Observer, Examiner and various local and regional titles.

• Historical advisor to the Gaelic Athletic Association during the construction of their IR£2.3M museum in Dublin (1999).

• Advisor to Boru Cultural Enterprises on their feasibility study for the rebuilding of the Michael Cusack homestead in County Clare (2004).

• Author of the Science Museum’s ‘Sport and Science’ project which was part of their online education scheme, INGENIOUS, which went live in summer 2004 (

• Advisor to the Sport and Development International Platform and author of their issues forum entry on sport, nationalism and development issues (