I completed my PhD on the royal manors of county Dublin during the late medieval period at Trinity College Dublin in 2010. My book The Royal Manors of medieval Co. Dublin: Crown & Community was published by Four Courts Press in 2013. I am currently conducting research on the sheriff in medieval Ireland. I am also exploring different aspects of medieval crime and outsiders in medieval society. I have published articles on these topics, including one on outlaws and another on the Gaelic Irish living in Co. Dublin. A chapter of my recently published book is devoted to outsiders living on the royal manors, where I examine the topic of the interaction between the Irish and English (particularly through intermarriage - a topic that has thus far been virtually ignored for the colony in the fourteenth century). Other chapters address patronage and the administration of the royal manors. I also examine the relationship between these manors and the city of Dublin, through grants of lands to merchants.
During 2010-11 I worked as a research assistant on the IRCHSS funded Irish Chancery Project. The aim of this project was to reconstruct medieval Irish chancery rolls that were destroyed by fire in the Four Courts in 1922, using copies, transcripts and calendars ranging in date from the fourteenth to nineteenth centuries. I primarily worked on index cards and papers belonging to Jocelyn Otway-Ruthven and Philomena Connolly, who were previous researchers on this project. This calendar was launched online in May 2012 (http://www.irishchancery.net/) and a three volume print edition is in preparation and will be published by the Irish Manuscripts Commission.
I have also conducted research on the sheriffs and seneschals of Ireland between 1201 and 1399. This research has three objectives. The first is to examine the importance of the office of sheriff in Ireland, and the second is to investigate the office holders themselves. Thirdly, I propose to conduct a comparative study of these administrators in Ireland and England and investigate the variations between kingdom and lordship. This project will take a prosopographical approach and I intend to assemble a catalogue of sheriffs, as well as construct a compilation of biographies featuring a core, representative group of these officers. My article on the sheriffs of Dublin (including a list of sheriffs between the years 1202-1485) was recently published in Medieval Dublin XII (editor: Seán Duffy).
My research into the medieval sheriff has led me to start exploring elite violence in medieval Ireland; that is, the behaviour of magnates and gentry condoned by the ruling elites within the complex framework of English common law, marcher law and Irish law. The Irish plea rolls are key to this research, which motivated me to start writing a blog about them.
I am the current honorary secretary of the Friends of Medieval Dublin (FMD) and I have been a member of this group for the last eight years. During 2013, I was the principal organiser of the Milestones of Medieval Dublin lunchtime lectures, which took place in the Wood Quay Venue between June and December. In 2014, I organised a series of lunchtime lectures called ‘Living and dying in a medieval city: Dublin in the age of Clontarf’. In 2015, I will be organising a new series of Milestones. More information will be posted on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Friends-of-Medieval-Dublin/183707408377512 and Twitter: @FMDublin
Before embarking on my post-graduate degree, I spent several years working on archaeological digs.