I have a PhD from Boston College, a research MA and a BA from UCC. My primary area of research is modern Irish history with a specialisation in nineteenth and twentieth-century gender and women's history. This work to date has focused on biographical studies of female activists in the area of suffrage and women involved in the Irish revolutionary period. The manner in which these individuals negotiated the limited opportunities available to women in an independent Ireland characterised by repressive legislation which limited the rights of women in the public sphere is core to my research. I am particularly interested in the issue of marital status in the independent Ireland, in particular the position of single heterosexual women in a society dominated by the ideology of separate spheres promoted by State and the Catholic church. My work also focuses on the manner in which children's literature in the decades immediately after Irish independence reflected the ideologies of the Irish Free state. I have also published in the area of the Irish cultural revival.In 2012 I was appointed by the Taoiseach to the Expert Advisory Group on the Decade of Centenaries.