Niall Whelehan


  • United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

Personal profile

Personal Statement

My research and teaching focus on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and themes of migration, political violence, nationalism, colonialism and radicalism, mainly relating to Ireland and the Irish diaspora. I completed my doctorate at the European University Institute, Florence. Before coming to Strathclyde, I worked at Bielefeld University, Germany, NUI Glaway and the University of Edinburgh.

My recent book Changing Land: Diaspora Activism and the Irish Land War (NYU Press, 2021) is based on research supported by a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Intra-European Fellowship and examines radical networks in Ireland and Irish migrant communities in Scotland, England, the United States and Argentina. My first book, The Dynamiters: Irish nationalism and political violence in the wider world, 1867-1900, appeared with Cambridge University Press in 2012.

My present project is a book length study of Irish migration to Argentina and the south Atlantic world more widely in the long nineteenth centiry, and in particular of John O'Dwyer Creaghe, an Irish emigrant who became a leading figure in the Argentine anarchist movement. I am also working on a project on excess mortality in nineteenth century Ireland.

I am part of the Modern Irish History Group at Strathclyde. I teach classes on the history of the Irish diaspora, the global history of terrorism, Irish nationalism and radicalism, and Ireland and colonialism, at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. I am the Head of the History Subject Area at Strathclyde.

Along with teaching and research, I’m committed to public history and have contributed pieces to the Irish Times and RTE Brainstorm. I am interested in the interpretation of history through music and film. For a number of years I organised the series 'Screening Irish History', which has run at the Glasgow Film Theatre, the CCA Glasgow and Edinburgh’s Filmhouse.

I am presently working on a collaborative project between historians and composers and songwriters on the interpretation of primary historical sources through music. The project is called 'Bring Your Own Hammer' and the first album of original compositions is released in March 2024.



Changing Land


Teaching Interests

I teach undergraduate and postgraduate modules on the history of Ireland and Irish migration, and the history of political violence and terrorism.


I welcome applications from potential PhD students who wish to work on areas of:

  • modern Ireland and the Irish diaspora
  • migration
  • terrorism and political violence
  • Ireland and empire
  • Cinema and Irish history

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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