||The Lifecycle of Rural Children in Modern Ireland: A Case Study of Birth, Life and Death in County Donegal, 1850-1950
|Short synopsis of thesis:
||This thesis seeks to uncover the reality of rural childhood experience in County Donegal, from 1850-1950, by adopting a life-cycle approach. A social history of rural childhoods in Ireland is yet to be written and my thesis seeks to fill that void with a case study of Co. Donegal. This research will consider all experiences of rural childhood while analysing the disparity of experience among children of different genders, classes, religions and socio-economic backgrounds. Themes such as agency, institutionalisation, crime, death and disease, education, migration, labour, childhood relationships and memory will be considered as the conceptual framework.
Donegal is situated on the periphery of Ireland, on the western seaboard, and children who were born and raised in the county essentially lived ‘on the edge’ of Irish life, both geographically and socially. This study will shed light on the rural Irish picture, particularly Gaeltacht childhoods. The localised experiences of children in the county will then be placed in a provincial and nationwide context, in particular, because of Donegal’s complex geopolitical history. This research will study childhood experiences from birth to the age of 16, when, by the twentieth-century, children were generally deemed to become adults. The ever-changing, nuanced understanding of what defines a ‘child’ will be considered throughout this study. Rural children in County Donegal essentially existed on the periphery of Ireland and Irish life, and have, thus far, remained relatively anonymous in current historiography.
||Dr Jennifer Redmond
||I am a Third Year PhD candidate in the Department of History. I was awarded a First Class honours BA in History and Nua-Ghaeilge from Maynooth University in 2019, and a First Class honours MA in Irish History, also from MU, in 2020. I have been a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the Department of History since 2019 and earned a Professional Certificate in Teaching and Learning in 2020. I also work as a part-time research assistant on the Moynagh Lough Project with Dr Michael Potterton and am a part-time intern with Finders International Probate Genealogists.
||Irish history, social history, cultural history, history of childhood and youth, education, institutionalisation, gender, folklore
||A selection of poetry, Irisleabhar Mhá Nuad (Maynooth, 2019)
with Jennifer Redmond, ‘The darkest part of a dark History? Infanticide in Ireland, a case study of Donegal, 1870-1950’ in Salvador Ryan (ed.), Birth and the Irish (Dublin, 2021)
‘Babies, beggars and belligerents: a case study of unidentified death records in Co. Donegal, 1870-1950’, Offaly History Blog (May 2021) https://offalyhistoryblog.wordpress.com/2021/05/22/babies-beggars-and-belligerents-a-case-study-of-unidentified-death-records-in-co-donegal-1870-1950-by-megan-mcauley/
‘The country people and the old people are great believers in old cures’: an examination of infancy, illness and interment in the Schools’ Folklore Collection, 1937-38’, History Studies, 22 (2021)
‘Dún na nGall: ‘Fort of the Foreigners’? – Archaeological evidence for Viking activity in Medieval County Donegal’, Donegal Annual, 74 (2022) (based on MA research).
||Infanticide and Registered ‘Unknown’ Infant Deaths in Co. Donegal, 1870-1930,
Irish History Students’ Association Conference, Maynooth University, March 2021.
Childhood, Interrupted: Infanticide and Infant Ill-health in County Donegal, 1870-1900
Society for the History of Childhood and Youth Conference, NUI Galway, June 2021.
‘Girls do not play the same kind of games as boys’?: Gender, Childhood Games, and Toys in Twentieth-Century Donegal,
Irish History Students’ Association Conference, TCD, February 2022.
Moynagh Lough Conference, Maynooth University, September 2022 (co-organiser)
||History Teachers’ Association of Ireland’s Deirdre Clancy Medal for Leaving Cert History, 2016
Maynooth University Entrance Scholarship, 2016
J.P. McManus All-Ireland Scholarship, 2016-2019
National University of Ireland Mansion House Fund Scholarships and Prizes in Irish History, 2019 (Nominated)
Maynooth University Taught Masters Scholarship, 2019
Department of History Tutoring Scholarship, 2019
National University of Ireland Denis Phelan Scholarship, 2020
Offaly History/P.&H. Egan History Scholarship, 2020-2023
Maynooth University John and Pat Hume fee waiver Scholarship, 2020-2024
Department of History Research Incentivisation Fund, 2022 (Bursary)
||Graduate Teaching Assistant on the following First and Second year undergraduate modules:
HY121 Introduction to Medieval History: Vikings and Normans
HY122 Making the Modern World: Themes in History
HY205 Ireland in the Eighteenth Century
HY212 Europe in the Early Modern World
||Women’s History Association of Ireland.
Society for the History of Children and Youth.
Irish Association of Professional Historians.
Donegal Historical Society.