Educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and Nottingham University, Oonagh Walsh is a native of Co. Galway. She was Senior Lecturer in History at Aberdeen University (1995-2008) and a Senior Research Fellow in Medical History in the School of History, University College Cork from 2008-2013. She is currently Professor of Gender Studies at Glasgow Caledonian University.

Research Interests

Principal research interests are Irish medical history (especially the history of psychiatry), and gender history. Recent work includes studies of Intellectually Disabled patients and their treatment in the Irish District Asylums, and the practice of symphysiotomy in twentieth century Ireland. Published on a range of areas in modern Irish history, including Protestant women's social, political and cultural experiences, the development of the asylum system in the west of Ireland and 20th century obstetrics.

Books

YearPublication
(2000)Ireland's Independence: 1880-1923.
Oonagh Walsh; (2000) Ireland's Independence: 1880-1923. Routledge London: Routledge. [Details]
(2005)Anglican Women in Dublin: philanthropy, politics and education in the early twentieth century.
Oonagh Walsh; (2005) Anglican Women in Dublin: philanthropy, politics and education in the early twentieth century. UCD Press, Dublin: University College Dublin Press. [Details]
(2015)Insanity, Power and Politics in Nineteenth-Century Ireland: The Connaught District Lunatic Asylum.
Oonagh Walsh; (2015) Insanity, Power and Politics in Nineteenth-Century Ireland: The Connaught District Lunatic Asylum. MUP London: Manchester University Press. [Details]

Book Chapters

YearPublication
(1990)'Testimony from Imprisoned Women'
Oonagh Walsh; (1990) 'Testimony from Imprisoned Women' In: Revolution: Ireland 1917-1923. Trinity History Workshop, Dublin: Trinity History Workshop. [Details]
(1997)'A Lightness of Mind: Gender and Psychiatry in Nineteenth Century Ireland'
Oonagh Walsh; (1997) 'A Lightness of Mind: Gender and Psychiatry in Nineteenth Century Ireland' In: Gender Perspectives in Nineteenth Century Ireland: Separate Spheres. Irish Academic Press, Dublin: Irish Academic Press. [Details]
(1999)'Lunatic and Criminal Alliances in Nineteenth-Century Ireland'
Oonagh Walsh; (1999) 'Lunatic and Criminal Alliances in Nineteenth-Century Ireland' In: Outside the Walls of the Asylum: Historical Perspectives on 'Care in the Community' in Modern Britain and Ireland. Athlone Press, London: Athlone Press. [Details]
(1999)'Gendering the Asylums: Ireland and Scotland, 1847-1877'
Oonagh Walsh; (1999) 'Gendering the Asylums: Ireland and Scotland, 1847-1877' In: Gendering Scottish History: an International Approach. Cruthnie Press, Edinburgh: Cruthnie Press. [Details]
(1999)'The Designs of Providence: Race, Religion and Irish Insanity'
Oonagh Walsh; (1999) 'The Designs of Providence: Race, Religion and Irish Insanity' In: Insanity and Society: The Asylum in its Social Context. Routledge Press, London: Routledge Press. [Details]
(2003)'Sketches of Missionary Life: Alexander Robert Crawford in Manchuria'
Oonagh Walsh; (2003) 'Sketches of Missionary Life: Alexander Robert Crawford in Manchuria' In: Ireland Abroad: Politics and Professions in the Nineteenth Century. Four Courts Press, Dublin: Four Courts Press. [Details]
(2004)'Gender and Insanity in Nineteenth Century Ireland'
Oonagh Walsh; (2004) 'Gender and Insanity in Nineteenth Century Ireland' In: Sex and Seclusion, Class and Custody: perspectives on gender and class in the history of British and Irish psychiatry. Rodopi Press, Amsterdam: Rodopi Press. [Details]
(2008)'Landscape and the Irish Asylum'
Oonagh Walsh; (2008) 'Landscape and the Irish Asylum' In: Land and Landscape in Nineteenth-Century Ireland. Four Courts Press, Dublin: Four Courts Press. [Details]
(2012)'A perfectly ordered establishment: Connaught District Lunatic Asylum (Ballinasloe)'
Oonagh Walsh; (2012) 'A perfectly ordered establishment: Connaught District Lunatic Asylum (Ballinasloe)' In: Asylums, Mental Health Care and the Irish: Historical studies 1800-2010. Irish Academic Press, Dublin: Irish Academic Press. [Details]
(2012)'Cure or Custody: Therapeutic Philosophy at the Connaught District Asylum'
Oonagh Walsh; (2012) 'Cure or Custody: Therapeutic Philosophy at the Connaught District Asylum' In: Gender, Medicine and the State, 1750-1950. Syracuse, New York: Syracuse University Press. [Details]
(2013)'Psychiatric nurses and their patients: the Irish perspective'
Oonagh Walsh; (2013) 'Psychiatric nurses and their patients: the Irish perspective' In: Nursing the mentally disordered: Struggles that shaped the working lives of paid carers in institutional and community settings from 1800 to the 1980s. Rochester, New York: University of Rochester Press. [Details]
(2014)'A Person of a Second Order: Charitable Provision and the Intellectually Disabled in Dublin, 1869-1890'
Oonagh Walsh (2014) 'A Person of a Second Order: Charitable Provision and the Intellectually Disabled in Dublin, 1869-1890' In: Philanthropy in 19th Century Ireland. Dublin: Four Courts Prss. [Details]
(2013)'Medical Humanities: New Beginnings or Back to the Past?'
Oonagh Walsh and Ciara Breathnach (2013) 'Medical Humanities: New Beginnings or Back to the Past?' In: Restating the Value of the Humanities. Dublin: Royal Irish Academy. [Details]

Edited Books

YearPublication
(1999)
Oonagh Walsh, Terry Brotherstone & Debbi Siminton (Ed.). (1999) Gendering Scottish History: an International Approach. Cruithne Press, Edinburgh: Crutihne Press. [Details]
(2003)
Oonagh Walsh (Ed.). (2003) Ireland Abroad: Politics and Professions in the Nineteenth Century. Four Courts Press, Dublin: Four Courts Press. [Details]
(2000)
Oonagh Walsh (Ed.). (2000) An Englishwoman in Belfast: Rosamond Stephen's Record of the Great War. Cork University Press, Cork: Cork University Press. [Details]
(2014)
Oonagh Walsh & Larry Geary (Ed.). (2014) Philanthropy in 19th Century Ireland. Dublin: Four Courts Press. [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

YearPublication
(1995)'The Dublin University Mission Society, 1891-1914'
Oonagh Walsh; (1995) 'The Dublin University Mission Society, 1891-1914'. History of Education, 24 (1):61-72 [Details]
(1997)'Protestant Female Philanthropy in Dublin'
Oonagh Walsh; (1997) 'Protestant Female Philanthropy in Dublin'. History Ireland, 5 (2):27-31 [Details]
(1998)'Her Irish Heritage: Annie M.P. Smithson and Auto/Biography'
Oonagh Walsh; (1998) 'Her Irish Heritage: Annie M.P. Smithson and Auto/Biography'. Etudes irlandaises, (Summer):4-28 [Details]
(2005)'`Tales from the Big House¿: The Connaught District Lunatic Asylum in the late Nineteenth-Century'
Oonagh Walsh; (2005) '`Tales from the Big House¿: The Connaught District Lunatic Asylum in the late Nineteenth-Century'. History Ireland, (Nov-Dec):21-25 [Details]

Published Reports

YearPublication
(2013)Report on the Practice of Symphysiotomy in Twentieth-Century Ireland.
Oonagh Walsh (2013) Report on the Practice of Symphysiotomy in Twentieth-Century Ireland. Department of Health, Dublin. [Details]

Professional Associations

 AssociationFunctionFrom / To
Society for the Study of Nineteenth Century Ireland Secretary/
Association for Medical Humanities Council Member for the Republic of Ireland/

Outreach Activities

 Description

Consultant on the two-part series on Irish Psychiatry broadcast by RTE in 2011

Historical consultant on the permanent exhibition mounted to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the closure of the West Cork Railway.

Commission by Department of Health to write report on the practice of symphysiotomy in 20th century Ireland



  • Hosted an international conference on ‘The Epidemic in Modern History’ at UCC on November 6th and 7th, 2009. The conference attracted over 30 speakers from the USA, Continental Europe and Ireland.
  • Hosted annual Society for the Study of Nineteenth Century Ireland conference at UCC on June 17th and 18th, 2010. This meeting, on the theme of ‘Philanthropy’, included papers on science, medicine and health. Conference volume published by Four Courts Press in 2014.
  • Establishment of the Consortium for Medical Humanities in March, 2010. The consortium comprises research active academics with interests in medical humanities and the history of medicine from University College Cork, Queen’s University Belfast, and the University of Limerick.
  • Organisation of a workshop in Medical Humanities at UCC on November 9th, 2010.
  • With Lewis Glucksman Gallery helped organise a joint exhibition entitled ‘Public Exposure: disfigurement and disease in art and media’.
  • Hosted international conference on 'Medical Identities: Patients and Professionals, July 2012, which attracted 70 national and international delegates.

Other Activities

 Description

  • Conference papers delivered while Senior Research Fellow in Medical History, University College Cork include:

  • 'The Dangerous Lunatics Act and the Misrepresentation of Violence in 19th Century Ireland', Society for the Study of19th Century Ireland conference, Northumbria University, June 2013. 

  • Intellectual Disability and the Irish Asylums', annual conference of the Association of Medical Humanities, University of Leicester, July 2011

  • ‘District Asylums in Ireland’ at the ‘Cultures of Institutional Care Workshop’ from the ESRC funded Welfare Regimes under the Irish Poor Law, 1850-1921 project, December 5th, 2008.

  • ‘Power and the Irish Lunatic Asylums’ at the 29th Irish Conference of Historians on ‘Power and History’ at the University of Limerick on June 14th, 2009.

  • ‘Imperial Institutions: The District Asylum System in Nineteenth-Century Ireland’ at the ‘Ends of Empire’ conference at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth conference, June 18-20th, 2009.

  • ‘Scientific discourse in nineteenth-century Irish psychiatry: cause or effect?’ at the Society for the Study of Nineteenth Century Ireland Conference on Science and Technology in Nineteenth Century Ireland at the Royal Irish Academy, July 2nd and 3rd, 2009.

  • ‘Mental Health and Public Health in Ireland’ at the Association for Medical Humanities Conference, ‘Taking the Body Seriously’ Conference, Durham University, 6th – 8th July, 2009.

  • ‘Plus Globe iconça change….Irish District Asylum Management in the Early Twentieth Century’ at the Psychiatry, Politics and Society Symposium, University College Dublin, December 4th, 2009.

  • ‘Gender and Asylums: the Irish Case’ at the ‘Cradle to the Grave’ workshop at the University of Limerick, March 19th, 2010.

  • ‘Selfish Charity’ at the Society for the Study of Nineteenth Century Ireland conference at UCC on June 17th and 18th, 2010.