Research areas

  • AZ History of Scholarship The Humanities
  • D204 Modern History
  • HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
  • HC Economic History and Conditions
  • F1001 Canada (General)


 Don MacRaild is Professor of British and Irish History, having previously held chairs of History at the Ulster University, Northumbria University and Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Don has twice been a visiting scholar at the Australian National University. He has given invited lectures in Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Norway, the US and Canada. He has won major funding from the AHRC, ESRC, and the Leverhulme Trust (twice).




BA (hons), PhD, Cert Ed (HE).

Research projects

He is currently PI (with Liam Kennedy as Co-I) on a Leverhulme-funded project, ‘The Irish and British Famine, 1845-50: Comparing Lives Lost and Lives Saved’ (2016-), which seeks to answer two vital, but rarely asked, questions: how many lives could have been saved using the existing technology (administrative, medical, transport and other services) but relaxing the financial and ideological constraints that shackled famine relief?; and how many more lives would have been lost had the much-criticised British relief measures not been introduced? The aim is to gain a clearer picture of this enormous human and ecological disaster. 


Don was PI of the AHRC funded project ‘Locating the Hidden Diaspora: The English in North America in Transatlantic Perspective, 1760-1950’ (2011-14)


Professional affiliations

Fellow of the Royal Historical Society

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Research interests

Don’s interests range across the Irish and British Diasporas; nineteenth-century British economic, social and labour histories; and history and theory. He has several overlapping fields of research expertise, including: the Irish in Britain; the Irish, English and British Diasporas; the history of the Orange Order outside Ireland; the history of labour and social organization; and ethnicity and ethnic conflict in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

In particular, he is an authority on the Irish Diaspora and, latterly, the English, and the ethnic formations they constructed in the new world. He also is interested in the interplay between English imperialism and Irish nationalism as they played out in the New World, and the ways in which homeland conflicts migrated to new countries of settlement.


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