Mayor James Collins with Dr Paul O'Brien at the launch of the latter's book
A LIMERICK academic, who joined Mary Immaculate College in 2006 as a mature student, has launched his first publication, exploring the fortunes of a provincial family who came to prominence in the early nineteenth century.
The Glynns of Kilrush, County Clare, 1811-1940: Family, business and politics, by MIC lecturer Dr Paul O’Brien, examines the networking strategies and business acumen of the entrepreneurial family.
Published by Four Courts Press, the book is available to purchase in bookstores and on-line.
"The book addresses the issue of middle-class identity, examining the ways in which it was constructed and represented to the wider community,” Dr O’Brien said.
“It also explores the mechanisms used by the middle classes to establish and maintain their economic, social and cultural hegemony, and how these were reproduced down the Glynn generations."
Launching the publication, Professor David Dickson of Trinity College Dublin said: "The social history of Irish business families has rarely been attempted, but Paul O'Brien has done just that.”
“He has given us a most revealing study of the Glynns, the merchant princes of Kilrush, and he has done full justice to the superb family archive on which this handsome book is based."
Dr O'Brien, who was a research fellow at the Irish College, Paris in 2016, first joined MIC as a mature student on the Liberal Arts programme in 2006, studying History and Philosophy.
"The quality of teaching and supervision which I received during the course of my undergraduate degree inspired my decision to continue my studies in History to postgraduate level," he said. Dr O'Brien, who is a recipient of the Military Heritage Trust of Ireland award for his research into recruitment practices during the First World War, received his doctorate from the Department of History at Mary Immaculate College in 2016 under the supervision of Dr Maura Cronin.
This publication is a monograph based on his PhD thesis for which he was given access to the Glynn family archive, c.1790-1980.