Liam Kennedy
  • Room 03.003 - 27 University Square

    United Kingdom


Research activity per year

Personal profile


Liam Kennedy is a non-award-winning historian from rural Tipperary, born under the star sign of Leo (or is it Taurus?), well before the era of Radio Telefís Éireann, silage making and the Friesian cow. His undergraduate degree was in food science but he underwent a later Pauline conversion to history. His formative intellectual influences included Raymond Crotty, (Irish agricultural production), John Hicks (A theory of economic history), Edna O'Brien (The country girls), and the Tipperary Star. In 2005 he held a visiting professorship at the University of Toronto. He is currently emeritus professor of economic history at QUB and a member of the Royal Irish Academy. His recent books include Who Was Responsible for the Troubles? The Northern Ireland Conflict (Montreal, 2020) and, with other authors, The Irish Religious Censuses of the 1760s: Catholics and Protestants in 18thC Ireland (Dublin, 2022) and The Death Census of Black '47: Eyewitness Accounts of the Great Irish Famine (London, 2023).


Research Statement

Themes of rural social change dominated his earlier research and still excite his interest. Increasingly, however, his interests have shifted towards the study of long-run social change in Ireland, extending from the 17th to the 20th century. More recently, historical studies of wages, prices and living standards, as well as secular change in the political and religious demography of Ireland have come to the fore. Other interests include the Northern Ireland conflict, human rights in a divided society, religion and child mortality in Ireland. He also challenges such tropes as that the Great Irish Famine was a case of genocide. Similarly, he is sceptical of claims that in the comparative historical stakes the Irish were amongst the most oppressed people ever (or what is sometimes referred to as the MOPE syndrome).

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 2 - Zero Hunger


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