1989 …2022

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Personal profile



Professor O'Dowd's research interests have focussed on gender and social history in early modern Ireland. She was a founding member of the Women's History Association of Ireland and served as president of the International Federation for Research in Women's History, 2000-2005. In 2010 she was elected an honorary member of the Federation's Board in recognition of her work for the Federation.  Professor O'Dowd has served on a number of public committees including the Irish Manuscripts Commission and the Board of the National Museum of Ireland.  She is a Member of the Royal Irish Academy and was elected to the office of Secretary of the Academy in March 2021.  Professor O'Dowd's most recent book is Marriage in Ireland, 1660-1925 published by Cambridge University Press in 2020 and co-authored with Maria Luddy.  Her current research project is a history of old age in Ireland. 


Research Statement

Gender and women's history; social history; history of marriage; family history; early modern Ireland; history of old age





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 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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