College Lecturer
School of History and Archives
University College Dublin


Research Interests:
Historical and hagiographical writing; intellectual life and the relationship between religion and politics in the central middle ages.

Select Publications:


Thomas Becket and his Biographers (Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2006)

The Voice of the Irish: the Story of Christian Ireland (Mahwah NJ: Paulist Press, 2003)

The Lives of Thomas Becket: Selected Sources Translated and Annotated. Manchester Medieval Sources Series (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2001)

The Illustrated Story of Christian Ireland: from St Patrick to the Peace Process (Dublin: Emerald Press, 2001)


‘Thomas Becket and the Church of Canterbury’, in Cathedrals, Communities and Conflict in the Anglo-Norman World, ed. P. Dalton, C. Insley and L. J. Wilkinson (Woodbridge: Boydell, 2011), pp. 169-86

‘Thomas Becket and Ireland’, ‘Listen, O Isles, unto me’. Studies in Medieval Word and image in Honour of Jennifer O’Reilly (Cork: Cork University Press, 2011), pp. 87-101, 340-3 [with C. Ó Clabaigh]

‘Exile in the Lives of Anselm and Thomas Becket’, Exile in the Middle Ages: selected proceedings from the International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds, 8-11 July 2002 (International Medieval Research, 13), ed. L. Napran and E. van Houts (Turnhout: Brepols, 2004), pp.  159-80

‘The Medieval Foundations of Western Jurisprudence’, in Western Jurisprudence, ed. T. Murphy (Dublin: Thomson Round Hall, 2004), pp. 74-93

‘Exile in Eadmer’s Historia Novorum and Vita Anselmi’, in Anselm: Bishop, Saint and Thinker, Papers Read at a Conference held in the Catholic University of Lublin on 24-26 September 1996, ed. R. Majeran and E. I. Zielinski (Lublin: The University Press of the Catholic University of Lublin, 1999), pp. 47-59

‘Thomas Becket’s Conversion’, Anglo-Norman Studies 21 (1999), pp. 193-211

‘Eadmer’s Vita Anselmi: a Reinterpretation’, Journal of Medieval History 23 (1997), pp. 1-14

‘Trial and Inspiration in the Lives of Anselm and Thomas Becket’, Anselm: Aosta, Bec and Canterbury. Papers in commemoration of the nine hundredth anniversary of Anselm’s enthronement as archbishop, 25 September 1093, ed. D. E. Luscombe and G. R. Evans (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1996), pp. 310-32

Funded Projects:

Government of Ireland Senior Research Fellowship, 2008-9

Current Teaching:

  • Rome to Renaissance
  • The Irish and their Neighbours in the Middle Ages
  • History Research Skills
  • Biography and Autobiography in the Middle Ages

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