Gillian KENNY

Department of Adult Education
University College Dublin

Research Interests:

  • The history of women and the family in Ireland and Europe
  • Women’s roles in social networks and family alliances in later medieval Ireland and Britain
  • The social consequences of division in medieval and early modern Ireland
  • Cultural history and developments within Ireland in the later middle ages and into the early modern period
  • Settlement history in later medieval/early modern Ireland

Select Publications:


Anglo-Irish and Gaelic women in late medieval Ireland (Dublin: Four Courts, 2007).

‘Late medieval Brú na Bóinne c. 1140-1540’, in Historic Knowth and its Hinterland, F.J. Byrne, William Jenkins, Gillian Kenny and Catherine Swift, with an introduction by George Eogan (Dublin: Royal Irish Academy, 2008) pp. 133-171.


‘The Power of Dower: The Importance of Dower in the Lives of Medieval Women in Ireland’, in C. E. Meek (ed.), Pawns or Players (Dublin: Four Courts, 2003) pp. 59-74.
‘Anglo-Irish and Gaelic Marriage Laws and Traditions in Late Medieval Ireland’, Journal of Medieval History, 32 (2006), pp. 27-42.

‘The women of late medieval county Louth c. 1200-1550’, Journal of the County Louth Archaeological and Historical Society, vol. 26, no 4 (2008), pp. 579-594.

‘The Heiress as Fortune-Maker and Widow in Thirteenth-Century Anglo-Norman Ireland: Christiana de Marisco, Matilda de Lacy and the de Genevre brothers’, PAGES, 4 (1997), pp. 81-92.

‘Widows of the Invaders’, Journal of the Old Drogheda Society, 13 (2001), pp.  177-183

Commissioned book on the social history of seventeenth-century Drogheda nearing completion. (Drogheda: Boyne Valley Press, forthcoming)

‘Marriage in Late Medieval Ireland: How the Gaelic Attitude to Marriage Destabilised the Family in Ireland and How Irishwomen Sought to Change It’, in Kenneth S. Pearlman (ed.), Marriage: Roles, Stability and Conflict (New York: Nova, 2009)

‘Women at war – Medieval Irishwomen’s experiences of warfare’,  in Festschrift dedicated to Professor Christine Meek, ed. Conor Kostick (Dublin: Four Courts, forthcoming)

Current Teaching:
Courses in medieval/early modern Irish and European history in the Department of Adult Education, UCD.

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