Dr. Elaine Byrne is a barrister. She is a columnist with the Sunday Business Post and an associate lecturer in law at the Institute of Technology, Carlow.

Elaine has held academic appointments as a political scientist with Trinity College Dublin and the University of New South Wales.

She has worked as a governance consultant for the European Commission, United Nations Anti-Corruption Unit, World Bank, and Transparency International. She is the author of the bestselling book, Political Corruption in Ireland 1922-2010:  A Crooked Harp? 

Elaine is a campaigner on political reform. She is co-author of politicalreform.ie  and co-founder of the participatory democracy project We The Citizens which was the template for the Irish Constitutional ConventionShe was appointed by the Taoiseach Enda Kenny to the 2015 Seanad Working Group on Reform.

Elaine is from Carlow/Wicklow, a graduate of King’s Inns and the University of Limerick. She is a triathlete, or tries to be one.

•   @elainebyrne  •  Flickr  •  Linkedin  •  


Selected Publications

  • Elaine Byrne, Political Corruption in Ireland 1922-2010: A Crooked Harp? Manchester University Press, 2012. Extracts, reviews and where to buy the book can be found here. (This was the only publication included from the 2000s in: Bryan Fanning & Tom Garvin, The Books that Define Ireland, Irish Academic Press, 2014. It was the second biggest selling tome for Manchester University Press in 2012.)


  • Elaine Byrne and Kris Lasslet, ‘History of State Crime in Ireland’ in (editors) Deirdre Healy, Claire Hamilton, Yvonne Daly and Michelle Butler, Routledge Handbook of Irish Criminology. Routledge, 2015.
  • Elaine Byrne & Huginn Thorsteinsson, ‘Iceland, the Accidental Hero’ In (editor(s) Brian Lucey, Constantin Gurdgiev & Charles Larkin, What if Ireland Defaults? Orpen Press, 2012, pp.135-147.
  • ‘The Democracy of a Republic’ in (editor) Fintan O’Toole, Up the Republic! Faber and Faber, November 2012. pp.68-89.


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