Dr Elaine Byrne is an academic, journalist and consultant. She is a governance consultant to the European Commission, a columnist with the Sunday Business Post and a part-time student at Kings Inns.

Dr Byrne was awarded her PhD on Irish political history from the University of Limerick. She had held academic appointments at the University of New South Wales and Trinity College Dublin.

Elaine is a regular contributor to Irish media and has written for the Sunday IndependentIrish TimesSunday Times, and The Guardian. She was nominated for three National Newspaper of Ireland Awards in 2013. Elaine received a Simon Cumbers Award for a climate change project on Kiribati.  She is a campaigner on political reform, co-author of www.politicalreform.ie and co-founder of the participatory democracy project We The Citizens which was the template for the Irish Constitutional Convention

Elaine has worked as a governance consultant for the United Nations Anti-Corruption Unit, World Bank, Transparency International and Global Integrity. She has appeared as an expert witness before the Irish Banking Inquiry, Irish and British Parliamentary Committees and the Council of Europe Group of States against Corruption (GRECO). She was appointed by the Taoiseach to the Seanad Working Group on Reform.

Her current research projects are focused on the IRA in Australia, post-crisis financial regulation and the history of the Seanad.

She is a member of the NUJ, PSAI and the IAPH.

Elaine is from Carlow and is a triathlete.

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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.


Selected Conference Presentations

  • IRA Activity in Australia 1968-1974The Irish Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand (ISAANZ), Maynooth, June 2015
  • Irish Regulatory Enforcement Post-Crisis, Dublin Economic Policy Conference, Institute for Bankers, February 2015.
  • The Politics of Commemoration: Ireland and Australia, Soldier and Civilians – Experiences and Memories of the First World War, National Museum of Ireland, October 2014.
  • The Whistleblower and the Journalist, Clearun Media Conference, October 2014.
  • Regulatory Enforcement in Ireland, Political Studies Association of Ireland Annual Conference, NUIG, October 2014.
  • The Irish Senate as Parliamentary Opposition, Political Studies Association of Ireland Annual Conference, NUIG, October 2014.
  • The IRA in Australia, Centre for Irish Global Studies seminar series, UNSW, September 2014.
  • Irish Senate 1922-1928 and the Establishment of the Judiciary,The Irish Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand (ISAANZ), UNSW, December 2013.
  • Irish Senate 1922-1928: An Idealist Experiment? Centre for Contemporary Irish History, Trinity College Dublin, November 2013.
  • The Mahon and Moriarty Tribunal Reports, How was it allowed to Happen?3 MacGill Summer School, Donegal, June 2012.
  • The Future State of Ireland, Goldsmiths University of London, 2012.
  • Ireland in Transition: Contemporary Challenges and Opportunities, Notre Dame conference in Trinity College Dublin, 2012.


Selected Expert Witness Testimony


Conference and summer school presentations 

  • Parnell Summer School, Byrne/Perry Summer School, Michael Collins/Arthur Griffith graveside oration, Collins 22 Society in Kilkenny, Navan and Dublin, Countess Markievicz School, ASTI Annual Convention, National Adult Literacy Agency Conference, Féile Na Bealtaine Dingle Festival, Abbey Theatre. Trim Swift Festival, Ennis Writers Festival, Goldsmith International Literary Festival, Boyle Arts Festival, Burren Law School, SDLP Dublin, Ogra Fianna Fail Belfast, The Wheel, TCD Law Society, UCD Law Society, UCC Law Society, TCD HIST, Leviathan debates. European Commission seminar on women, University of Limerick 25th C&S anniversary, Maynooth, UCD, Trinity Contemporary Irish History, NUI Galway School of Law, Ohio Wesleyan University and Notre Dame.



  • New Communities Partnership workshops on citizenship for migrants on Dublin City Council.
  • Dublin City Council’s Finance Strategic Policy Committee 2009-2012.
  • Election observer for Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Belarus 2006 and Albania 2009.
  • French Government award, Ministère des Affaires étrangères et européennes, 2012.


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