I was born in County Fermanagh, but grew up in the Townland
of Mullansallagh, near Portglenone, in County Antrim.
My BA, MA & PhDs were all completed in Queen's University,
my Master's, I produced a detailed calendar entitled: Calendar of material relating to the annual conferences
of the Northern Ireland Labour Party 1958 - 64 and one special conference, 1962, deposited in the Public Records Office of
Northern Ireland. I also wrote a 20,000 word thesis
The Northern Ireland Labour Party in context, 1958 - 65.
Both works are
deposited in QUB School of Modern History, The Linen Hall Library of Belfast and the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland.
My PhD thesis
had the unattractive title: The Evolution of Ulster Unionism 1960 - 9: Causes, Course and Consequences. I graduated
I spent a year writing a history of Holywell (psychiatric) hospital in County Antrim. Then, in 1998, I left Northern Ireland
to become Senior Irish Government Scholar
in the History and Culture of Ireland, Hertford College, Oxford University.
In 2000 I became a Fellow at St Catz.