Lucy Simpson-Kilbane

Postgraduate Research Student


Lucy has a BA in History from the University of Leicester and an MA in Irish Studies from the University of Liverpool. Lucy has received the Institute of Irish Studies MA Dissertation Award for her thesis and is the co-history editor of the Liverpool Postgraduate Journal of Irish Studies.

Research Interests

Thesis Title

"‘Documents of truth’?: The Ryan (2009) and McAleese (2013) Reports."

This research project will present a critical analysis of the state-funded investigations into institutional and clerical abuse in twentieth-century Ireland. It will offer a limited assessment of the Ferns (2005), Murphy (2009), and Cloyne (2010) Reports into clerical abuse, and a more in-depth analysis of the Ryan Report into child abuse in Ireland’s industrial schools, as well as the McAleese Report into state involvement in the operation of the country’s Catholic Magdalen laundries.

The thesis will consider how far the investigations and reports were a symptom of Ireland’s ‘inquiry culture’ and will also address the legacy of the reports and the lessons that can be learned from them.

Lucy’s broader research interests include the history of institutionalisation and welfare provision, the Irish Catholic Church, and women and gender studies

Research Funding

Institute of Irish Studies