Research Profile

Finola Doyle-O'Neill


Dr Doyle O' Neill is a broadcast hlstorian. She holds a Doctorate in Ireland's radio and television  history and lectures in the area of Ireland's broadcast and  film history. She is author of the Gaybo Revolution: How Gay Byrne Challenged Irish Society and she is a regular commentator on radio on issues relating to Ireland's broadcasting history. Her recent contributions include comments on regulations pertaining to Ireland's broadcasting laws for children and newspaper governance in Ireland. In August 2014 alone, she was interviewed 9 times on national and local radio.

Her most recent conference, of which she was convenor, was a celebration of 50 years of television in Ireland, co-sponsored by the School of History UCC and RTÉ. The conference was streamed live world-wide.

In March 2014 she convened a unique seminar at the Radio Museum at Cork city Gaol on the topic of BBC Radio's first broadcast in Northern Ireland in 1924.

She is a member of the Board of the Cork Film Festival and regularly conducts Q and A sessions with visiting Irish filmmakers. At the 2014 Film Festival, she interviewed Irish Filmmaker Joe Comerford on his cinematic portrayal of Ireland and Irish culture.   

Research Interests

                                                                             My Book, The Gaybo Revolution: How Gay Byrne Challenged Irish Society has been recommended for use on the Leaving Certificate  History curriculum under the area of Modern Ireland: Church and State 

Research Grants

Start DateEnd DateAward
The Road to the Vote.Irish Research Council30-JAN-1730-SEP-17€10,575.00
A Historioraphy of women on radio in IrelandArt & Humanities Research Council04-SEP-1519-MAR-15€500.00
TV50Art & Humanities Research Council08-SEP-1209-SEP-12€500.00
CACSS Transitional Project supportUCC Strategic Research Fund21-MAR-1326-APR-13€500.00
Women Today ProgrammeNational University of Ireland (NUI)28-JUN-1428-JUN-14€500.00
Women on AirNational University of Ireland (NUI)28-JUN-1418-OCT-14€500.00
TV50- 50 Years of TV in IrelandRTÉ Radio One07-SEP-1208-SEP-12€6,000.00
National and International Images of Irish IndependenceIrish Research Council€15,000.00
From Marconi to Munster Radio-UCC Strategic Research Fund01-SEP-1431-JUL-15€2,750.00
Publication Support FundUCC Strategic Research Fund19-JUN-1328-DEC-13€1,500.00
Film as Historical sourceERASMUS01-JUL-1406-JUL-14€1,100.00


Book Chapters

(2013)'The radio talk show and popular culture in Ireland'
O Fhuarthatigh and Doyle (editors) (2013) 'The radio talk show and popular culture in Ireland' In: Ordinary Irish Life. Dublin: Irish Academic Press. [CORA Link] [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

(2015)'Women , Liberalism and Journalism'
peer reviwer (2015) 'Women , Liberalism and Journalism'. Irish Studies Review, [Details]


(2015)The Gaybo Revolution: How Gay Byrne Challenged Irish Society.
Finola Doyle O'Neill (2015) The Gaybo Revolution: How Gay Byrne Challenged Irish Society. Dublin: Orpen Press. [Details]
(2004)Media Skills for teenagers.
FInola Doyle-O'Niell; (2004) Media Skills for teenagers. Dublin: Folens. [Details]

Newspaper Articles

(2016)The legacy of De Valera.
finola Doyle O'Neill (2016) The legacy of De Valera. cork: Newspaper Articles [Details]
(2014)Gay Byrne at 80.
Finola Doyle O'Neill (2014) Gay Byrne at 80. Newspaper Articles [Details]
(2011)Holding on to our History.
Finola Doyle O' Neill (2011) Holding on to our History. Irish Examiner: Newspaper Articles [Details]

Book Reviews

(2007)Review of Michael de Nie, The Irish Paddy in Irish History Review.
Finola Doyle-O'Neill; (2007) Review of Michael de Nie, The Irish Paddy in Irish History Review. Book Reviews [Details]

Professional Activities

Honours and Awards

 YearTitleAwarding Body
2017University Impact Award 2017 UCC Staff recognition Awards programme
2017Best best radio dramatiszation of an historical event CRAOL (Comminuty Radio association)
2017New Foundations Irish Research Council
2014CACSS Aurora nominee UK Leadership Foundation
2016Irish research Council Award New Horizons 2016

Professional Associations

 AssociationFunctionFrom / To
Irish Newspaper Periodicals member/
National Union of Journalists Committee member/
Irish Women's History Association member/

Conference Contributions

(2017)Feminist Insights of Europe,
finola Doyle ONeill (2017) Images of europe Building. [Oral Presentation], Feminist Insights of Europe, UCC . [Details]
(2017)The Media and Politics,
Finola Doyle O'Neill (2017) Journalism Conference. [Keynote Speaker], The Media and Politics, UCC , 09-FEB-17 - 09-FEB-17. [Details]
(2016)Shared Histories,
Dr Finola Doyle O'Neill (2016) The media links between the UK and Ireland. [Invited Seminars/Guest Lectures], Shared Histories, National Library of Ireland , 06-JUL-16 - 07-JUL-16. [Details]
(2015)Applied History Symposium,
David Ryan (History, UCC), Eamonn McEneaney, Director, Waterford Treasures), Virginia Teehan (Cultural Programmes and Research Support, UCC), Danielle O’Donovan (Bridge 21, Trinity College Dublin), Finola Doyle-O'Neill (History, UCC), Edel Bhreathnach (CEO, Discovery Programme), Niamh NicGhabhann (MA in Festive Arts Programme, University of Limerick), Brian Donovan (Director, Eneclann), Mary McCarthy (Careers Advisor, UCC), Katherine McGarry (History, UCC) (2015) contributor. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], Applied History Symposium, University College Cork . [Details]
(2014)Does Journalism need feminism?,
Dr Finola Doyle O'Neill (2014) UCC Journalism Society Conference. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], Does Journalism need feminism?, UCC , 15-FEB-14 - 16-FEB-14. [Details]
(2012)Gender and irish Society in the 19th and 20th century,
Dr Finola Doyle O'Neill (2012) The Role and Representation of Women on Irish Television in the 1960s. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], Gender and irish Society in the 19th and 20th century, Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences NUI Galway , 23-MAR-12 - 24-MAR-12. [Details]
(2011)New Directives,
Dr Finola Doyle O'Neill (2011) The Irish radio talk show as public confessional. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], New Directives, UCD , 04-NOV-11 - 05-NOV-11. [Details]
(2010)Into the Heartland of the Ordinary- second Galway Conference on Irish Studies,
Dr Finola Doyle O'Neill (2010) Challenging Irish Society- The Late Late Show as a conduit of change in Irish Society. [Invited Lectures (Conference)], Into the Heartland of the Ordinary- second Galway Conference on Irish Studies, NUI Galway , 10-JUN-10 - 13-JUN-10. [Details]
(2010)Cumann Staire lecture series,
Dr Finola Doyle O'Neill (2010) The Irish TV Talk show. [Invited Seminars/Guest Lectures], Cumann Staire lecture series, NUI Galway , 18-NOV-10 - 19-NOV-10. [Details]


 EmployerPositionFrom / To


 CommitteeFunctionFrom / To
IS&ER Committee member2017 / 2017
College Executive management Committee Appointed Representtive2016 / 2018
Academic Council Committee on Information Strategy and Educational Resources. Member2014 / 2017
Research Committee School of History Committee member/
Newspaper and Periodical member member/
National Union of Journalists former secretary/
Chairperson Undergraduate Awards chairperson2014 / 2014


1988UCC BAHistory
1989UCC DiplomaTeaching
1990UCC MScHistory
1997UCC PHDHistory


Film consultant on American CBS series The Emeralds of Hollywood 2006
2007 Film Consultant on RTE Series Secret History
Irish Independent - Saturday magazine
Article on 'The Goglebox'- Ireland's TV viewing habits
Sunday Times Newspaper
Article on new regulations on children's TV viewing hours for Ireland


Gaeilge FunctionalFunctionalFunctional
German FluentFluentFluent
French FluentFluentFluent

Outreach Activities


I scripted, produced and presented the radio series The Road to the vote which is now used as part of the history curriculum in many Munster secondary schools

part of a working group which organised the first ever Community engagement week 2017

Regular contributor to radio on issues regarding Ireland's broadcasting history and programme policy

Walking with Ireland into the Sun- an original play by Finola Doyle O' Neill

In April 2016 I wrote and directed a play on seven women insurgents of 1916. The play, which was based on primary archival material, was called Walking with Ireland into the Sun ( a line from Helena Molony's military testimony). The play was performed at the former women's gaol at Sundays well in Cork by The UCC Players, the staff drama group which I founded in 2014. The play was invited back to the gaol for Culture Night 2016 and the playwright and cast have also had requests to re-stage it nationwide. 

occasional columns regarding Irish media and film history

Commentator and contributor to a series of RTÉ TV programmes on the 1916 commemorative events.

Workshop on female suffrage delivered to 200 second level students in April 2017r

Media Engagements /Outreach activities 2017:

February 9 2017:Invited Chair of the UCC Journalism Society Conference  Politics and the Media-

February 18 2017:  Invited speaker at UCC conference Feminist Insights of Europe Building

March 30 2017: Launch by UCC President Professor O'Shea of my IRC funded project, The Road to the vote- The Fight for female Suffrage, with an invited audience of 60 senior cycle History students and their teachers- all schools will receive a USB with a series of radio programmes on the key Irish Suffragists of 1917-1918, plus an Education pack for their school.

Founding member and Chairperson of The UCC Players, the only university staff drama group in Ireland.

Its remit is to encourage staff and alumni to engage with drama and also to encourage local writers/dramatists  to perform their works.

2016 media engagements:

Interviewed on the Marian Finucane Show RTÉ Radio 1- August 28th 2016 on Thrash TV. 

Interview with Matt Cooper on 'The last word' on Today FM on my Book the Gaybo Revolution - January 7 2016

Interview on Sarah Curran for RTÉ TV pilot programme, February 1 2016.

Article on the Irish Examiner - The reluctant revolutionary - January 10 2016

Interview on RTÉ 1 Television on 1916 and the 1966 Commemorations, Nationwide RTÉ 1, March 25 2016.

2015- Media engagement/Outreach activities

January 7,2015- Spoke as UCC Aurora representative at UCD conference on Women in Academia.

February 7, 2015- Guest speaker at NUI Galway Cumann Staire ,  on Radio and Social Change in Ireland

February 20, 2015- Interview on RTÉ Radio 1, Media  Programme on Journalism and cliché .  

March 9, 2015- Interviewed by Sunday Independent and Radio Kerry regarding World Radio Day. 

February 24, 2015- Chaired the panel on Media Bias, at UCC Student Journalism Conference.

In March 2016, I was invited as a guest historian on the RTÉ Nationwide series on 1916. I assessed RTÉ's 1966 coverage of the 50 year anniversary of the 1916 Rising.


Contributor to -

Newstalk -

RTÉ Radio 1

-Radio Kerry -

BBC Radio Ulster -

Life FM -

96FM -




-Commentator on World radio Day on Near FM Radio, Dublin- Jan 11,2014 -

 Commentator on Media Ethics on LFM Radio, Dundalk, Feb 27, 2014

Journal Activities

 JournalRoleTo / From
Irish Studies Review Referee-

Other Activities


Represented UCC as Aurora speaker at the launch of the Aurora programme in Ireland, January 7, 2015, UCD.

School of History Staff Research seminar presentations:

Delusions of Power: Archbishop Charles McQuaid and RTÉ
, 5/12/2011

From the Confession Box to the Radio Soap Box: Talk radio and social change in Ireland, 12/11/2012.  

Teaching Activities

Teaching Interests

The history of Ireland's broadcast and print media, cinematic representations of Ireland and the Irish, cultural identity and sport, women in the media, cultural identity and nationhood. I lecture on the following modules:

-H12022- A History of the Media In Ireland

-H13033- Irish Film History

-HI3044-Seminar- Communications, Culture and Identity in twentieth century Ireland

-MA Co-Ordinator- From the wireless to the world wide web- radio as Historical source-

A History of Crime and the Media- for Students of BA in Criminology 2015-.

New MA commencing in September 2016, its previous incarnation was an Master in media History in 2008-09 which enrolled 13 post-graduate students.
Taught on Evening Certificate in Arts programme 2012 

Recent Postgraduates

 Graduation YearStudent NameInstitutionDegree TypeThesis Title
2018Dylan McGath UCCCatholicism and Irish film
2020Katie Palumbo NUI (UCC)Doctoral StudiesMedia expression of 1916

Modules Taught

 Term (ID))TitleLinkSubject
2018Crime and Media in Ireland HI2044Crime and Media in Ireland
2018From Wireless to the World Wide Web: Radio as Historical Source HI6084From Wireless to the World Wide Web: Radio as Historical Source
2018Irish Film History HI3033Irish Film History
2018The History of the Media in Ireland HI2022The History of the Media in Ireland

Research Information

Internal Collaborators

Dr Armida De La Garzia-Senior Lecturer, Digital Humanities and Screen Media UCCIRELAND

External Collaborators

 NameOrganisation / InstituteCountry
Dr Heidi Kurneven Helsinki UniversityFINLAND

Contact details

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School of History

Tyrconnell,Off College Road,Cork,Ireland.