Diarmuid Bolger from the University College Dublin (UCD) was a 2014 Highly Commended Entrant in the History category with his paper titled ‘Barbarians at the gate?’ How have revisionist schools of history challenged national myths?
When heard that he was named as one of the Highly Commended Entrants, Diarmuid was just about to graduate from his undergraduate degree and move into a Masters in Irish History in UCD, during which he was “incredibly lucky” to get to engage with his favourite area of Irish history – the history of sport in Ireland. This culminated in a thesis entitled ‘The Grumpy Archbishop’: John Charles McQuaid and the Yugoslavia Football Controversy.
During this time, Diarmuid also worked at the Little Museum of Dublin, a small and quaint museum based off of St Stephen’s Green, “telling the remarkable story of the Irish capital”. Talking about his experience, Diarmuid commented:
It was easily my favourite career move I have made so far. While here, I got to work with some amazing fellow interns and staff members, and also developed a very keen passion to work in the museum industry.
After leaving the museum, Diarmuid went on to work with the Royal Hibernian Academy Gallery, the Aviva Stadium and now the National Museum of Ireland as a tour guide. He also gives occasional talks and short lectures around Dublin, most recently to a Swedish teaching organisation discussing 1916 and the centenary, and also conduct research for different scholars/members of the public.
At the beginning of last year, Diarmuid was accepted to do the MPhil in Public History and Cultural Heritage in Trinity College, Dublin, a prospect he is very excited about. Discussing his plan for the future, Diarmuid said:
[The Master] will involve writing another thesis, which I hope to aim around the 50th anniversity of the Anglo-Irish Truce, as a study of government sponsored commemorations and the controversies these can create. I am also, almost incredibly slowly, working on turning my old thesis into a book, an experience which is at times as painful as it is exhilarating. I am also debating working on a PhD in the future on Irish history, focusing on either women and sport in Ireland or the relationship between the Church and culture after partition.
Asides from works, Diarmuid is also returning to writing and performing stand-up comedy, which he has to abandon when begin writing his first thesis.
We cannot wait to read his new works, and wish him all the best in his future endeavours!