In 2009 I attained a Ph.D. at Queen’s University Belfast. My thesis was entitled ‘The Protestant working class in Northern Ireland: political allegiance and social and cultural challenges since the 1960s’
I worked for three years from 2009 until 2012 as a parliamentary researcher with the Northern Ireland Assembly Research and Information Service. After leaving the NIA I spent seven years working as a researcher with the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry and then the Renewable Heat Incentive Inquiry.
During that time I kept up my interest in the history of the Troubles and from 2012 until 2015 I held a Visiting Research Fellowship with teaching duties at Queen’s University Belfast School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy.
In 2016 my first book Tartan Gangs and Paramilitaries – The Loyalist Backlash was published (Liverpool University Press)
Praise for Tartan Gangs and Paramilitaries:
Gareth Mulvenna has written a classic with this study of the emergence of the Tartan gangs of Belfast in the early 1970’s and their subsequent absorption, often as enthusiastic killers, into the ranks of the UVF, Red Hand Commando and Ulster Defence Association.
Ed Moloney, author of Voices from the Grave (Faber, 2010), Paisley – From Demagogue to Democrat (Poolbeg, 2008) A Secret History of the IRA (Penguin, 2002)
This is an important and valuable book. The story it tells is an important one and the concluding paragraph is bang on the money. Lessons still haven’t been learned from that journey from Tartan gang to paramilitary gang, so I hope that politicians – from all parties – will read this book.
Alex Kane, News Letter
On the back of my research for Tartan Gangs and Paramilitaries I was asked by the leader of the Progressive Unionist Party, Billy Hutchinson to collaborate with him on the writing of his autobiography. My Life in Loyalism was published in mid-November 2020 and was listed as one of the Irish Times Thirty books to look out for this autumn
While my main area of research over the past ten years has been loyalism and loyalist paramilitaries in Northern Ireland I have maintained a broad interest in the hidden corners of the Troubles and the unheard stories and voices. This led me, in 2018, to set up a podcast entitled Hidden Histories of the Northern Ireland Troubles. Guests so far have included Beano Niblock, Brian Allaway, Henry McDonald, Paul Burgess and Jeffrey Dudgeon:
Interviews, Lectures and Presentations
In 2015 I co-edited a monograph entitled The Contested Identities of Ulster Protestants with my friend Dr Paul Burgess.
I have also written for The Guardian, The Observer and Belfast Newsletter and have been invited to contribute to television and radio news programmes for Channel 4 and BBC NI.
If you would like to support my research and writing please find my PayPal link below.
Contact – firstname.lastname@example.org for commissioned research and writing.