As well as a harpist, I am also passionate about musicology. I lectured in music at St. Patrick’s College, DCU and was awarded a Foras Feasa fellowship to research a PhD on ‘The Music Association of Ireland: A Cultural and Social History’ (2012). My research has been published in a number of journals including, the Journal of the Society for Musicology in Ireland, the Journal of Music Research Online and the American Harp Journal. I co-authored with my sister, Mary Louise O’Donnell, Sisters of the Revolutionaries: The Story of Margaret and Mary Brigid Pearse (Merrion Press 2017).

I have delivered numerous papers at national and international conferences and seminars including, Society for the Study of Nineteenth Century History, Dublin Festival of History, Society for Music Education in Ireland, Society for Musicology in Ireland, Percy French Festival, Women in Music in Ireland Conference, World Harp Congress, Tara Lecture Series and Brian Boydell Centenary Conference.

a selection of my publications


Sisters of the Revolutionaries: The Story of Margaret and Mary Brigid Pearse (Dublin: Merrion Press, 2017) (co-authored with Mary Louise O’Donnell).



Essays in edited collections:


‘A voice for Irish art music: Brian Boydell and the Music Association of Ireland’, in Boydell Centenary Essays, Barra Boydell and Barbara Dignam eds. (Dublin: UCD Press, forthcoming 2020).

‘All are welcome: Irish traditional music at St. Patrick’s’, in Ceol Phádraig: Music at St. Patrick’s College Drumcondra, 1875-2016, John O’Flynn and John Buckley eds. (Dublin: Carysfort Press, 2019): 105-126.


‘Skin the Goat’s Curse: Relating the story of the Phoenix Park Murders (1882) through contemporary ballads’, in Crime, Violence and the Irish in the Nineteenth Century (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2017): 243-263.



Journal articles:


‘The Music Association of Ireland: Fostering a voice for Irish composers and compositions’, Journal of Music Research Online 7 (2016): 1-14.

‘Loss and litigation: the scandal of Margaret and Mary Brigid Pearse’, History Ireland, 24, no. 5 (September/October 2016): 44-46.


‘Musical legacies: The contribution of the Music Association of Ireland to an Irish musical infrastructure’, Journal of the Society for Musicology in Ireland 10 (2014-2015): 3-22.