Joseph McDermott

mcdermott j

Economic and Social History (2021 cohort)


My MSc thesis will primarily examine the role of Catholic Ireland in expanding Britain’s systems of overseas trade in the long eighteenth century. It will, first and foremost, attempt to quantify the economic impact of an emerging Irish Catholic mercantile community. I intend to use the relatively unexplored commercial history of Ireland as a means of investigating how Irish Catholics, and the Catholic community more broadly, fitted in to the ‘British’ picture. In examining their material contribution to the expanding Atlantic sphere, I hope to offer a new perspective on notoriously fickle concepts like Britishness, Irishness, and identity.

Previously I read History at University College London (UCL). I graduated in 2020 with First Class Honours and was included on the Dean’s List. I wrote my undergraduate dissertation on the Irish Catholic response to the American Revolution, under the supervision of Professor Stephen Conway. Outside of academia, I am a keen sportsman. I have played rugby union to a representative standard, but I am also an avid coach and volunteer at the community level.