Sinéad McCoole was awarded a DLitt by publication in 2019. She has written extensively in the area of modern Irish History, with a focus on the role of women. Her books include Hazel, A Life of Lady Lavery, Guns and Chiffon, No Ordinary Women, Easter Widows as well as catalogues including ‘Passion and Politics — The Salon Revisited’ (2010) Dublin City Gallery, the Hugh Lane and Mná 1916:2016 Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (2018). Her most recent work is a play ‘Leaving the Ladies’ Arlen House (2019).
Her work has spanned domains of academic research and as practitioner in the area of Irish culture, arts and history. As a Museum Director, Curator, and Author she has brought academic research to life for the public through the selection and presentation of documents, artefacts and costumes.
She has curated exhibitions both Ireland and the US, working for museum designers, book publishers, graphic artists and national cultural institutions and currently on secondment to the Commemorations Unit of the Department of Culture, Heritage, and the Gaeltacht.
McCoole was Curatorial and Historical Advisor on the 2016 Project Team that coordinated the National Commemoration. She curated Mná 1916 – Women 1916 (2016) the national centenary exhibition on the role of women in the Rising which toured venues in Ireland as well as being on show in the Irish embassies in Washington DC and Nairobi. Curating for the 2018 centenary commemorating the introduction of voting rights for women and their right to stand in parliamentary elections: A Pop-Up Women’s Museum – 100 years of Women in Politics and Public – which opened & closed in Dublin Castle’s Coach House before touring to Munster, Ulster and Connaught. (Civil Service Excellence and Innovation Awards 2019 for Excellence in Culture, Value and Diversity).
Among the other exhibitions she has curated are the award winning — Jackie Clarke Collection in Ballina, County Mayo – 1 man 100,000 items; his Irish American artefacts were showcased in Crossings, part of the Imagine Ireland Showcase in the US and a selection of his Map Collection in ‘Drawing Conclusions — Mapping the Irish’ (2012) at the American Irish Historical Society, New York. ‘
As a cultural commentator, she has involved in many radio and television documentaries, discussions and debates, and as a speaker at academic and at public events throughout Ireland and beyond. She has contributed to wider deliberations on commemoration during the Decade of Centenaries as a member since its inception of the Government’s Expert Advisory Group on the Decade of Centenaries and an Ex-Officio member of Vótáil100, the Houses of the Oireachtas programme for the centenary of ‘Votes for Women.’