Professor Terence Dooley teaches in the History Department at Maynooth University where he is also Director of the Centre for the Study of Historic Irish Houses and Estates. He specialises in Irish social and political history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, particularly the history of Irish country houses and the landed class; land and politics in independent Ireland; the working of the Irish Land Commission from 1881 to 1992; the revolutionary period 1916-23; and local history in Ireland. He teaches undergraduate and postgraduate modules related to all of these areas of specialism.
In 2003, Terence was commissioned by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government and the Irish Georgian Society to write a report on the issues facing historic houses in Ireland and to make recommendations on how these issues could be addressed in the future. The report, A future for Irish historic houses? A study of fifty houses (2003), highlighted the increasing risks faced by Irish historic houses in both private and public ownership, in particular the challenge of financing their conservation and of finding sustainable uses for them into the future. It emphasised that the preservation of all remaining historic houses, as well as their contents and their surroundings, was a national imperative. The report subsequently informed government policy and led to the establishment of the Irish Heritage Trust in 2006.
He is the author of several monographs including The Decline of the Big House in Ireland (Wolfhound Press, Dublin, 2001), ‘The Land for the People’: The Land Question in Independent Ireland (UCD Press, Dublin, 2004), and Burning the Big House: The Story of the Irish Country House in War and Revolution, 1914-24 (Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2022) and, along with Prof Christopher Ridgway, has co-edited several volumes on Country House studies.