Dr Elaine Byrne


Associate Lecturer in Law

e: elaine.byrne@setu.ie      t: 059 9175000

ORCID ID:0000-0001-9579-6096

  • Research Interests
  • Publications
  • Research Supervision
  • Engagement and Collaboration

Research Interests

Dr. Elaine A. Byrne BL is an Associate Lecturer in Law at the Lifelong Learning Programme. 

She completed a Ph.D. in the University of Limerick on governance, for which she was awarded a University of Limerick Public Administration scholarship. She has held academic appointments as a political scientist with Trinity College Dublin and the University of New South Wales.

Dr Byrne is a graduate of the University of Limerick and King’s Inns and is a barrister practising in the area of general civil law. She is a columnist with the Sunday Business Post ans also has worked as a governance consultant for the European Commission, United Nations Anti-Corruption Unit, World Bank, and Transparency International. 

Dr Byrne has conducted extensive research on governance, corruption, Irish politics and history.


Books and Book Chapters

Elaine A. Byrne, Political Corruption in Ireland 1922-2010: A Crooked Harp? Manchester University Press, 2012.

Elaine A. Byrne and Kris Lasslet, ‘State Crime in Ireland’ in (editors) Deirdre Healy, Claire Hamilton, Yvonne Daly and Michelle Butler, Routledge Handbook of Irish Criminology. Routledge, 2015.

‘A Unique Experiment in Idealism: Senate 1922-28’ in (editors) Ciara Meehan, Mel Farrell, Jason Knirck, A Formative Decade: Ireland in the 1920s. Irish Academic Press, 2015, pp.59-85.

‘The Democracy of a Republic’ In (editor) Fintan O’Toole, Up the Republic! Faber and Faber, 2012. pp.68-89.

Elaine A. Byrne & Huginn Thorsteinsson, ‘Iceland, the Accidental Hero’ In (editors) Brian Lucey, Constantin Gurdgiev & Charles Larkin, What if Ireland Defaults? Orpen Press, 2012, pp.135-147.

‘Cecil Rhodes’s £10,000 gift to Parnell: donation or bribe?’ in History Ireland, January/February 2012, pp.25-7.

Elaine A. Byrne, ‘Irish political party financing’ in (editor(s) Ian Hughes, P. Clancy, C. Harris, and D. Beetham, Power to the People? Accessing Democracy in Ireland, TASC, New Island, 2007, pp.373-404.

Conference Proceedings and Papers

The Irish Senate, 1922–28, Southern Irish Loyalism in Context, Maynooth, July 2017

Financial Incentives to Whistleblowers, University of Edinburgh AHRC Network on Corruption, Scotland House Brussels, June 2016.

Were Tribunals Worth it? Institutions and Ireland: Law Punishment and Accountability, Trinity College Dublin, June 2016.

Procurement in Ireland, European Commission (DG HOME) working group on governance, Athens, February 2016.

IRA Activity in Australia 1968-1974, The Irish Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand (ISAANZ), Maynooth, June 2015.

Financial Enforcement Post-Crisis, Dublin Economic Policy Conference, Institute of Bankers, 2015.

Financial Enforcement in Ireland, Political Studies Association of Ireland Annual Conference, NUIG, October 2014.

The Irish Senate as Parliamentary Opposition, Political Studies Association of Ireland Annual Conference, NUIG, October 2014.

The IRA in Australia, Centre for Irish Global Studies seminar series, UNSW, September 2014.

Irish Senate 1922-1928 and the Establishment of the Judiciary, The Irish Studies Association of Australia and New Zealand (ISAANZ), UNSW, December 2013.

Irish Senate 1922-1928: An Idealist Experiment? Centre for Contemporary Irish History, Trinity College Dublin, November 2013.

Standards in Public Office Commission (2013) on political finance: www.sipo.gov.ie/en/guidelines/draft-political-party-account-guidelines/submissionsreceived/elaine-byrne.pdf

The Future State of Ireland, Goldsmiths University of London, 2012.

Ireland in Transition: Contemporary Challenges and Opportunities, Notre Dame conference in Trinity College Dublin, 2012.

Organisation for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE), ‘Promoting Good Governance and Combating Corruption in Support of Socio-Economic Development’, Dublin Castle, 2012.

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (2012) on regulating lobbying: http://per.gov.ie/wp-content/uploads/Dr-Elaine-Byrne-Adj-Prof-Trinity.pdf

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, (2012) whistleblowing legislation:www.oireachtas.ie/parliament/agenda/committees_list/fpercommittee/protecteddisclosurereportsubmissions/

Council of Europe Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) ‘Corruption prevention in respect of members of parliament, judges and prosecutors’, Training Workshop for GRECO evaluators and the secretariat for the Fourth Evaluation Round, Andorra, 2011.

Sir Christopher Kelly KCB (Chair), Thirteenth Report of the Committee on Standards in Public Life (Westminster) (2011) Political party finance Ending the big donor culture: www.officialdocuments.gov.uk/document/cm82/8208/8208.pdf The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) (2011) Political Finance Database: www.idea.int/parties/finance/db/

Published reports


European Commission, Home Affairs, European Commission report on Corruption in Ireland, European Commission, 2014. http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/home-affairs/what-we-do/policies/organized-crime-and-human-trafficking/corruption/anti-corruption-report/index_en.htm

Elaine A. Byrne, Anne-Katrin Arnold & Fumiko Nagano, Building Public Support for Anti-Corruption Efforts: Why Anti-Corruption Agencies Need to Communicate, The World Bank Communication for Governance & Accountability Program, 2010, pp.1-74.



Elaine A. Byrne & John Devitt, National Integrity System Country Study Ireland, Transparency International Ireland, 2009, pp.1-190.

Research Supervision

Engagement and Collaboration

“We the Citizens” –  Consultant and Academic Advisor

Secured €250,000 from Atlantic Philanthropies to co-initiate and co-develop a national participatory democracy project which proved through evidence-based polling that the citizens' assembly model of democratic engagement works. See: www.wethecitizens.ie Our model was the template for the Constitutional Conventions established by the Irish Government in 2012 and 2016. The Convention’s proposal for same-sex marriage was successfully passed through a referendum in 2015.

Seanad Working Group on Reform – Member

Appointed by the Taoiseach Enda Kenny to the Seanad Working Group on Reform. Our innovative recommendations on emigrant voting and institutional reconfiguration secured the support of all the political parties in 2015. Report: https://www.taoiseach.gov.ie/eng/News/Government_Press_Releases/Working_group_on_Seanad_Reform_.html