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Dr. Cian O'Callaghan
Assistant Professor, Geography


I am an Assistant Professor in Urban Geography with the School of Natural Sciences, Trinity College Dublin. I joined the Geography Department in 2016.

Prior to joining Trinity, I worked at Maynooth University between 2008 and 2016. At Maynooth I held the positions of Lecturer in Geography and Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis (NIRSA). I hold a PhD from University College Cork (2009).

Publications and Further Research Outputs

Peer-Reviewed Publications

O'Callaghan, C., Planetary urbanization in ruins: Provisional theory and Ireland's crisis, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 2018 Journal Article, 2018 URL

Gilmartin, M; Wood, P.B., O'Callaghan, C., Borders, mobility and belonging in the era of Brexit and Trump, Policy Press, 2018 Book, 2018

Corcoran, M. P., Kettle, P. C., & O'Callaghan, C. , Green shoots in vacant plots? Urban agriculture and austerity in post-crash Ireland., ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geography, 16, (2), 2017, p305 - 331 Journal Article, 2017 URL TARA - Full Text

O'Callaghan, C., Di Feiciantonio, C., Byrne, M. , Governing vacancy in post-crash Dublin: Contested property and alternative social projects, Urban Geography, 2017 Journal Article, 2017

O'Callaghan, C. and Lawton, P., Temporary solutions? Vacant space policy and strategies for re-use in Dublin, Irish Geography, 48, (1), 2016, p69 - 87 Journal Article, 2016 TARA - Full Text URL

Urban Studies, 58, 8, (2016), Rickards, L., Gleeson, B., Boyle, M., & O'Callaghan, C. , [eds.] Journal, 2016

Rickards, L., Gleeson, B., Boyle, M., & O'Callaghan, C., Urban studies after the age of the city, Urban Studies, 53, (8), 2016, p1523 - 1541 Journal Article, 2016 URL

O'Callaghan, C., Kelly, S., Boyle, M., & Kitchin, R. , Topologies and topographies of Ireland's neoliberal crisis, Space and Polity, 19, (1), 2015, p31 - 46 Journal Article, 2015 URL

Kitchin, R, O'Callaghan, C, Gleeson, J, The new ruins of Ireland? Unfinished estates in the post-Celtic Tiger era, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 38, (3), 2014, p1069 - 1080 Journal Article, 2014 URL

O'Callaghan, C, Boyle, M, Kitchin, R , Post-politics, crisis, and Ireland's 'ghost estates', Political Geography, 42, 2014, p121 - 133 Journal Article, 2014 URL

Kitchin, R, Linehan, D, O'Callaghan, C, Lawton, P, Public geography through social media, Dialogues in Human Geography, 3, (1), 2014, p56 - 72 Journal Article, 2014 URL

Kitchin, R, Linehan, D, O'Callaghan, C, Lawton, P, The creation and circulation of public geographies, Dialogues in Human Geography, 3, (1), 2014, p96 - 102 Journal Article, 2014 URL

O'Callaghan, C., Corcoran, M.P., Fuller, W., Sustaining communities: Setting the agenda, GeoJournal, 77, (2), 2012, p135-140 Journal Article, 2012

O'Callaghan, C., Lightness and weight: (re)reading urban potentialities through photographs, Area, 44, (2), 2012, p200 - 207 Journal Article, 2012 URL TARA - Full Text

Sustaining Communities: Being in/between place in the neoliberal era, Special Issue of GeoJournal, 77, 2, (2012), Corcoran, M.P., Fuller, W, O'Callaghan, C , [eds.] Journal, 2012

Kitchin, R, O'Callaghan, C, Boyle, M., Gleeson, J, Keaveney, K, Placing neoliberalism: The rise and fall of Ireland's Celtic Tiger, Environment and Planning A, 44, (6), 2012, p1302 - 1326 Journal Article, 2012 URL

O'Callaghan, C., Urban anxieties and creative tensions in the European Capital of Culture 2005: 'It couldn't just be about Cork, like', International Journal of Cultural Policy, 18, (2), 2012, p185-204 Journal Article, 2012

O'Callaghan, C., Contrapuntal urbanisms: Towards a postcolonial relational geography, Environment and Planning A, 44, (8), 2012, p1930 - 1950 Journal Article, 2012 URL

O'Callaghan, C., Let's Audit Bohemia: A Review of Richard Florida's 'Creative Class' Thesis and Its Impact on Urban Policy, Geography Compass, 4, (11), 2010, p1606-1617 Journal Article, 2010

O'Callaghan, C., Linehan, D., Identity, politics and conflict in dockland development in Cork, Ireland: European Capital of Culture 2005, Cities, 24, (4), 2007, p311-323 Journal Article, 2007 URL

Non-Peer-Reviewed Publications

The relational articulation of housing crisis and activism in post-crash Dublin, Ireland in, editor(s)Gray, N , A Century of Housing Struggles: From the 1915 Rent Strikes to Contemporary Housing Activisms, Boulder, Roman and Littefield, 2018, [Hearne, R. O'Callaghan, C., Di Feliciantonio, C., Kitchin, R.] Book Chapter, 2018

No Soft Landing for the Suburbs: Credit, Debt and the fracturing of the Suburban Dream in Ireland in, editor(s)Anaker, K and Maginn, P. , What's Wrong with Suburbia: From Dreamscapes to Nightmares, London, Advances in Sociology Series, Routledge. , 2018, [Redmond, D and O'Callaghan, C] Book Chapter, 2018

Housing in, editor(s)Roche, W.K., O'Connell, J, Prothero, A , Austerity and Recovery in Ireland: Europe's Poster Child and the Great Recession, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2016, pp272 - 289, [Kitchin, R., Hearne, R., O'Callaghan, C.] Book Chapter, 2016 TARA - Full Text

O'Callaghan, C. and Gilmartin, M, Ireland: Borders and borderlines, Soundings: A journal of politics and culture, 64, 2016, p64 - 70 Journal Article, 2016 URL

Spatial justice and housing in Ireland in, editor(s)Kearns, G, Morrissey, J, Meredith, D. , Spatial justice and the Irish crisis, Royal Irish Academy, Dublin, 2014, pp57 - 77, [Hearne, R., Kitchin, R., O'Callaghan, C.] Book Chapter, 2014

Ghost Estates: Spaces and spectres of Ireland after NAMA in, editor(s)Crowley, C and Linehan, D , Spacing Ireland: Place, society and culture in a post boom era, Manchester, Manchester University Press, 2013, pp17 - 31, [O'Callaghan, C.] Book Chapter, 2013

Hague, C, Ursa, J, Crawford, J, Wojnar, K, Biot, V, Nielson, M, Cassiers, T, Mladenov, M, Kyvelou, S, Walsh, C, O'Callaghan, C, Daly, G, Prezioso, M, D'Orazio, Groza, O, Stoleriu, O, Bartol, B , ESPON - INTERSTRAT: ESPON in integrated territorial strategies. Final Report Version , 2012 Report, 2012

O'Callaghan, C., Haunted Landscapes (Introduction to 'Settlement' by Anthony Haughey), Source: The Photography Review, 65, 2011, p33 - 33 Journal Article, 2011 URL

O'Callaghan, C, Book review, Review of Whose Urban Renaissance? An international comparison of urban regeneration strategies. 2009. Oxon, UK and New York, NY: Routledge. 291pp, by Potter, L. and Shaw, K., editors , Progress in Human Geography, 35, (3), 2011, p434-435 Review, 2011

Kitchin, R, Gleeson, J, Keaveney, K, O'Callaghan, C, A Haunted Landscape: Housing and Ghost Estates in post-Celtic Tiger Ireland, NIRSA working paper No. 59, 2010 Journal Article, 2010 URL

Curran, D, O Callaghan, C, Ancien, D, Van Egeraat, C, McCafferty, D, Gleeson, J, Bartley, B , 'Dublin Case Study'. In: Harding et al. (2010) The Case for Agglomeration Economies in Europe (CAEE), ESPON Final Report, Luxembourg, 2010 Report, 2010

O'Callaghan, C., Just Add Water: (re)producing Cork docklands, Progress in Irish Urban Studies, 3, 2007, p13 - 24 Journal Article, 2007 TARA - Full Text

O'Callaghan, C., Dressing for Success: the waterfront image of Cork and Limerick, 2007 Working Paper, 2007 TARA - Full Text

O'Callaghan, C., 'space paint': art and heritage in Cork Docklands regeneration, Chimera UCC Geographical Journal, 20, 2005, p94 - 102 Journal Article, 2005

O'Callaghan, C., Imaging the Homeless in the Irish Free State, Chimera UCC Geographical Journal, 19, 2004, p37 - 43 Journal Article, 2004

Research Expertise


I am an urban and cultural geographer. My main research areas included Urban political economy, Creativity and place, Neoliberalism, Urban vacancy and 'new ruins'. My recent research has broadly concerned the impacts of Ireland's property bubble and associated crisis, with a particular focus on housing, urban vacancy and spatial justice. I have been funded by the Irish Research Council (IRC) for projects on Ireland's 'ghost estates' and on contestations over the re-use of vacant spaces following Ireland's crisis.


  • Title
    • The new urban ruins: Vacancy and the post-crisis city
  • Summary
    • The project aims at exploring contestations over the reuse of vacant spaces in Dublin. The central hypothesis is that vacant space will play a key role in determining how cities of the future respond to the both urban problems and wider global challenges. The project explores how geographically-specific responses to, and contestations over, vacancy may lead to either the continuation of the financial model of urban development or to more socially progressive cities. The project focuses primarily on Dublin, with smaller comparative case-studies in Berlin and Barcelona.
  • Funding Agency
    • Irish Research Council
  • Date From
    • 2015
  • Date To
    • 2017
  • Title
    • Memories of the everyday present: Haunting, absence, and the spectral performance of everyday life on the Irish 'ghost estate'
  • Summary
    • This project explores how ghost estates have been used in media and political debates to represent the Celtic Tiger crash, to highlight from a policy perspective some of the problems that are posed by the estates, and to explore changing Irish identity through the point of view of residents living on them.
  • Funding Agency
    • Irish Research Council
  • Date From
    • 2011
  • Date To
    • 2013
  • Title
    • Capital and Culture: Regenerating the city and staging the arts in postindustrial Cork
  • Summary
    • Drawing upon a theoretical approach combining poststructural critiques of discourse analysis, Lefebvre's theories on the production of space, and recent debates on relationality, this project explored the impacts of contemporary urban and cultural transformation on the Irish cities of Cork and Limerick through the plans to redevelop their urban waterfront and Cork's hosting of the European Capital of Culture (ECOC) in 2005. Situating Cork (and drawing comparatively on Limerick at points) within a relational interface between 'global' and 'local' forces and material and immaterial processes, the project traced the ways in which new urban imaginaries were constructed through strategic interventions, and how these became spatialised through complex processes of property development, culture-led regeneration, and contestation. The thesis takes the two nodal points of the plans to redevelop the docklands and the (ECOC) event to explore the complex and contrapuntal ways in which the city is reproduced. Basing its findings upon extensive discourse analysis and semi-structured interviews carried out between 2004 and 2008, the project presents a nuanced picture of urban transformation in Cork; one that is relational, contrapuntal, and contingent on a plethora of processes and forces that produce the city in a way that is open, not closed.
  • Funding Agency
    • Irish Research Council
  • Date From
    • 2004
  • Date To
    • 2007


Cultural Geography; DUBLIN; Economic Geography; experimental urbanism; HOUSING; human geography; IRISH HOUSING SYSTEM; Political Geography; URBAN; Urban Geography; Urban Planning/Policy; Urban Studies



Honorary President, TCD Geography Society 2017

International review board, Aigne: An online postgraduate journal of arts, Celtic studies and social sciences 2011-

Administrator, Ireland after NAMA, public geographies blog 2010-

Awards and Honours

Nomination as Honorary President of the Dublin University Geographical Society for 2017/18 2017

Appointed as international collaborator on AGORA project (based in IGOT Lisbon University) 2016

Trinity College New Lecturers Start-up Grant (€10,000) 2016

IRC New Horizons Project Grant - Title: The new urban ruins: Vacancy and the post-crisis city (€100,000) 2015-2017

The University of Newcastle Australia Early Career Researcher (ECR) Visiting Fellowship (AU$5,000) 2012

IRC (formerly IRCHSS) Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellowship - Title: Memories of the everyday present: Haunting, absence, and the spectral performance of everyday life on the Irish 'ghost estate' (€78,756) 2011-2013

IRC (formerly IRCHSS) Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship - Title: Capital and Culture: Regenerating the city and staging the arts in postindustrial Cork (€ 25,200) 2004-2007

College Scholar University College Cork 2004

UCC Geography PhD bursary (€10,000) 2003

College Scholar University College Cork 2003


Geographical Society of Ireland 2013 – Present

Association of American Geographers 2009 – Present