Kevin Rafter

Professor, Author & Board Chair

Kevin Rafter is Full Professor of Political Communication at Dublin City University and a specialist in the politics and media of contemporary Ireland. His books include Taoisigh and the Arts (2022) and Resilient Reporting: Media & Elections in Ireland since 1969 (2019). He is an experienced non-executive director and Board Chair with significant involvement in regulation in the legal, financial and broadcast sectors. He has chaired the two national bodies responsible for the arts in Ireland, the Arts Council and Culture Ireland, and has served as a board member of several commercial and non-for-profits organisations.

About Me

• Full Professor of Political Communication, Dublin City University.• Current: Member of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. Previous: Arts Council of Ireland (Chair); Compliance Committee - Broadcasting Authority (Chair); Culture Ireland (Chair); Board member – Dublin Bus; Galway International Arts Festival; Oxfam Ireland.• Substantial experience working with boards and leadership teams in private, public and not-for-profit sectors including facilitation, and preparation of strategy reviews and board evaluations.• Chair of Irish Government's Independent Expert Panel on Civil Service Reform (2014); Recruited as the 'Independent Rapporteur' to the Programme for Government talks (2016).• Prior to 2008, worked as a senior political journalist with RTÉ News, Irish Times, Sunday Times, Sunday Tribune, and editor of Magill magazine.• Qualifications: Chartered Director at the Institute of Directors (London); Diploma in Corporate Law and Governance from the Law Society of Ireland; BA (Mod) & MLitt [economics]; MA & PhD [politics].


Kevin Rafter has been based at Dublin City University since 2010. He is a Fulbright Professor at Boston College in 2024. His research expertise in Irish politics includes a focus on political journalism, the President of Ireland and media coverage of elections.He has written several highly praised and commercially successful political biographies and party histories. Recent books include Taoisigh and the Arts (2022) and Resilient Reporting: Media Coverage of Irish Elections since 1969 (2022pb). Dillon Rediscovered his biography of E. J. Dillon (1854-1933), a special correspondent of the Daily Telegraph, will be published in 2025. He is currently working on a study of the politics of Ireland in the 1980s.His research has been published in over sixty book chapters and leading academic journals including Press/Politics, European Journal of Communication, Journalism, Journalism Studies, Media History and Irish Political Studies.At DCU, he has been Head of the School of Communications, Associate Dean for Research and Chair of the MA Political Communication programme. From 2008 to 2010 he was Head of the Department of Film and Media at the National Film School, IADT, Dun Laoghaire.


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Book reviews...

Taoiseach and the Arts
‘Consistently entertaining and informative’ – Dublin Review of Books; ‘Should be in the in-tray of all Irish politicians’ – Books Ireland; ‘A fascinating read’ – Irish Arts Review; *‘A terrific read’ – History Ireland; ‘A gripping history of the State’s treatment of artists and writers’ – Irish Independent
The Irish Presidency
‘An essential component for anyone seeking to comprehensively understanding the role of President of Ireland from a historical standpoint and the powers associated with the role. In the coming years, it will be the literary starting point (or indeed, essential reading) for any citizen of Ireland seeking the Presidency’ – Irish Political Studies
Fine Gael
'Rafter has a deep grasp of recent Irish politics, and compresses the information in a highly readable manner’ – Irish Times; ‘Opts for studious analysis rather than stunning revelation, but it's no less worthy for that’ – Irish Examiner; ‘A timely and clearly written book’ – Irish Independent
Sinn Fein 1905-2005
‘One of the great strengths of Rafter’s fascinating book is its deployment of vivid new interview material’ – Irish Times; ‘The Shinners may have been more forthcoming with Rafter than is their wont’ – Sunday Times; ‘Should be made compulsory reading for all Sinn Fein members’ – Magill
Democratic Left
‘A very well-constructed and well-argued book. It is not just a descriptive history – there is a consistent effort to locate the discussion in political science literature, which is to be commended. The research behind the book is excellent – the access to party documents gives a real depth of insight into events, and the work is also informed by a series of excellent interviews with leading individuals from Democratic Left and from other parties central to the story’ – Irish Political Studies
Clann na Poblachta
‘Accurate and fair minded, and leaves few questions unanswered’ – Irish Independent
Martin Mansergh
‘A book of some importance. I would commend it to anyone with an interest in Irish politics over the past 20 years and particularly to anyone interested in the origin and development of the peace process in Northern Ireland’ – Irish Times; ‘A well-written biography of one of the most enigmatic figures in Irish life’ – Irish Independent
Independent Newspapers
‘It is a compendium of essays, each narrating aspects of the Independent story … The essay format has advantages in relatively compact book of just over 200 pages. It enables the reader to see a multifaceted story from a variety of angles’ – Irish Times
Irish Journalism Before Independence
‘The volume is an important, and useful, contribution to a burgeoning historiography of journalism’ – Political Studies Review; ‘As an agenda-setting volume, 'Irish Journalism Before Independence' is timely...' – Irish Journal of Sociology