THE preparation of the Companion has been aided by grants from a number of sources. A scheme financed by the European Structural Fund enabled me, at an early stage in the research, to draw on the assistance of Mr Caoimhín Ó Murchadha in extracting from the Dictionary of National Biography a classified list of possible subjects for biographical entries. The University of Ulster agreed to use funds from the bequest of the late T. K. Daniel to employ Dr Hiram Morgan as a research officer in the School of Modern History. During the time he was associated with the project, Dr Morgan assisted in the last stages of the compilation of the headword list and undertook much of the paperwork associated with commissioning entries from contributors. He has also written a substantial proportion of the entries relating to the early modern period. I should also like to acknowledge gratefully a personal research grant towards the costs of travel and research awarded by the British Academy.
Most of the work on the Companion was done while I was a member of the Department of History at the University of Ulster. I am grateful to my colleagues there for the mixture of good will and bracing sarcasm with which they have monitored the project's ups and downs. In particular I must mention Professor T. G. Fraser, a head of department without equal in his commitment to upholding values of scholarship, humanity, and the promotion of learning at a time when all three have become increasingly easy to lose sight of within our system of higher education. The work was finished following my move to the School of Modern History at The Queen's University of Belfast, to whose members I am grateful for their forbearance towards what in recent months has been an increasingly distracted new colleague.
At Oxford University Press I should like to thank Michael Cox, who invited me to undertake the project; Pam Coote, who maintained remarkable calm as an agreed timetable slipped to the very edge of the acceptable; Wendy Tuckey, who coped with good- humoured efficiency with the tangled process of commissioning and monitoring contributors; and Alison Jones, who at the time of writing takes over the last stages of the volume's production. Edwin and Jackie Pritchard, as copy editors, devoted scrupulous care to a manuscript submitted in what must have been an irritatingly piecemeal fashion.
The compilation of a Companion covering the whole field of Irish history has taken me far, at times alarmingly far, beyond the bounds of my own expertise. I am most grateful to my editorial advisers, Professor R. V Comerford, Dr M. T. Flanagan, Professor Robin Frame, and Dr Katharine Simms, for their advice and assistance at every stage, from the first version of the headword list to the scrutiny of draft entries submitted. I am also grateful to the individual contributors for undertaking what were often heroic feats of survey, condensation, or both, and in many cases for completing these in the face of numerous other commitments. Closer to home I must thank Mavis Bracegirdle, for sharing the last four years with yet another historical project, and Helen Connolly, for her assistance in preparing part of the final manuscript.