About Society for Co-operative Studies in Ireland

Our History

Society for Co-operative Studies in Ireland

Ireland has a long and proud co-operative history with great evidence of this co-operative tradition still in existence today. The founder of the co-operative movement Sir Horace Plunkett, and his colleagues worked tirelessly to establish agricultural and credit co-operatives in Ireland and the evidence of this work is still bearing fruit in the agricultural and credit sectors.

Building on this tradition, the Society for Co-operative Studies in Ireland was formed in 1981, the SCSI is a voluntary member-based organisation which aims to promote education and research about co-operatives and co-operative principles. Its membership includes practitioners and academics.

Meet Our Team

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Bridget Carroll

Dr. Bridget Carroll is attached to the Centre for Co-operative Studies and Cork University Business School, University College Cork.  Her research interests include co-operative organisation and development, co-operative legislation, worker co-operatives and employee ownership. She lectures on the MSc Sustainable Development, Agri-food & Co-operatives, the BComm, BSc International Development and the MBA. She is Academic Director of the Diploma in Corporate Governance (Food Business).
Bridget is Chair of the SCSI.

Tiziana O'Hara


Tiziana O’Hara has been living in Northern Ireland for the past 25 years and most of her working life has been spent in the local community, voluntary and social economy sector.

Tiziana is one of the founder members of Co-operative Alternatives (www.coopalternatives.coop) and has a passion for all types of co-operatives embracing the seven principles of co-operation and the values of fairness, equality and solidarity.

As a Co-operative Development Practitioner, she has been advising, supporting and trained many groups interested in setting up or grow their co-operatives. She has substantially contributed to the growth of co-operatives in the region and helped to connect co-operative development work with the South and across the UK.

Patrick Doyle

Communications Officer

Patrick Doyle is a historian of the co-operative movement in Ireland and published his first book on the subject in 2019. Civilising Rural Ireland: The Co-operative Movement, Development, and the Nation-State, 1889-1939 can be read here: https://www.manchesterhive.com/display/9781526124579/9781526124579.xml

He is currently a lecturer at the University of Limerick where he teaches Irish Politics and Community Research, and he continues to carry out research on the history of co-operation and capitalism.

Gerard Doyle

Committee Member

Dr Gerard Doyle lectures in the Department of Planning and Environment, TU Dublin, and is the Programme Chair of the MSc in Local Development and Innovation.  He has over 25 years’ experience working in the community and voluntary sector.

Previously, he taught in DCU, Maynooth University, and Waterford Institute of Technology.

His research focuses mainly on community development, economic democracy, and the social economy.

Erskine Holmes

Committee Member

Anthony Barbour


Michael Ward

Committee Member

Peter Couchman

Committee Member

Peter spent most of his working life in the co-operative movement. This included heading the Plunkett Foundation, which supports rural communities to take control of the issues that matter to them, such as having their shop or pub, building on the work of the Irish co-operative pioneer, Sir Horace Plunkett.

He came to the post after having spent his career in the consumer Co-operative Movement, where he was best known for helping to make Oxford, Swindon & Gloucester Co-op, an internationally recognised example for engaging members and marketing its co-operative identity. He lives in North Tipperary.