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Dr Marcus Free

Dr Marcus Free


Research interests

Media and contemporary cultural politics in Ireland; gender, race, class, migration and national identity in sport, sport fandom and sport media; space, time and memory in Irish popular culture.


Free, M. (forthcoming, 2025) ‘Putting Munster on the map: writing, voicing and visualising the Munster rugby narrative in Irish media, player autobiographies and retrospective commemorations’, in M. Cronin and J. Crowley (eds.) Atlas of Irish Sport. Cork: Cork University Press.

Free, M. (forthcoming, 2025) ‘Munster versus the New Zealand All Blacks, 1978’, in M. Cronin and J. Crowley (eds.) Atlas of Irish Sport. Cork: Cork University Press.

Free, M. (forthcoming, May 2024). Guest Editor (with S. Crosson, K. Liston, N. O'Boyle and N. Kitching), Special Issue of Sport in Society: Cultures, Commerce, Media, Politics, Vol. 27, No. 6.

Free, M., S. Crosson, K. Liston, N. O'Boyle and N. Kitching (forthcoming, 2024) 'Introduction to the Special Issue - Sport, the Media and Ireland: Intersections of Gender, Class and Geography', Sport in Society, Vol. 27, No. 6. 

Free, M. (forthcoming, May 2024) 'Rugby Union, Class and "Middle Ireland" in Irish Media', Sport in Society, Vol. 27, No. 6.

Free, M. (forthcoming, May 2024) 'Sport, Migration and National Identity in Contemporary Irish Media', Irish Studies Review, Vol. 32, No. 2. 

Free, M. (2023), ‘Down with this sort of thing’: Generation, Genre and the Undoing of Catholic Ireland in Father Ted’, in J. Marshall & M. Irwin (eds), UK and Irish television Comedy: Region, Nation, Identity and Representation, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Free, M. (2022) ‘Getting up to mischief: comic sensibility, generational and national identity in Arthur Mathews’ comedy writing’, Journal of Popular Television, Vol. 10, No. 1.

Crosson, S. and M. Free, (2022), ‘“Celebrate this victory in a sensible manner”: Irish Media and the Restart of Gaelic games in Ireland’, in J. Krieger, A. Henning and L.P. Pieper (eds.), Restart: Sport After the Covid-19 Lockdown. Champaign, IL: Common Ground.

Free, M. (2021) ‘Football, Fantasy, Film: Cinema and the Cultural Politics of Fans’ Imaginative Investments in Football Stars’, in S. Millar, P. Widdop, M. Power, D. Parnell and J. Carr (eds.) Football, Politics and Popular Culture. Abingdon: Routledge.

Crosson, S. and M. Free (2021) ‘Gaelic Games, Irish Media and the Covid-19 Lockdown in Ireland’, in J. Krieger, A. Henning, L.P. Pieper and P. Dimeo (eds.) Time Out: National Perspectives on Sport and the Covid-19 Lockdown. Champaign, IL: Common Ground.

Free, M. (2021) Guest Editor, Special Issue: ‘Contemporary Irish Television’, Television and New Media, Vol. 22, No. 1. 

Free, M. (2021), 'Introduction to the Special Issue: Contemporary Irish Television', Television and New Media, Vol. 22, No. 1, pp. 3-11.

O’Boyle, N. and M. Free, (2020) Sport, the Media and Ireland: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Cork: Cork University Press.

Free, M. (2020)  Review of Gaelic Games on Film: From Silent Films to Hollywood Hurling, Horror and the Emergence of Irish Cinema by Seán Crosson, Cork, Cork University Press, 2019, x + 232 pp., £35.00 (hardback), ISBN 978-1-78205-247-0, International Journal of the History of Sport. Published online: DOI: 10.1080/09523367.2020.1743154

Free, M. (2020) Review of: Youth and Popular Culture in 1950s Ireland, Eleanor O’Leary (2018) London: Bloomsbury Academic, 240 pp., ISBN 978-1-3500-1589-0, h/bk, £85.00 and A Post-Nationalist History of Television in Ireland, Edward Brennan (2019) Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 231 pp., ISBN 978-3-319-96859-9, h/bk, €72.79, Journal of European Popular Culture, Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 61-65 DOI:

Free, M. (2018) ‘“Smart, clued-in guys”: Irish rugby players as sporting celebrities in post-Celtic Tiger Irish media’, International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics, Vol. 14, No. 2, pp. 213-230.

Free, M. and C. Scully (2018) ‘The run of ourselves: shame, guilt and confession in post-Celtic Tiger Irish media’, International Journal of Cultural Studies, Vol. 21, No. 3, pp.308-324.

Free, M. and J. Hughson (2018) ‘Common Culture, Commodity Fetishism and the Cultural Contradictions of Sport. In: K. Hughes, J. Coulton, J. Goodwin and J. Hughes (Eds.) Contemporary Approaches to Ethnographic Research. New Delhi: Sage.

Free, M. (2017) '“From there to here”: Narratives of Transition, Migration and National Identity in Irish Media Representations of Rugby Union in the Professional Era', European Journal for Sport and Society, Vol. 14, No. 3, pp.205-225.

Free, M. (2017) 'Failure, guilt, confession, redemption? Revisiting unpublished research through a psychosocial lens', Journal of Psychosocial Studies, Vol. 10, No. 1, pp.3-24.

Free, M. (2017) 'Diego Maradona and the psychodynamics of football fandom in international cinema'. In: C. Cusack & P. Kosnac (Eds.) Fiction, Invention and Hyper-reality: From Popular Culture to Religion. Abingdon: Routledge, pp.158-177.

Free, M. (2016) Review of Consuming Football in late modern life, by Kevin Dixon. Soccer & Society, Vol. 17, No. 4, pp. 654-656, DOI: 10.1080/14660970.2014.961290

Free, M. (2015) ‘“He is my strength and my shield”: the antimonies of Katie Taylor as female sporting celebrity in twenty-first-century Ireland’, Sport in Society, Vol. 18, No. 10, pp.1147-1165.

Free, M. (2015) ‘“Don’t tell me I’m still on that feckin’ island”: migration, masculinity, British television and Irish identity in the work of Graham Linehan’, Critical Studies in Television Vol. 10, No. 2, pp.4-20.

Free, M. (2015) ‘Envy, guilt, symbolic reparation and images of whiteness in Hollywood sport themed films’, Free Associations No. 67, pp.20-53.

Ging, D. and M. Free (2015) ‘Gay in the GAA: the challenge of Dónal Óg Cusack’s “coming out” to heteronormativity in Irish culture and society’, in R. Meade and F. Dukelow, Defining Events: Power, Resistance and Identity in 21st Century Ireland. Manchester: Manchester University Press, pp. 218-235.

Free, M. (2014) 'Diego Maradona and the psychodynamics of football fandom in international cinema, Celebrity Studies, Vol. 5, Nos. 1-2, pp. 197-212, DOI: 10.1080/19392397.2013.828458

Free, M. (2013) 'Diaspora and Rootedness, Amateurism and Professionalism in Media Discourses of Irish Soccer and Rugby in the 1990s and 2000s', Éire-Ireland, Vol. 48, Nos. 1 and 2, pp. 211-229. DOI: 10.1353/eir.2013.0000

Free, M. (2011) 'On the edge: the Irish in Britain as a troubled and troubling presence in the work of Jimmy McGovern and Alan Bleasdale', Irish Studies Review, Vol. 19, No. 1, pp. 55-64, DOI: 10.1080/09670882.2011.541648

Hughson, J. and M. Free (2011) 'Football's "Coming Out": Soccer and Homophobia in England's Tabloid Press', Media International Australia, No. 140, pp. 117-125.

Free, M. (2010) 'Migration, Masculinity and the Fugitive State of Mind in the Irish Emigrant Footballer Autobiography: the Case of Paul McGrath'. Estudios Irlandeses, No. 5, pp. 45-57.

Free, M. (2010) 'Antihero as National Icon?  The Contrariness of Roy Keane as Fantasy Embodiment of the "New Ireland"'. In: P. Dine & S. Crosson (Eds.) Sport, Representation and Evolving Identities in Europe. Oxford: Peter Lang, pp. 189-213.

Free, M. (2010) 'Disunited damning: From The Damned Utd novel to The Damned United film'. Sport in Society, Vol. 13, No. 3, pp. 557-565.

Free, M. (2008) 'Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Sport: a Critical Review', International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, Vol. 5, No. 4, 273-296.

Free, M. (2008)  'Tales from the Fifth Green Field: the Psychodynamics of Migration, Masculinity and National Identity Amongst Republic of Ireland Soccer Supporters in England', in P. Darby and D. Hassan (Eds.) Emigrant Players: Sport and the Irish Diaspora. Abingdon: Routledge.

Free, M. (2007) 'From Barrytown to Ballymun: the Problematics of Space, Class and Gender in Roddy Doyle’s Family (1994)' Critical Studies in Television, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 57-73.

Free, M. (2007) 'Tales from the Fifth Green Field: the Psychodynamics of Migration, Masculinity and National Identity Amongst Republic of Ireland Soccer Supporters in England', Sport in Society, Vol. 10, No. 3, pp. 476–494.

Free, M. & P. Walsh (2006) 'Papa Don’t Preach: Irony, Contradiction and the Unmarried Mother in December Bride and The Snapper'. In: M.C. Ramblado-Minero & A. Perez-Vides (Eds.), Single Motherhood in 20th Century Ireland: Cultural, Historical and Social Essays. New York: Edwin Mellen Press.

Free, M. & J. Hughson (2006). 'Common Culture, Commodity Fetishism and the Cultural Contradictions of Sport'. International Journal of Cultural Studies, Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 83-104.

Free, M. & J. Hughson, (2006) 'Paul Willis, Cultural Commodities and Collective Sport Fandom'. Sociology of Sport Journal, Vol. 23, pp. 72-85.

Free, M. (2006) Review of S. Lacey & J. Bignell (Eds.), Popular Television Drama. Critical Studies in Television. Manchester University Press, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 144-147.

Free, M. (2005) 'Keeping Them Under Pressure: Masculinity, Narratives of National Regeneration and the Republic of Ireland Soccer Team', Sport in History, Vol. 25, pp. 265-288.

Hughson, J., D. Inglis and M. Free (2004) The Uses of Sport: A Critical Study. London: Routledge. 

Free, M. (2004) 'Preparing to fail: gender, consumption, play and national identity in Irish broadcast coverage of the ‘Roy Keane Affair’ and the 2002 World Cup'.  In: R. Barton & H. O’Brien (Eds.), Keeping it Real: Irish Film and Television. London: Wallflower Press, pp. 172-184. 

Free, M. & J. Hughson (2003) 'Settling Accounts with Hooligans: Gender Blindness in Football Supporter Subculture Research'. Men and Masculinities, Vol. 6, No. 2, pp. 136-155. 

Free, M. (2001) 'From the "Other" Island to the One with "No West Side": The Irish in British Soap and Sitcom', Irish Studies Review, Vol. 9, No. 2, pp. 215-227, DOI: 10.1080/09670880120062786

Free, M.(1998) ''Angels' with drunken faces? Travelling Republic of Ireland supporters and the construction of Irish migrant identity in England', in Brown, A.(ed.), Fanatics! Power, identity and fandom in football, London:Routledge, 219-232.


Conference/ symposium organization

Free, M. (2022) (In collaboration with Seán Crosson, NUIG, Niamh Kitching, MIC, Katie Liston, UU and Neil O’Boyle, DCU), Media, Sport and Ireland, NUIG, 19th May -

Free, M. (2021) (In collaboration with Sabine Egger, Department of German Studies and Irish Centre for Transnational Studies, MIC), Physical Movement, Body Cultures and Identity in Europe – on and off the screen, Mary Immaculate College, 1st October

Free, M. (2019) (In collaboration with the European Popular Culture Association), EUPOP 2019 (8th European Popular Culture Association Conference), Mary Immaculate College, 16th-18th July 2019.

Free, M. (2018) (In collaboration with Neil O’Boyle, School of Communications, DCU), Sport, the Media and the Cultural Industries in Ireland Symposium, Dublin City University, 22nd May.