Kieran O'Conor is a graduate of University College, Dublin (UCD) and has a PhD from University College Cardiff, Wales. He worked during much of the 1990s for the Archaeological Survey Branch of the National Monuments Service ( Dúchas - The Heritage Service) in Counties Roscommon, Sligo, Longford, Westmeath and Wexford. In 1996 he excavated Carlow Castle as part of his work for the latter institution. Dr O’Conor has also taken part in excavations and field surveys in England, Wales, mainland Greece and Crete. He was appointed a research fellow at the Discovery Programme in 1997 and was then made director of Medieval Rural Settlement project there in early 1999.
Dr O'Conor joined the staff of NUI, Galway in September 2000. He has published widely on the subjects of castles, medieval rural settlement, elite settlement in high medieval Gaelic Ireland and medieval landscapes. Dr O'Conor is English language editor of the international peer-reviewed journal Chateau Gaillard. He also has been very successful in linking his research to heritage tourism initiatives in County Roscommon. O’Conor strongly believes in sharing his research with rural communities throughout the West of Ireland and the Midlands.
Dr. O'Conor is an AIA Kress Lecturer for 2017/2018.