Current Research Projects in the School of Law and Criminology 


Dr. Amina Adanan

‘Advancing the Rights of Prisoners in Ireland Through Strategic Litigation’ (AD-PRIS). 

Dr. Amina Adanan was awarded a New Foundations grant by the Irish Research Council for a project ‘Advancing the Rights of Prisoners in Ireland Through Strategic Litigation’ (AD-PRIS). Project details: Notwithstanding the increase in public interest cases to advance the rights of disadvantaged groups in Ireland, prison law remains under litigated in the State. Working with the leading national CSO advocating for penal reform (Irish Penal Reform Trust), and using desk based research supplemented by semi-structured interviews, AD-PRIS has two aims. First, to draft a strategic litigation policy for the advancement of the prisoners’ rights in Ireland, exploring the legal options that exist at a national, European and international level. Second, to develop a network of stakeholders, legal practitioners and academics with the purpose of initiating such cases.

Dr. Lynsey Black 

In 2022, Dr. Lynsey Black was awarded an IRC Starting Laureate for her project 'CONSPACE: Penal Nationalism and the Northern Ireland Border' (IRCLA/2022/2418_BLACK). This is a four-year project which uses archival and participant research methodologies to tease out the meanings of crime, punishment and security at the Northern Irish border over a 100-year period exploring both historical and contemporary instances of penal nationalism at the border. The work brings in the perspectives and approaches of border criminology and penal nationalism. The CONSPACE project is affiliated with Maynooth University Social Science Institute (MUSSI).


Dr. Joe Garrihy and Dr. Ciara Bracken-Roche 

Dr. Ciara Bracken-Roche and Dr. Joe Garrihy recently received awards under the Irish Research Council (IRC) ‘New Foundations’ programme for their project, Boxed Out: Higher education, criminal convictions, and perceptions of risk, in partnership with Irish Penal Reform Trust

Dr Avril Brandon

Dr Avril Brandon

Dr. Avril Brandon has been awarded funding from the Department of Justice to conduct research on ethnic monitoring in the criminal justice system. This research aims to examine and learn from the experiences of other jurisdictions that have developed and implemented ethnic monitoring systems. She will conduct this research in collaboration with Professor Denis Bracken at the University of Manitoba, Canada.


Dr Mary Dobbs

Dr. Mary Dobbs is also part of a Horizon Europe project (P2GreeN) (2022-2026) looking at the potential to reclaim nutrients from human waste for use as fertiliser in food production - she will be investigating the legal and regulatory frameworks across the EU and relevant regions for this project. 


Professor Michael Doherty

Professor Michael Doherty - Law

Professor Michael Doherty, Head of the School of Law and Criminology, is currently undertaking research on different ways of regulating new forms of employment emerging through technological advance, and through the increasingly differentiated forms of employment relationship that are observable. The digitalisation of the workplace leads to both completely new phenomena, and also traditional legal challenges present in novel forms. The research looks at changing conceptions of the employment relationship, relating to workers in the ‘gig economy’, but also workers ‘on the borderline’ of employee/self-employed status; the ‘false-self-employed’, and seeks to examine legislative, and other regulatory, strategies ensure the rights of such workers are secured.


Professor Michael Doherty and Dr David Mangan


Professor Michael Doherty and Dr. David Mangan are currently working on a European Commission Project investigating the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on employment relations in the aviation industry. VIRAL is a two-year project, with 12 partners from six EU Member States. The project aims to identify measures to reduce the impact of Covid-19 on the air transport sector. A vital consideration for the VIRAL project involves mapping employment relations changes in the European air transport value chain, due to the impact of lockdowns, and mapping plans to re-invigorate the industry in the coming years.


Dr. David Doyle

Dr. David Doyle is currently in the process of completing a co-authored book on capital punishment in post-independence Ireland. He was also recently awarded an Irish Research Council New Foundations Award to seed a new study on Human Trafficking in Ireland. 


Professor Delia Ferri

Protecting the Right to Culture of Persons with Disabilities and Enhancing Cultural Diversity through European Union Law: Exploring New Paths (DANCING).

Prof. Delia Ferri is researching on the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) within the European Union (EU) and its Member States. Currently, Prof. Ferri is Principal Investigator of the project Protecting the Right to Culture of Persons with Disabilities and Enhancing Cultural Diversity through European Union Law: Exploring New Paths (DANCING). DANCING explores the right of  persons with disabilities to take part in cultural life as an essential aspect of enhancing cultural diversity in the EU, and aims to produce ground-breaking knowledge. By using a combination of legal, empirical and arts-based research, and adopting a participatory approach, DANCING pursues three complementary objectives, experiential, normative and theoretical respectively. The project is funded by the European Research Council (Grant agreement No. 864182).

Rethinking Digital Copyright Law for a Culturally Diverse, Accessible, Creative Europe (ReCreating Europe).

Prof. Delia Ferri is also co-investigator in the H2020 project Rethinking Digital Copyright Law for a Culturally Diverse, Accessible, Creative Europe (ReCreating Europe), where she investigates access to digital cultural goods for people with disabilities, from an intersectional perspective. As member of the H2020 project SHAPES, she focuses on regulatory frameworks to support independence and enhanced quality of life for older people with disabilities. On the whole, Prof. Ferri’s research falls within the broader realm of EU Law and Comparative Law. 

Dr. Ian Marder

Dr Ian Marder

Dr. Ian Marder’s research currently focuses on two main areas. The first involves engaging with researchers, policymakers and practitioners across Europe to stimulate the implementation of the recent Council of Europe Recommendation CM/Rec(2018)8 concerning restorative justice in criminal matters. The second involves comparative research on sentencing and the impact of different types of sentencing guidelines. He is also writing up his recent study on the institutionalisation of restorative justice in policing.


Professor Aisling McMahon 

Dr Aisling McMahon - Law

Professor Aisling McMahon is leading the ERC PatentsInHumans Project. The five-year interdisciplinary project is funded by a European Research Council Starting Grant and will involve a team of researchers who will focus on developing a comprehensive understanding of the bioethical issues posed by patents and how they are used over technologies related to the human body (such as, medicines, elements of medical devices, etc). The project will interrogate to what extent such bioethical implications are considered if at all, within European patent decision-making for these technologies. Ultimately, a key project aim is to reimagine European patent decision-making to further embed bioethical considerations in the patent decision-making systems for technologies related to the human body. You can learn more about this project here.


Dr. Clíodhna Murphy

Dr Cliodhna Murphy

Dr. Clíodhna Murphy is currently working on research relating to access to labour rights for a number of different categories of domestic worker; and is also taking part in the Northern/Irish Feminist Judgments Project, writing the 'missing' feminist judgment in the Supreme Court decision in Lobe and Osayande v Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform [2003] IESC 3.

Dr. Cian O'Concubhair

Cian Ó Concubhair

Policing Housing Rights Activism in Ireland, in partnership with Irish Council for


Dr John Reynolds

John Reynolds - Law

'TWAIL 2023: Democratizing International Law'

Dr. John Reynolds, was awarded a Connections Grant by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for a project on ‘TWAIL 2023: Democratizing International Law’. Dr. John Reynolds is a co-applicant on the project along with his colleagues Sujith Xavier (University of Windsor), Laura Betancur Restrepo (Universidad de Los Andes) and Amaka Vanni (University of Leeds). The project brings together leading scholars and thinkers from around the world working on international law, global justice and equality from a range of perspectives, particularly those of the Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL) research network. The project addresses several core intersecting thematic strands – racial justice, economic justice, environmental justice, and transitional justice – and will produce a series of special issue publications.


Dr Sinéad Ring

Dr Sinead Ring

Dr. Sinéad Ring received an award under the Irish Research Council (IRC) ‘New Foundations’ programme. The project awarded the funding: On Relevance and Consent: Interrogating The Uses of the Victim's Previous Sexual History in Serious Sexual Offences Trials, in partnership with Rape Crisis Network Ireland