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Improving the Trial Process for Adult Victims of Child Sexual Abuse: Dr Susan Leahy and Dr Margaret Fitzgerald-O’Reilly

In Spring 2018, Dr Susan Leahy and Dr Margaret Fitzgerald-O’Reilly supervised a project which was run in partnership with OneinFour. The aim of the project was to research ways in which the trial process could be improved for adult victims of child sexual abuse so as to minimise the trauma experienced by these victims. The project was funded by the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Teaching Board. This funding was used to invite Professor Antony Pemberton, Tilburg University, to meet with the students and OneinFour. Professor Pemberton is an internationally recognised expert on victims’ rights and guided the students on devising proposals for reform of the Irish law. During the project, the students also had consultations with Maeve Lewis (CEO of OneinFour), Mr Gareth Henry BL (Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions) and Dr Siobhan Weare (University of Lancaster). At the end of the semester, the students presented their research to OneinFour via a formal presentation in UL and their written report will also be made available to OneinFour.

The students who worked on the project were: Sinead Mulcahy, Daniel O’Connell, Niamh Shanahan, Molly Fitzgibbon, Mihkaela O’Shaughnessy and Eireann Moloney.