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PHD Candidates


The CCJVS hosts a vibrant community of PhD candidates who receive first-class supervision and support from faculty members of the Centre. We welcome queries from prospective PhD candidates within their respective research areas. Below are the profiles of our current PhD candidates.


Eoin O'MEara DalyEoin O’Meara Daly

Eoin is currently employed in the School of Law as a Youth Justice Researcher. Eoin was previously a manager in one of Ireland's biggest youth service providers, Limerick Youth Service, and has coordinated and managed a number of youth initiatives and services for young offenders in Limerick over a ten-year period. He holds an Honours Degree in Applied Social Studies, an MA in Criminology from DIT and his practice experience has resulted in various other certification: facilitation training, train the trainer and supervision theory and practice, all level 5 FETAC certs. Eoin’s research expertise lies in the area of youth crime, youth crime prevention, youth offender programmes and youth justice. His MA thesis was a case study that focused on the area of 'desistance' or the cessation of offending, and how some young adults were able to stay away from crime despite being heavily involved in their younger years. This was titled, A Case Study of Youth Crime Desistance in a Disadvantaged Area and focused on complex ex-offenders striving to 'make good' in one of Ireland’s ‘disadvantaged’ communities. Eoin will undertake a process evaluation of the community efficacy strand of a new evidence informed Irish programme for young people caught up in adult criminal networks. Using a case study design and a mixed methods approach, this research will examine and evaluate the implementation process of the community efficacy strand of a new evidence-informed Irish programme for children and young people caught up in adult criminal networks. The project will establish the normative standards in ideal models of community efficacy in youth crime interventions as disclosed by the literature and gauge the path to how the community efficacy strand was implemented in the case study location.


Lorraine BarronLorraine Barron

Lorraine holds a BA and LLB from UL. She is currently pursuing a PhD research thesis in criminal justice, under the supervision of Dr Ger Coffey and Dr Susan Leahy a funded by the Irish Research Council, that critically analyses the current legislative framework in Ireland concerning the post-release management of sex offenders from a comparative perspective within a human rights and due process framework. Lorraine has received substantial funding to continue her doctrinal research, including the Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences’ fee waiver, the School of Law Judge John Murray Tutorial Scholarship, and the Irish Research Council Government of Ireland scholarship. She has published in both national and international peer-reviewed law journals and has presented papers on her research at domestic and international conferences, including the Society of Legal Scholars annual conference and the annual conference of the European Criminal Law Academic Network. She has lectured in both public and private law, including computer ethics and investigation law, constitutional law, administrative law, and criminal law, and has tutored in EU law, company law, equity and trusts, contract law, media law and legal environment of business. Her research interests are in the areas of criminal justice (with particular emphasis on sexual violence), human rights and restorative justice.


Grainne Jennings

Gráinne Jennings is a civilian lecturer working in An Garda Siochána (AGS). She graduated with a 2.1 BA (hons) degree in Applied Social Science from Kingston University and holds a 1st class (hons) MA  degree in eLearning (Design and Development) from UL. In addition to teaching, Gráinne has significant experience in the design, development, delivery and validation of law enforcement and operationally relevant training programmes. She has advised on An Garda Siochána’s lifelong learning strategy and worked with external agencies including the Irish Prison Service, the Irish Sports Council and the Irish Fisheries Board. Prior to joining AGS, Gráinne worked primarily in third level, adult education and the community sector.

Grainne’s doctoral research is supervised by Prof. Shane Kilcommins and Dr Alan Cusack and explores the integration and application of learning set within the complexities and realities of modern Irish policing. The Review of Training, published by An Garda Siochána in 2009, revealed the existence of a disjuncture between initial police education and training and operational policing. Through an examination and exploration of the philosophy and application of problem based learning (PBL) in policing delivered through the BA in Applied Policing programme at the Garda College in Templemore, her research seeks to uncover new and advanced understandings of PBL in initial police education and training. Her research interests include police education and training, the significance of empathy in policing in working with both victims and perpetrators’ of crime and the changing nature of policing in Ireland in the 21st century.


Beth DuaneBeth Duane

Beth Duane graduated from the MA in Human Rights in Criminal Justice at UL with first class honours. Her dissertation focused on issues surrounding mental health and mental illness within the Irish criminal justice system. Prior to this, she received a BA in Sociology, Political Science and History from NUIG, also first class honours. Beth has previously worked with the Association for Criminal Justice Research & Development and was also heavily involved in the establishment of a new programme undertaken by ADAPT Services raising awareness of domestic violence and how it impacts upon youth. She is currently undertaking PhD research under the supervision of Dr Margaret Fitzgerald O’Reilly and Dr Susan Leahy; her research is titled 'Prison Violence in Adult Prisons in Ireland: Assessing Causes, Effects and Responses'. Beth’s research will examine the effects that the prison environment has on an individual, the legal duty of care afforded to prisoners by the state and the existing responses to prison violence in other jurisdictions that could effectively be implemented in Ireland. Beth in an IRC scholar and was awarded a prestigious Irish Research Council grant to conduct her research. She was also awarded The Honourable Mr Justice John Murray PhD Scholarship, and tutors in criminal procedure, which is part of the online BA in Applied Policing to members of An Garda Síochána. Her research interests include human rights, criminology, penal policymaking, techniques of punishment, and criminal law.

Andrew Lacey

Andrew Lacey was awarded a BA in Insurance & European Studies in 2001, LLB (Graduate Entry) in 2008, and a BA in Human Recourse Management in 2010 all with UL. In 2013, he completed an LLM in Criminal Law from UCC after he completed the Criminal Justice Masters clinical programme. In September 2014, Andrew commenced a PhD research thesis with the CCJVS under the supervision of Prof. Kilcommins that examines the departure from adversarialism in the Irish Criminal Justice process and the emerging transition towards dispositive justice. Andrew has 16 years’ experience as a member of An Garda Síochána, currently holding the rank of Inspector. Andrew is the course director of the postgraduate diploma in Serious Crime Investigation, a programme accredited by UL and taught through the Garda College. He teaches on the BA in Applied Policing programme. Andrew has completed a specialist diploma in Teaching, Learning & Scholarship with the University’s Centre for Teaching & Learning and is a certified hate crime trainer for law enforcement in Europe with the Office for Democratic Institutions & Human Rights. He is a recent recipient of New Foundations funding for his Crisis Intervention Team project with Dr Alan Cusack.


Anna Flynn

Anna Flynn has a BA in Psychology from Maynooth University and an MA in Criminology from the University College Cork. In 2019, she started a PhD in Law at the University of Limerick in collaboration with the Irish Prison Service Psychology Service. Her research explores the management of people serving life sentences in Ireland. It is funded by an Irish Research Council Employment-Based Postgraduate Scholarship and the Irish Prison Service. She is currently under the supervision of Dr Margaret Fitzgerald O'Reilly (UL) and Dr Emma Regan (IPS). Anna has also completed a Policy and Advocacy Internship with the Irish Penal Reform Trust and has worked as a Research Assistant with the School of Law at the University of Limerick and the Irish Prison Service Psychology Service. 


Louise McNeill 

Louise McNeill is an IRC scholar. She commenced her PhD, 'Pervasive Surveillance: Technology's radical alteration of societal power dynamics and social structures in the 21st century',  in 2018 under the supervision of Professor Shane Kilcommins and Dr Alan Cusack. Louise studied at the Open University, receiving a 1st class BSc (Hons) in Criminology and Psychological Studies in 2016. She then went on to graduate with a 1st class MA in Human Rights in Criminal Justice at UL in 2018. Louise is in her 4th year of her PhD and has presented a number of conference papers and posters for which she has won recognition from the SLSA and UL. Louise has tutored in a variety of modules in UL, including LA6111 Criminal Justice Processes and Sentencing, LA6132 International Criminal Law and LA4022 Commercial Law. She is currenly lectureing in LA6222 Postgraduate Human Rights Law. Her main area of interest is the development and evolution of surveillance techniques: how the changing dynamics of technology and surveillance have altered social structures, discourse, legal frameworks and social interactions.


Michael Carmody 

Michael Carmody graduated with an LLB in Law Plus from the University of Limerick in 2014 and with an LLM in Human Rights in Criminal Justice from UL in 2018, for which he obtained a QCA of 4.0. He is currently undertaking PhD research under the supervision of Professor Shane Kilcommins and Dr Alan Cusack. This research focuses on the relationship between the rule of law and human rights, as they pertain to 'emergency' situations. His main areas of interest include jurisprudence, political and moral philosopy, constitutional law, criminal law and legal innovation. Outside of his studies he is the owner of MYP Coaching, a keen long distance runner and a coach to the Clare senior hurlers.


Dara O'Dwyer

Dara O'Dwyer graduated from UL with an LLB in Law Plus in 2016, followed by a first class honor LLM in Human Rights in Criminal Justice. She is currenly undertaking a PhD, under the supervision of Dr Susan Leahy and Dr Margaret Fitzgerald O'Reilly, examining the responses of the Irish criminal justice system to female-perpetrated sex offending. This research examines existing legislative and procedureal measures in place in Ireland, reviewing the suitability of such measures for dealing with female sex offenders. Dara has presented papers on her research at both domestic and international conferences, She has tutored and lectured in a variety of modules in the School of Law, including administrative law, criminal law, company and partnership law, family law, child law, human rights law, international labour law and legal systems and method. She also completed a Judicial Internship in the Superior Courts. Her research interests include criminology, sexual offences, criminal justice, sentencing and child and family law. 


Professor Gautam Gulati MD (MBBS, FRCPI, FRCPsych, PGDipLATHE(Oxon), FHEA)

Guatam Gulati is a Consultant Forensic & General Psychiatrist trained at Oxford and holds an Adjunct Professorial appointment at UL. He holds fellowships with the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, the Royal College of Psychiatrists (UK) and the Higher Education Academy (UK). His research interests lie at the interface of medicine and law. He has published extensively in international and national peer reviewed journals. He has served as full time chair of the Faculty of Forensic Psychiatry at the College of Psychiatrists and has since founded the UNCRPD sub-committee at the College. He has co-authored two textbooks of Psychiatry: Lecture Notes, 11th ed, Wiley-Blackwell (Oxford) and Psychiatry Algorithms for Primary Care, 1st ed, Wiley Blackwell (Oxford).  He is Associate Editor with the Irish Journal of Medical Science, Correspondence Editor with the Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine and International Advisor to the International Journal of Prisoner Health. He is co-founder of the Univerisyt of Limerick Medico-Legal Research Consortium and leads the development of national and international collaborations. He has provided expert evidence to the Oireactas, High Level Task Forces, Senatorial Officens and the Ministry of Justice. He is currently undertaking a PhD on 'Enhancing Intellectual Disabilities Awareness in Irish Law Enforcement Interactions', under the supervision of Professor Colum Dunne, Professor Shane Kilcommins and Dr Alan Cusack.


BláithÍn O'Shea

BláithÍn O'Shea is a 3rd year PhD student in the School of Law. She is a graduate of UL (LLB, 2017) and UCD (LLM, 2019). In September 2019, under the supervision of Dr Susan Leahy and Dr Alan Cusack, she began her doctoral studies in UL. BláithÍn's PhD takes a socio-legal approach to investigate whether the principle of prison as a last resort (i.e. reducing imprisonment through use of diversion programmes and non-custodial sanctions) would be appropriate for persons with intellectual disabilities. The aim of this research is to formulate recommendations to promote changes in policy and practice that will bolster the rights and outcomes for persons with intellectual disabilities in the Irish criminal justice system.