Shane Butler
Fellow Emeritus, Sch Office - Social Work & Social Policy

Publications and Further Research Outputs

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Butler, S., Coolmine Therapeutic Community, Dublin: a 40-year history of Ireland's first voluntary drug treatment service , Addiction , 111, (2), 2016, p197 - 203 Journal Article, 2016

O'Leary, M. and Butler, S., Caring for Grandchildren in Kinship Care: What Difficuties Face Irish Grandparents with Drug-Dependent Children, Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions , 15, (4), 2015, p352 - 372 Journal Article, 2015

Substance Misuse and Social Work in Ireland: Must Do Better? in, editor(s)Christie, A., Featherstone, B., Quin, S. and Walsh, T. , Social Work in Ireland: changes and continuities , London, Palgrave Macmillan , 2015, pp195 - 211, [S.Butler and H. Loughran] Book Chapter, 2015

Shane Butler, Ireland's Public Health (Alcohol) Bill: Policy Window or Political Sop? , Contemporary Drug Problems , 42, (2), 2015, p106 - 117 Journal Article, 2015

Butler, S. and Hope, A. , Ireland's financial crisis and its influence on alcohol and drug issues , Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 32, (6), 2015, p623 - 628 Journal Article, 2015

'A state of semi-lunacy'? The marginal status of drinking problems within the Irish mental health system in, editor(s)Agnes Higgins and Shari McDaid , Mental Health in Ireland: Policy, Practice and Law, Dublin, Gill and Macmillan , 2014, pp150 - 168, [Shane Butler ] Book Chapter, 2014

S. Butler , The symbolic politics of the Dublin drug court: The complexities of policy transfer , Drugs: education, prevention and policy , 20, (1), 2013, p5 - 14 Journal Article, 2013

Woods, M. and Butler, S., 'A Victim of Its Own Success: The Diploma in Addiction Studies at Trinity College Dublin , Drugs: education, prevention & policy, 18, (4), 2011, p243 - 250 Journal Article, 2011

Butler, S., Addiction Counsellors in the Republic of Ireland: exploring the emergence of a new profession, Drugs: education, prevention & policy, 18, (4), 2011, p295 - 302 Journal Article, 2011

Ryall, G. and Butler, S., The great Irish head shop controversy, Drugs: education, prevention & policy, 18, (4), 2011, p303 - 311 Journal Article, 2011

Jordan, T. and Butler, S., The Globalization of Addiction: a study in the poverty of spirit , Drugs: education, prevention & policy, 18, (4), 2011, p270 - 275 Journal Article, 2011

Fagan, D. and Butler, S. , 'What Are We About?' The Pioneer Total Abstinence Association in Present-Day Ireland, Drugs: education, prevention & policy, 18, (4), 2011, p261 - 269 Journal Article, 2011

Shane Butler, Benign Anarchy: Alcoholics Anonymous in Ireland, Dublin , Irish Academic Press, 2010 Book, 2010

Hope, A. and Butler, S., Changes in consumption and harms, yet little policy progress, Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 27, (5), 2010, p479 - 495 Journal Article, 2010

Shane Butler, Obstacles to the Implementation of an Integrated National Alcohol Policy in Ireland: Nannies, Neo-Liberals and Joined-Up Government, Journal of Social Policy, 38, (2), 2009, p343 - 359 Journal Article, 2009 TARA - Full Text

Ireland, Republic of, P. Korsmeyer and H.R. Kranzler, Encyclopedia of Drugs, Alcohol and Addictive Behaviour, Third , Two , Macmillan Reference, 2009, pp322 - 325, [Shane Butler] Item in dictionary or encyclopaedia, etc, 2009

Butler, Shane, Rabbitte Revisited: the first report of the ministerial task force on measures to reduce the demand for drugs - ten years on, Administration, 55, (3), 2007, p125 - 144 Journal Article, 2007

Butler, Shane and Jordan, Tony, Alcoholics Anonymous in Ireland: AA's first European experience, Addiction, 102, (6), 2007, p879 - 886 Journal Article, 2007 URL DOI

Butler, Shane, Tipping the Balance? An Irish Perspective on Anderson and Baumberg, Drugs: education, prevention and policy, 13, 2006, p493 - 497 Journal Article, 2006

Shane Butler and Paula Mayock, 'An Irish Solution to an Irish Problem': Harm reduction and ambiguity in the drug policy of the Republic of Ireland, The International Journal of Drug Policy, 16, 2005, p415 - 422 Journal Article, 2005

Mental Health Social Work in Ireland: Missed Opportunities in, editor(s)Noreen Kearney and Caroline Skehill , Social Work in Ireland: Historical Perspectives, Dublin, Institute of Public Administration, 2005, pp33 - 50, [Butler, Shane] Book Chapter, 2005

Butler, S., Cocaine use in Europe - a multi-centre study: patterns of use in different groups, European Addiction Research, 10, 2004, p147 - 155 Journal Article, 2004

Butler, S., Paying the price for extended opening hours: a comment from Ireland, Drugs: education, prevention and policy, 10, 2003, p293 - 296 Journal Article, 2003

Butler, S., Doing Drugs from an Ivory Tower: Reflections on Twenty Years of Addiction Studies at Trinity College Dublin, Studies, 2003, p249 - 257 Journal Article, 2003

Butler, S., Looking at "wetter options, Cornerstone (Magazine of the Homeless Agency), 16, 2003, p7 - 8 Journal Article, 2003

Butler, S., Addiction problems, addiction services and social work in the Republic of Ireland, Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions, 2, 2002, p31 - 48 Journal Article, 2002

Butler, S., Alcohol, Drugs and Health Promotion in Modern Ireland, Dublin, Institute of Public Administration, 2002, 255pp Book, 2002

A Tale of Two Sectors: a critical analysis of the proposal to establish drug courts in the Republic of Ireland in, editor(s)P. 0' Mahony , Criminal Justice in Ireland, Dublin, Institute of Public Administration, 2002, pp407 - 418, [Butler, S.] Book Chapter, 2002

Butler, S., The making of the methadone protocol: the Irish system?, Drugs: education, prevention and policy, 2002, p311 - 324 Journal Article, 2002

Mental Health Social Work and Addictions in, editor(s)J. Campbell and R. Manktelow , Mental Health Social Work in Ireland: Comparative Issues in Policy and Practice, Aldershot, Ashgate Publishing, 1998, pp133 - 149, [Butler, S.] Book Chapter, 1998

Butler, S., The war on drugs: reports from the Irish front, Economic & Social Review, 28, 1998, p157 - 175 Journal Article, 1998

Butler, S., Substance misuse and the social work ethos, Journal of Substance Misuse, 1, 1996, p149 - 151 Journal Article, 1996

Butler, S., Child protection or professional self-preservation by the baby nurses? Public heatlh nurses and child protection in Ireland, Social Science and Medicine, 43, 1996, p303 - 314 Journal Article, 1996

Butler, S. and Corrigan, E., Outcome of treatment for Irish alcoholic women in treatment, Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine, 12, 1995, p48 - 52 Journal Article, 1995

Butler, S., Social work with alcohol and drug problems, Irish Social Worker, 1994, p4 - 5 Journal Article, 1994

Teaching by Stealth: social work education in Trinity College Dublin in, editor(s)L. Harrison , Substance Misuse: designing social work training, University of Hull. Central Council for the Education & Training of Social Workers, 1993, pp152 - 169, [Butler, S.] Book Chapter, 1993

Drugs, HIV and Ireland: responses to women in Dublin in, editor(s)N. Dorn, S. Henderson and N. South , AIDS: women, drugs and social care, Falmer Press, 1992, pp51 - 69, [Butler, S., Woods, M.] Book Chapter, 1992

Homeless young people and drug use in, editor(s)S. Kennedy , Streetwise: homelessness among the young in Ireland and abroad, Glendale Press, 1987, pp104 - 109, [Butler, S.] Book Chapter, 1987

Treatment services for alcohol and drug abusers in Ireland in, editor(s)P. Berwick and M. Burns , Future Directions in Health Policy, Council for Social Welfare, 1984, pp192 - 201, [Butler, S.] Book Chapter, 1984

Non-Peer-Reviewed Publications

Butler, S., Promoting the welfare of children of problem drinkers, Childlinks, (3), 2009, p2 - 8 Journal Article, 2009

Butler, S., Alcohol Policy: a public health perspective, Proceedings of International Conference on Alcohol Policy, Dublin Castle, November, 2001, Health Promotion Unit, 2003, pp115 - 123 Conference Paper, 2003

Butler, S., Alcohol consumption and its negative impact on Irish children and young people, Childlinks (The Jounal of Barnardo' Children's Resource Centre), 2003, p8 - 11 Journal Article, 2003

Butler, S., The national alcohol policy and the rhetoric of health promotion, Irish Social Worker, 2001, p4 - 7 Journal Article, 2001

Butler, S., Social Science and Medicine, 46, 1998, p1253-1254 Review, 1998

Butler, S., Drinking problems amongst Irish Travellers, Irish Social Worker, 1996, p8 - 9 Journal Article, 1996

Butler, S., Youth and Policy, 54, 1996, p106-107 Review, 1996

Butler, S., Health Service News, 8, 1995, p15 Review, 1995

Butler, S., Discourse and Society, 3, 1994, p517-519 Review, 1994

Butler, S., by Youth and Policy , 43, 1994, p109-111 Review, 1994

Research Expertise


My research interests to date have primarily been in relation to social policy on alcohol and drug issues. As already indicated, my concern has been to study the Irish policy context, albeit from a comparative international perspective. One of my persistent aims has been to look critically at the research I policy interface, particularly to identify how and why scientific research findings are use selectively by policy makers in their management of issues which involve conflicting value positions and entrenched commercial interests. In relation to illicit drugs, my research on Irish policy has highlighted the difficulties for national policy makers in introducing evidence based strategies where such strategies appear to be . in conflict with American-dominated international conventions, as well as being in conflict with local conventional wisdom on the necessity for a 'war on drugs'. In relation to alcohol, my research has been largely focused on similar issues, mainly relating to state reluctance to act upon research-based recommendations which smacks of paternalism (the 'nanny state') and which also creates conflict with a globalised drinks industry. This research is largely desk-based (or at least library-based), with some use of qualitative interviewing of key stakeholders, and my main scarce resource is time.



Member of accreditation panel of the National Social Work Qualifications Board. 1997 - 2000

Member of National Working Group on Alcohol Consumption in Higher Education. 2001 - 2005

Member of South - East Inner City Area Implementation Team of RAPID (Rejuvenation of Areas through Planning, Investment and Development) . 2002 - 2005

Member of the Board of Management of Coolmine Therapeutic Community 2006-2009

Member of the National Advisory Committee on Drugs 2000-2002

Awards and Honours

Fellow of Trinity College Dublin 2012


Member of the Working Group on a National Alcohol Policy (appointed by Minister for Health) 1991 – 1992

Member of interim and later fully constituted National Advisory Committee on Drugs (appointed by Minister of State with responsibility for the National Drugs Strategy) - resigned from this body on being appointed Community Liaison Officer for College 1999 – 2002

Member of National Group on Alcohol Consumption in Higher Education (nominated by Senior Lecturer as College representative on this national committee). 2001 – Present