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Rory O'Sullivan Hennessy, Ph.D. Candidate, School of Law, Trinity College Dublin

Rory O'Sullivan Hennessy

Ph.D. Candidate

c/o Law School
House 39
Trinity College, Dublin 2


Ph.D. Thesis: Artificial Intelligence in Medicine: Navigating a Regulatory Framework for the Digital Health Revolution.


  • Dr. Andrea Mulligan, School of Law
  • Prof. Dave Lewis, School of Computer Science & Statistics


Rory O’Sullivan-Hennessy is a Ph.D. student, supported by a Science Foundation Ireland Postgraduate Research Scholarship, currently researching in the area of disruptive technologies and digital health. Rory read law as an undergraduate at Trinity College, having been conferred with the LL.B. degree in 2016 and then the LL.M. in 2017. Rory joined the Privacy and Data Security team of Mason Hayes & Curran, one of Ireland’s leading commercial law firms, in 2018 as a Legal Executive, helping to advise tech clients including Facebook, WhatsApp and Airbnb on their privacy structuring.

In 2019, Rory was awarded a fully-funded, competitive research scholarship of four years' duration by Science Foundation Ireland’s Centre for Research Training in Artificial Intelligence (CRT-AI). The CRT-AI is Ireland’s dedicated academic hub for doctoral training in AI technology. Under the supervision of Dr. Andrea Mulligan (TCD School of Law) and Dr. Dave Lewis (TCD School of Computer Science and Statistics), Rory’s thesis puts forward proposals for the ethical regulation of artificial intelligence technologies in the healthcare space.

In September 2020, Rory joined the Law School of University College Cork as a Lecturer of Technology Law, delivering modules in Privacy & Data Protection Law, Intellectual Property Law and Cybercrime (as well as the Law Faculty of Griffith College Dublin as a Lecturer of Tort Law). Rory currently delivers seminars in law to Trinity’s LL.B. students, and tutors on the Trinity EthicsLab elective with Professor Linda Hogan of the TCD School of Ecumenics. In 2020, Rory began delivering a series of Ethics and Professionalism workshops in the TCD School of Medicine in the areas of medical ethics, digital health and data protection. Rory also works closely with the bodies governing equestrian sport in Ireland, including Horse Sport Ireland, and acts as the National Children’s Officer for the Irish Pony Club.


  • Science Foundation Ireland CRT-AI Postgraduate Research Scholarship (2019 – 2023)
  • Undergraduate Awards: European Regional Winner (Law) (2016)
  • University of Dublin Entrance Exhibition (2012)

Research Interests

  • Bioethics and Medical Law
  • Artificial Intelligence and Disruptive Technologies
  • Digital Health
  • Animal Welfare, Ecology and Climate Law
  • Privacy & Data Protection Law
  • Human Rights Law

Education Details

  • Doctor in Philosophy (Ph.D.) Candidate, University of Dublin (2019 – present)
  • Masters of Law (LL.M.), University of Dublin (2016 – 2017)
  • Bachelors of Law (LL.B.), University of Dublin (2012 – 2016)

Employment Details

  • Lecturer, Privacy and Data Protection Law, Intellectual Property Law, Cybercrime Law, University College Cork (2020 – present)
  • Lecturer, Tort Law, Griffith College Dublin (2020 – present)
  • Seminar Tutor, Trinity College Dublin (2019 – present)
  • Legal Executive, Mason Hayes & Curran (2018 – 2020)

Memberships / Associations

  • SFI Centre for Research Training in Artificial Intelligence (CRT-AI)
  • The Medico-Legal Society of Ireland
  • The Irish Centre for European Law
  • The ADAPT Centre, Trinity College Dublin
  • The European AI Alliance
  • The International TechLaw Association (iTechLaw)
  • The Royal Dublin Society (RDS)
  • Horse Sport Ireland
  • The Showjumping Association of Ireland (SJI)
  • The British Horse Society (BHS)


  • “The Role of Wearables in the Battle Against COVID-19” (2020, Mason Hayes & Curran)
  • “The Regulation of AI – What Next?” (2020, Mason Hayes & Curran)
  • “Connected Cars – Is the Law Roadworthy?” (2020, Mason Hayes & Curran)
  • “Highlights of the Data Protection Commission’s Annual Report for 2019” (2020, Mason Hayes & Curran)
  • “Complying with GDPR Timelines During COVID-19” (2020, Mason Hayes & Curran)
  • “Responding to Personal Data Breaches in Light of Tusla GDPR Fine” (2020, Mason Hayes & Curran)
  • “GDPR and Digital Health: Is Your Software ‘Fit’ for Purpose?” (2019, Mason Hayes & Curran)
  • “AI and Automated Decisions: GDPR and the Evolving Decision-Making Process” (2019, Mason Hayes & Curran)
  • “Highlights of DPC’s First Annual Report under GDPR” (2019, Mason Hayes & Curran)
  • “Privacy at What Cost? Consequences of the High Court’s Judgment in the Graham Dwyer Case” (2019, Mason Hayes & Curran)
  • “When is a Health and Fitness App Not Just an App?” (2019, Mason Hayes & Curran)
  • “GDPR and the Network and Information Systems Directive” (2018, Mason Hayes & Curran)
  • “Globalisation of Criminal Evidence and Changes on the Horizon” (2018, Mason Hayes & Curran)
  • “Lessons from Google’s €50m GDPR Fine” (2018, Mason Hayes & Curran)
  • “Sex, Secrecy and the Right to Know: Venereal Disease Cases and the Abridged Place of the Doctor’s Duty of Confidentiality in Medical Law and Ethics” (2016, Undergraduate Awards)