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Assistant Professor Paula Mayock and Fellow Emeritus Shane Butler publish article in Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy, providing new insights into the Stigma of Growing Older on Methadone


“’I’m always hiding and ducking and diving: The stigma of growing older on methadone”, recently published in the Drug: Education, Prevention and Policy, breaks new ground by directly addressing the stigmatizing experiences – and the ramifications of stigma – for individuals who are long-term patients of methadone maintenance treatment (MMT).

The analysis presented demonstrates the ways in which institutional stigma (associated primarily with the regime of MMT) intersects with public shame to produce what Mayock and Butler describe as “the private burden of stigma”; an experience that is publicly invisible but privately endured. The implications for policy are discussed in detail, with a particular focus on the failure to normalize methadone treatment.

This article is based on data generated from a larger study of long-term methadone maintenance treatment funded by the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Drug and Alcohol Taskforce, supported by Southside Partnership and the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Community Addiction Team.

Link to the article:

Link to blog on the article by Dr. David McCartney:

2nd March, 2021

Congratulations to Suzanne Cahill on her newly published book Perspectives on the Person with Dementia and Family Caregiving in Ireland

Suzanne Cahill

This book is all about dementia in Ireland and what has and has not been happening in a country where dementia has been a taboo topic for so long. In particular it examines the dementia landscape since late 2014, following the launch of Ireland’s first National Dementia Strategy. A lot has happened in Ireland since that time but a lot more needs to happen for people to live well with dementia and have their human rights upheld. There are an estimated 55,000 Irish people living with dementia and these figures are set to triple by 2050. Although topics explored in the book,such as obtaining a diagnosis, accessing home care services and moving from home into a nursing home relate to Ireland, they are discussed against the backdrop of policy, practice and research developments in dementia in other parts of the world. In this way the book provides the reader with a wealth of information including research evidence, best practice guidelines and international expertise. The book has been dedicated to Mnánah Éireann, in recognition of the hard physical and emotional work, caregivers,mostly women do behind closed doors. Throughout the book, an appeal is made for more state support to be given to these formal and informal caregivers.

2nd March, 2021

Congratulations to Órlaith Hennessy on her authored report for the NESC entitled The impacts of Covid 19 on ethnic minority and migrant groups in Ireland

The School congratulates our  graduate Órlaith Hennessy (BA Sociology and Social Policy 2020) on the publication of a report that she authored under the auspices of the National Economic and Social Council (NESC) while completing an internship at the NESC last summer. The title of this timely report is The impacts of Covid 19 on ethnic minority and migrant groups in Ireland and it can be  accessed here

The Director of the BA in Sociology & Social Policy , Professor Virpi Timonen, in collaboration with Edna Jordan of NESC, recently announced the exclusively availability of these summer internship opportunities to our students again in 2021, and an email on this has been sent to all our 3rd and 4th year students. Students across all year groups on the BA in Sociology and Social Policy have also been offered exclusive internship opportunities with organisations in Belgium, through collaboration with the Irish College Leuven with the assistance of Joseph Doherty. All relevant student groups have received emails about the  applications being open for these opportunities.

22nd February, 2021

Congratulations to Prof Timonen & Dr Lolich whose article is one of Emotions and Society's top five most read articles published in 2020

An article by Luciana Lolich and Virpi Timonen titled ‘Fortunate and fearful: emotions evoked by home-care policies for older people in Ireland’ was one of the most downloaded articles published in Emotions and Society in 2020. This article has been made free to read as part of the publisher’s ‘most read collection’. This collection will be free to access until 28 February. The article can be accessed here

16th February, 2021

Assistant Professor Paula Mayock, Sarah Parker and Andrew Murphy publish article in Child & Family Social Work, providing new insights into the process of youth becoming homeless


“Family ‘turning point’ experiences and the process of youth becoming homeless”,recently published in Child & Family Social Work, examines the family ‘turning point’ experiences associated with youth becoming homeless based on an in-depth analysis of the ‘life stories’ of 40 young people experiencing homelessness in Ireland.

The research, which is biographical and longitudinal, was led by Dr. Paula Mayock. Her co-authors, Sarah Parker and Andrew Murphy, are graduates of the Masters in Applied Social Research (School of Social Work and Social Policy, TCD). Sarah Parker is currently a doctoral researcher at the School of Social Work and Social Policy and Andrew Murphy works for the Irish Foster Care Association.

The research from which the data presented in this paper are drawn was funded Focus Ireland (Phase 1) and Focus Ireland in collaboration with Simon Communities of Ireland, Threshold, Peter McVerry Trust and Society of St. Vincent De Paul (Phase 2).

The article can be accessed here:

9th February, 2021

Dr Catherine Conlon is awarded Provost PhD award.


Entitled Legacy Data: Assembling Three Decades Of Irish Abortion Narratives, Dr Catherine Conlon's project brings together a unique data archive she holds to conceptualise Ireland’s evolving legal, policy and cultural positions on abortion based on narratives of women from Ireland seeking abortion generated at three points in time. Qualitative research interviews with women from Ireland seeking abortion care in Britain on two occasions (1994-6 and 2003-4) and seeking abortion care in Ireland since legalisation (2019-21) offer a unique vantage point on the effects of the specific and evolving legal, policy and cultural treatment of abortion in Ireland on women’s sense of their reproductive citizenship, positionality and subjectivity. This is a rich, unique legacy dataset and the project will curate, archive and deposit the dataset as a ‘big qualitative data’ corpus. A breadth and depth analysis of the corpus will generate grounded, emergent conceptualisation of how changing policy and laws impact on sexual and reproductive health and rights, the constitutional and public policy landscape and most broadly on women’s positionality, subjectivity and citizenship. The project will provide the Doctoral student training in legacy, qualitative data-set curation and management and in big qualitative data analysis methods with a dataset of ample breadth to allow them to carve out a unique thesis topic.

5th February, 2021

Dr Susan Flynn is awarded Provost PhD award.


This study comprehensively investigates internet-based child protection risks associated with disability. There have been substantial increases in Irish internet usage over recent decades with one of the most comprehensive international comparison studies placing Irish children’s internet usage above the European average (Livingstone et al., 2011).  Central Statistics Office (CSO) evidenced in 2019 that 97% of students in the Republic of Ireland use the internet every-day, whilst in the 16 to 29 years age group, 96% of internet users accessed the internet daily (CSO, 2019), and 82% of 15 to 16 year olds have a social networking profile (Livingstone et al., 2011). In this context, disability is associated with unique vulnerabilities that relate to child abuse. The internet is also recognised as a key platform that mediates child abuse (Good and Fang, 2015; Haber, 2020; Powell, 2008). With a view to addressing this area,  this study will seek to answer the question, how does the internet present child protection and welfare risk related to disability?

3rd February, 2021

Dr Edurne Garcia Iriarte is awarded Provost PhD award. 

EGIIrish Disability, Ethnicity and Migration Study

This project aims to provide an unprecedented exploration of the intersection between disability, ethnicity and migration in Irish children, by adopting a longitudinal approach to the study of outcomes and by employing a mixed-methods approach to capture the individual experiences of children and their families. A large body of research indicates that disabled children have poorer educational, social, and socio-emotional outcomes than their non-disabled peers. Furthermore, disabled children’s poor outcomes are exacerbated when they have an ethnic minority and/or a migrant background, research has shown. Ireland has experienced a significant increase in the population of ethnic minority and of migrant background in the last 15 years, however, it remains scarcely researched whether disabled children with ethnic minority and/or migrant background fair differently from their non-disabled peers. Specifically, the project objectives are: 1) to explore the longitudinal impact of disability, ethnicity and migration on children’s educational, social and socio-emotional outcomes; 2) to examine the experiences of children with disability and ethnic and/or migrant background and of their families; and 3) to understand the role of services and informal support in the outcomes of disabled children with ethnic minority and/or migrant background. The project aims to use secondary mixed methods analysis of the Growing Up in Ireland (GUI) study complemented with primary qualitative research.

1st February, 2021

Professor Eoin O'Sullivan authors article entitled "Mother and baby homes inquiry: now reveal the secrets of Ireland’s psychiatric hospitals".

Professor Eoin O'Sullivan alongside Ian O'Donnell, UCD recently published an article in the University times entitled Mother and baby homes inquiry: now reveal the secrets of Ireland’s psychiatric hospitals, The full article can be found here

28th January, 2021

Assistant Professor Paula Mayock and Fellow Emeritus Shane Butler publish article in the International Journal of Drug Policy

Drug Policy“Pathways to ‘recovery’ and social reintegration: The experiences of long-term clients of methadone maintenance treatment in an Irish drug treatment setting”, recently published in the International Journal of Drug Policy, presents a critical analysis of the experiences of long-term patients of methadone treatment in one area of Dublin in the context of a recent emphasis on rehabilitation and recovery in Irish drug policy. The findings, which highlight a disconnect between policies that ostensibly aim to promote social reintegration and recovery and the experiences of individuals who are long-term clients of MMT, are argued to reflect the marginal status of addiction services within the Irish health system.

This article is based on data generated from a larger study of long-term methadone maintenance treatment funded by the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Drug and Alcohol Taskforce, supported by Southside Partnership and the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Community Addiction Team.

Link to the article:

Media Coverage:

18th January, 2021

Amy Stapleton Accepted as New Member to the Pool of European Youth Researchers.

The Pool of European Youth Researchers – or PEYR in short – is a unique initiative on the European level and it represents a contribution of both the Council of Europe and the European Commission to evidence based policy-making in the field of youth. Besides providing expertise on demand, PEYR members also meet once a year to discuss broader issues connected to youth research and provide input to policy initiatives of the two partner institutions.
More information is available at:

15th January, 2021

Congratulations to the Master in Social Work Class of 2020, many of whom graduated virtually in December!

MSW Class 2020

Wishing the Master in Social Work class of 2020 all the very best! Many members of the class graduated virtually in December - some of the class are pictured below! With very best wishes for the future from all of us in the School of Social Work & Social Policy!

11th January, 2021

Congratulations to PhD Graduate Siobán O'Brien Green on her contribution to the Health Service Executive (HSE) National Domestic, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Training Resource Manual


In 2015 Siobán was awarded an Ussher Postgraduate PhD Fellowship by Trinity College Dublin (TCD). Her PhD research explored help and safety seeking by women who have experienced domestic violence during pregnancy in Ireland. She has presented on this research in Ireland, Portugal, Austria and was invited to present in Oslo in 2018 at the national conference celebrating 200 years of midwifery education in Norway. Following on from her invited presentation at the ICGP national conference in Dublin in 2019 she wrote an article for the ICGP Journal - Forum based on her PhD research. Its publication was timed to coincide with the16 days of global action on violence against women.
Siobán was delighted to contribute to the Health Service Executive (HSE) National Domestic, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Training Resource Manual: Recognising and Responding to Victims of Domestic, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (DSGBV) in Vulnerable or At-Risk Communities (2019). She has recently been appointed to the Advisory Group of the Study on Familicide and Domestic Homicide Reviews commissioned by the Department of Justice and Equality. Upon completing her PhD she began her new role, Head of Healthcare Programmes in the Irish Hospice Foundation in February 2019."

7th January, 2021

Enabling Entrepreneurship for Young Refugees - a Practice Guide for Youth-Serving Entrepreneurship Organisations

The new toolkit "Enabling Entrepreneurship for Young Refugees - a Practice Guide for Youth-Serving Entrepreneurship Organisations", co-authored by PhD researcher Amy Stapleton, has been published this week.
As part of the Erasmus Plus funded project "Better Futures - Enabling Young Refugee Entrepreneurs", the toolkit contains 22 best practice tips for youth-serving entrepreneurship organisations preparing to engage in outreach with young refugees and newcomers from migrant and minority backgrounds.
#refugee #entrepreneurship #trainthetrainer #youngrefugees #migrants #entrerpreneurs #youngentrepreneur

15th December, 2020

MSc Child Protection & Welfare graduate publication!

Congratulations to MSc Child Protection & Welfare graduate Helena Kennedy and her former supervisor Associate Professor Stephanie Holt on their recent publication in the Journal of Social Care
Helena has worked for Tusla, Child and Family Agency for seventeen years, with the last eleven years as Social Care Manager in a Children’s Residential Centre in Dublin North East. Helena completed the MSc in Child Protection and Welfare in the School of Social Work & Social Policy in 2018. Helena focused her dissertation on the effect domestic violence can have on the people in care and this publication reports selectively on her thesis.

11th December, 2020

The School of Social Work & Social Policy was delighted to organise a webinar hosted by Trinity Research In Social Science (TRiSS) on Trends & Directions in Criminal Justice (FULL VIDEO)

The full video of the our recent webinat on 'Trends and Directions in Criminal Justice: Learning from the Past, Creating the Future' can be viewed here

7th December, 2020

PhD Student Amy Stapleton joins the International Advisory Board of the Educational Action Research Journal


Amy Stapleton recently joined the International Advisory Board of the Educational Action Research Journal where she will be supporting the journal's reviewing process, journal promotion and the development of special issues. This journal publishes accounts of a range of action research and related studies, in education and across the professions, providing a forum for dialogue on the methodological and epistemological issues and enabling different approaches to be subjected to critical reflection and analysis.
More information on the journal can be found at:

3rd December, 2020

Dr Stephanie Holt presents at Tusla Webinar on Domestic Violence

Dr Stephanie Holt recently presented on a Tusla webinar and warned of the impacts of domestic violence on children. Details on the full presentation can be found here

30th November, 2020

Upcoming Webinar: Disability and the Ethics of Conducting Research in Higher Education

Webinar: 15.30-17.00, Thursday 3 December 2020
International Day of Persons with Disabilities
Disability Research Network, Trinity College Dublin

Article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities provides that ‘States Parties undertake to collect appropriate information, including statistical and research data, to enable them to formulate and implement policies to give effect to the present Convention.’ This indicates the importance of ensuring that disability is included in the design of research strategies and projects, but also that people with disabilities are able to conduct and participate in research. Article 31 specifies that this must be pursued in compliance with ‘ethical principles’. This international webinar provides an opportunity to explore further the intersection between advancing disability-inclusive research and upholding respect for research ethics.


  • Dr. Teresa Blankmeyer-Burke, Gallaudet University: ‘Research Ethics: Access and Inclusion’
  • Dr. Edlyn Vallejo Peña, California Lutheran University: ‘Strategies for Disability-Centered Research Approaches’
  • Dr. Clodagh Brooks, Associate Vice Provost for Diversity and Equality: ‘Changing College Cultures: Disability in Trinity’


  • Dr. John Bosco Conama and Dr. Susan Flynn, Trinity College Dublin

Register through Eventbrite

26th November, 2020

Best Article Award for Virpi Timonen and Luciana Lolich


The Association for Gerontology Education in Social Work (AGESW) in the United States has presented the Rose Dobrof award to Virpi Timonen and Luciana Lolich for their article “The poor carer”: Ambivalent social construction of the home care worker in elder care services’. This award is presented to the authors of the most outstanding article published in the Journal of Gerontological Social Work during the past year, demonstrating methodological rigour, strong innovation, and great impact in the field of gerontology.
Link to article:

23rd November, 2020

Recent Death of a Former Colleague

It is with deep regret that the School of Social Work & Social Policy announces the death of Vivienne Darling, whose association with the School (previously the Department of Social Studies), stretches from her time as a student in the 1940s, in a number of different roles from the 1950s onwards and, finally, as Head of Department between 1985 and 1992. Vivienne played a key role in the development of the Bachelor of Social Studies degree in the early-1960s, and later in securing professional accreditation for this degree from the Central Council for the Education and Training of Social Workers in 1973. Vivienne was one of the early researchers to explore the Irish adoption system and served as a member of the Adoption Board during the 1980s. Her commitment to social work education has been marked in College by the annual award of the Vivienne Darling Prize to the Senior Sophister student who attains the highest mark in their Social Work Practice Project.

Irish Times Death Notice

23rd November, 2020

Professor Robbie Gilligan co-authors ten country study of the emerging model of 'extended care' aimed at enhancing support for young people reaching the care leaving age of 18


Professor Robbie Gilligan is a member of an international team of ten researchers who have published a paper in Children and Youth Services Review exploring the potential of 'extended care'. This is an emerging model of provision in certain countries aimed at addressing the challenges young people in care face when they reach the upper age limit of 18 years and who then must typically leave the care system to live independently. 'Many jurisdictions have introduced reforms to give young people the opportunity to remain voluntarily in care until age 21 or later' Professor Gilligan explains. 'This ground-breaking paper examines the extent of such developments (or not) across ten countries, and the available research evidence on the operation and effectiveness of such measures.’ The citation for the paper is: van Breda, A. D., Munro, E. R., Gilligan, R., Anghel, R., Harder, A., Incarnato, M., Mann-Feder, V., Refaeli, T., Stohler, R., & Storø, J. (2020). Extended care: Global dialogue on policy, practice and research. Children and Youth Services Review 105596.

17th November, 2020

UPCOMING EVENT: 8th Children in Care Research Forum

The 8th Children in Care Research Forum will take place on Wendesday 18th November from 12:30-1:30pm. Details of event in attached flyer. Register here:

17th November, 2020

New Article on Women’s Homelessness Published in the European Journal of Homelessness


Assistant Professor Paula Mayock and Dr. Sarah Sheridan have published an article entitled “Women Negotiating Power and Control as they ‘Journey’ Through Homelessness: A Feminist Poststructuralist Perspective” in the European Journal of Homelessness. Using a feminist poststructuralist framework, this article examines homeless women’s trajectories through and out of homelessness based on data from a qualitative longitudinal study of women’s homelessness in Ireland.

The article can be accessed here:

16th November, 2020

Publication of Chapter in ‘Narrating Childhood with Children and Young People: Diverse Contexts, Methods and Stories of Everyday Life’ (Palgrave Macmillan).


Assistant Professor Paula Mayock and Sarah Parker, Doctoral Researcher, have published a chapter entitled ‘Young People Narrating the Meaning of Homelessness and Home’ in Narrating Childhoods with Children and Young People: Diverse Contexts, Methods and Stories of Everyday Life, edited by Lisa Moran, Kathy Reilly and Bernadine Brady (Palgrave Macmillan).

This volume draws together scholarly contributions from diverse, yet interlinking disciplinary fields, with the aim of critically examining the value of narrative inquiry in understanding the everyday lives of children and young people in diverse spaces and places, including the home, recreational spaces, communities and educational spaces.

Further information on the book can be found here

16th November, 2020

PhD student Calvin Swords co-authors an article alongside National Engagement and Recovery Lead Mr. Michael John Norton in The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice.


The article published by Calvin and Michael is entitled ‘Social Recovery: a new interpretation to recovery-orientated services – a critical literature review’. This paper reflects on the first known definitional account of personal recovery which was introduced in the late 20th century.
The review seeks to answer the question – what are the service users’ views on the recovery concept in 2020? The findings identify the need for mental health policy to adopt a focus on social recovery if the ethos of personal recovery is to be fulfilled. The authors provide 6 key dimensions which could inform policy provisions moving forward.

2nd November, 2020