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News Archive: July - December 2016

Book Launch Disability and Human Rights: Global Perspectives

The book “Disability and Human Rights: Global Perspectives” (Palgrave Macmillan) was launched on 15 December 2015 by Chief Commissioner of Human Rights and Equality, Emily Logan, at the School of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity College Dublin.

About 60 people attended the event including Trinity College contributors, Prof. Mary McCarron, Dean of Health Sciences, and Prof. Malcolm MacLachlan, Director of the Centre for Global Health. The event was chaired by Joanne McCarthy, Head of Policy and Research, Disability Federation of Ireland, and PhD Graduate, TCD School of Sociology.

“Experienced by more than one billion people worldwide, disability is increasingly recognised as a human rights issue internationally. Completely up to date, Disability and Human Rights draws on cutting edge international research and real life examples to explore the global dimension of disability and to critically review progress on the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

In the attached picture, book co-editor Prof. Roy McConkey, Emeritus Professor, University of Ulster, and visiting professor, TCD,  book co-editor Dr. Edurne Garcia Iriarte, School of Social Work and Social Policy, Emily Logan, Chief Commissioner of Human Rights and Equality, and book co-editor Prof. Robbie Gilligan, School of Social Work and Social Policy.

16 December, 2015

Professor Robbie Gilligan calls for formal age of leaving care to be raised to 21

Professor Robbie Gilligan has had his opinion piece on the case for extending the official age of leaving care to 21 published in . While acknowledging significant improvements in provision for Irish children in care, Prof Gilligan argues that Ireland is now falling behind best international practice in terms of the formal age of leaving care, still 18 year of age here in Ireland, but now 21 in many other jurisdictions. This policy shift brings young people in care closer to the experience of children growing up in their own families who generally do not leave home at 18.

20th December 2016


Professor Eoin O’Sullivan, Head of the School of Social Work and Social Policy appointed Chair of the Expert Advisory Group on Local Government Arrangements in Galway by Simon Coveney, Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government

The Expert Advisory Group will carry out further detailed examination and planning arising from the report of the Galway Local Government Committee in relation to future local government arrangements for Galway which was submitted in November 2015, also Chaired by Professor O’Sullivan. The terms of reference can be found here.


15th December 2016


Assistant Professor Gloria Kirwan presents paper at the Professional and Disciplinary Bar Association (PRDBA) annual conference

The Professional, Regulatory and Disciplinary Bar Association of Ireland (PRDBA) held its annual conference on 12th November 2016 in the King’s Inns, Dublin. The theme of this year’s conference was  ‘The Regulation of Social Workers’ and it was chaired by the Honourable Ms Justice Bronagh O’Hanlon .  Assistant Professor Gloria Kirwan presented a paper entitled ‘A practitioner’s perspective – thinking critically and reflectively on the context of regulation’ .

Pictured from left to right are some of the speakers at the conference:
Ciara McGoldrick BL, Ms Justice Bronagh O’Hanlon (Conference Chairperson), Barry O’Donnell SC, Asst Prof. Gloria Kirwan, Teresa Blake SC.

6th December 2016

Congratulations to Lynne Cahill, who has been awarded an Irish Research Council (Government of Ireland) Postgraduate Scholarship

Lynne Cahill is currently a PhD student with the School of Social Work & Social Policy, Trinity College, Dublin. Lynne's research interests  include gender and sexuality, sexual violence and female perpetrators, particularly intimate partner abuse in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender relationships. Her PhD explores the experience of female same sex intimate partner abuse. Lynne is supervised by Dr. Stephanie Holt.



30th November 2016

Head of School, Professor Eoin O'Sullivan re-appointed as Chair of the National Accommodation Consultative Committee by Minister for Housing, Simon Coveney

The National Traveller Accommodation Consultative Committee was established, on a statutory basis, under the Housing (Traveller Accommodation) Act 1998.

The terms of reference of the Committee are to advise the Minister in relation to:

  • any general matter concerning accommodation for Travellers
  • any matter referred to it by the Minister
  • the most appropriate measures for improving, at local level, consultation with, and participation of, Travellers in the provision and management of accommodation
  • general matters concerning the preparation, adequacy, implementation and co-operation of Traveller accommodation programmes.



30th November 2016

Social Work with Migrant Families


Maeve Foreman, Assistant Professor of Social Work, hosted a seminar for members of the Irish Association of Social Workers' (IASW) Social Work and Migration special interest group on Friday 18th November 2016.  Daniela Jurj, National Coordinator of the Migrant Family Support Service, New Communities Partnership, presented on the work of the MFSS, some of the challenges, concerns and observations arising from their clients' experiences of child protection services, and resulting challenges for child and family support systems. Practitioners and students, attending from as far afield as Cork, Dublin, Dundalk, Limerick and Wicklow, contributed to a useful discussion of the issues raised.  A video of the presentation will be available shortly on the IASW Special Interest Groups' site.

Photo: Daniela Jurj (Centre) with L to R, Robert Olama and some members of the Social Work and Migration Special Interest Group Committee, chairperson Susan Lewandowski,  Sean Lynch and Colletta Dalikeni 

23 November 2016


The Review of Local Government Arrangements in Galway, chaired by Head of School, Professor Eoin O’Sullivan was published on Friday, October 7th, by the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government Simon Coveney, T.D. The review unanimously recommended that the option of merging the two local authorities be explored further in time for the 2019 local elections. The committee says a Greater Galway Authority would maximise the potential of the region to maintain, secure and grow its sustainable economic base into the future.

The report can be found here.


11th October 2016

Assistant Professor in Social Work and PhD Candidate Eavan Brady presented her PhD research framework at the 14th European Scientific Association on Residential & Family Care for Children and Adolescents in Oviedo, Spain in September 2016. Eavan is in Year 3 of her PhD studies and is supervised by Professor Robbie Gilligan. Her PhD research is exploring the educational pathways of adult care leavers. For more information on this study visit:

10th October 2016.


International Reflections on Approaches to Mental Health Social Work is a collection of contributions highlighting the contemporary contexts and practices related to mental health social work across the world. The work contained in this collection was originally published in a special edition of the Journal of Social Work Practice. The editors of this collection are Professor Malcolm Golightley, University of Lincoln and Gloria Kirwan, Assistant Professor of Social Work at Trinity College Dublin.
Professor Golightley is also a registered social worker with extensive mental health experience and he is currently the Editor of the British Journal of Social Work.
Gloria Kirwan is Assistant Professor of Social Work at Trinity College Dublin and is also a registered social worker who has worked and researched in the field of mental health social work for many years.

Further details available from the publisher’s website.

6th October 2016


Dr Catherine Conlon will contribute to this year's Medical Humanities Seminar Series at Trinity Long Room Hub on Tuesday March 14th 2017.  For more details click here


4th October 2016

Howth Walk

howth headSociology and Social Policy students brave the rain on Howth Head with Programme Director Professor Richard Layte and Associate Professor Catherine Conlon.

4th October 2016

Meeting with Minister of State David Stanton in the Department of Justice & Equality

Maeve Foreman, School of Social Work and Social Policy, Dr. Muireann Ní Raghallaigh from UCD and the research team who worked on the recently launched report: Transition: from Direct Provision to life in the community, met with Minister of State David Stanton in the Department of Justice & Equality on 22nd September 2016 to discuss furthering the recommendations of their report. East Cork TD David Stanton is Minister of State for Justice with special responsibility for Equality, Immigration and Integration. Caroline Reid from research partners the Irish Refugee Council and a representative from the Reception and Integration Agency were also in attendance. The meeting was productive and a follow up meeting is planned. 

L-R: Dr. Muireann Ní Raghallaigh, Lecturer in Social Work, UCD;  Maeve Foreman, Assistant Professor in Social Work, TCD; David Stanton, Minister of State for Justice; Siphathisiwe (Blessing) Moyo and Gabriel Wenyi Mendes.

28th September 2016

Congratulations to Natalie Glynn, who has been awarded an Irish Research Council (Government of Ireland) Postgraduate Scholarship.

Natalie's Project Working Title is A Qualitative Longitudinal Study of Leaving State Care in Ireland: Young People’s Perspectives. This research will investigate the intersection of the child welfare system and young people’s transitions to independence. In December 2015 legislation was passed that made the provision of aftercare plans an obligation for young people leaving care and eligible adults formerly in care. As an exploratory longitudinal qualitative research project, it seeks to empower young people who have lived in State care in Ireland to define their circumstances and experiences of leaving care in order to expand the knowledge base on how young people leaving care in Ireland navigate the transition to adulthood. This study’s findings are expected to advance understanding of the lives and experiences of young people post-care and have implications for how this transition is theorized and responded to in policy and practice. Natalie is supervised by Dr Paula Mayock.

7th September 2016

BASPCAN Irish Branch present a conference on the Children First Act 2015 & Children and Family Relationships Act 2015: Implications for Child Protection and Welfare Practice

10.30am Friday 16th September in Trinity College Dublin

Speakers: Michele Clarke: Children First Legislation: Legislation and Impact

Sonia Bruen: The Implications of the Children and Family Relationships Act for Practitioners

Grace Corrigan: The Children and Family Relationships Act 2015: Implications for Children as Individual Rights Holders


BASPCAN members can attend free by contacting Louise O'Brien. Cost for non-members is €20 and can be booked through Eventbrite.

For more information please contact Dr Stephanie Holt.

9th September 2016


National Standards for Bereavement Care Following Pregnancy Loss and Perinatal Death

On the 10th August the Health Service Executive launched National Standards for Bereavement Care following Pregnancy Loss and Perinatal Death. This important new policy development stems from the tragic death of Savita Halappanavar.

The evidence base for the need for service development in this area is drawn from original research carried out by a team led by Dr Trish Walsh reviewing the bereavement care service in Beaumont Hospital as well as original research carried out by a thesis student supervised by Dr Walsh and subsequently published as an article in the British Journal of Social Work (Pregnancy Loss in Rural Ireland: an experience of disenfranchised grief,  Mulvihill and Walsh, 2014). Ms Mulvihill, a graduate of the TCD BSS programme was subsequently invited to be the social work representative on the national group which developed the new standards.  

Congratulations to Ms Mulvihill, Dr Walsh and the Beaumont research team for this important contribution to policy development.

31st August 2016

Congratulations to Catherine O'Dare, who has been awarded an Irish Research Council (Government of Ireland) Postgraduate Scholarship.

Catherine's Project Title is The Experience, meaning and significance of Intergenerational adult friendship to older people in Ireland. This study seeks to explore and understand intergenerational friendship from the perspective of the ‘older’ friend. That these chosen friends are of a different generation provides valuable insights into ageing, age-stereotyping and ageist assumptions. Taking a qualitative approach using Constructivist Grounded Theory, rich data is being gathered through in-depth semi-structured interviews. The research is intended to contribute valuable and substantive knowledge to ageing, friendship and generation literature. Catherine is supervised by Virpi Timonen and Catherine Conlon.

5th August 2016


Congratulations to Professor Robbie Gilligan and Dr Laura Arnau-Sabates on their recently published article ‘The Role of Carers in Supporting the Progress of Care Leavers in the World of Work’



Congratulations to Professor Robbie Gilligan and Dr Laura Arnau-Sabates (UAB – Autonomous University of Barcelona) on their recently published article in the journal Child and Family Social Work  which is entitled ‘The Role of Carers in Supporting the Progress of Care Leavers in the World of Work.’



26th July 2016

Negative Legacy of Direct Provision

A report which was co-authored by Assistant Professor Maeve Foreman of the School of Social Work and Social Policy, looking at the difficulties faced by former asylum seekers in attempting to transition from Direct Provision to life in the wider community, has just been launched.

More information about the report can be found on Trinity News and Events.


21st July 2016