1:00 PM, 09 Dec 2020 - , Online

The Special Rapporteur for Child Protection in Ireland: stories from the field

ISS21 Children and Young People Research Cluster Seminar:

The Special Rapporteur for Child Protection in Ireland: stories from the field


Wednesday 9 December 1-2pm on Microsoft Teams



In July 2019, Dr Conor O’Mahony was appointed as Special Rapporteur for Child Protection for a three-year term by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone. The Rapporteur is accountable to the Oireachtas and is entitled to consult with departments of Government and the Ombudsman for Children about any legislative initiatives designed to enhance child protection. Speaking at the time of his appointment, Dr O’Mahony said that there are a number of issues which are looming large in child protection in Ireland, notably the review of the Child Care Act. With regards to this legislation, he highlighted the importance of ensuring that children were heard in child protection proceedings and that the rights of children and their families were safeguarded when children were placed in voluntary care placements. While these were important issues, Dr O’Mahony also noted that in taking up the role of Special Rapporteur he did not necessarily have a list of priorities because ‘when it comes to child protection, it’s all important’  (Irish Times - New Special Rapporteur).

18 months on from his appointment, Dr O’Mahony has accepted an invitation from the ISS21 Children and Young People Research cluster to present a seminar to explain what the role of the Special Rapporteur involves, and his experiences so far in taking on this esteemed role.


Dr Conor O’Mahony is a senior lecturer in child law and constitutional law at the School of Law at University College Cork. He is the director of the Child Law Clinic, through which he works to support litigation concerning children and to advocate for law reform in the area of child law (most notably on the issue of victims of sexual abuse in primary schools, including the Louise O’Keeffe case). He is co-Principal Investigator (with Dr Kenneth Burns) of the Voluntary Care in Ireland Study. Past projects include a major study of District Court child care proceedings, and an international project funded by the European Commission aimed at developing children’s rights capacity among child protection professionals.

All welcome. Organised by ISS21 Children and Young People Research Cluster Seminar

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