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School of Law Secures Two IRC Laureate Grants Totalling €1.2 million

10 Oct 2022

Two members of staff at the UCC School of Law, Professor Maria Cahill and Dr. Patrick O’Callaghan, have secured prestigious Irish Research Council Laureate Consolidator grants of €600,000 each to support research projects during the period 1st September 2022 until 31st August 2026.

IRC Laureate awards are made to researchers based in Ireland who are pursuing ground-breaking, frontier research and thought leadership across all disciplines, so it is a particular mark of esteem that the School of Law has been awarded two separate grants under this scheme.

Professor Cahill’s project, “Exploring the Potential of Freedom of Association” (SOCIETAS), focuses on the often-overlooked right to freedom of association. The project will begin with a comparative study of the ways in which this right is interpreted in laws and courts around the world, and then seek to illuminate its deep purposes by drawing on insights from theories of selfhood and theories of collective intentionality.

Dr O’Callaghan will lead a project entitled “Law and the Inner Self” (LAWINSEL). The project seeks to better understand the evolution and nature of the idea of the “inner self” by viewing it through the prism of legal change from the Middle Ages through to the digital transformations of the 21st century. Two postdocs specialising in legal history will join the project team.

Professor Cahill comments: “I am honoured to have been selected as an IRC Laureate awardee, and grateful to my colleagues for their support in the development of the project. It is wonderful to have the time and space to delve deeply into freedom of association using insights from other disciplines, and to increase our understanding of the value of this fundamental right.”   

Dr. O’Callaghan remarks: “This project is an exciting opportunity to bring together various strands of my existing research and push it in a new direction. I also hope that the project will demonstrate the value of working at the intersection between law and the humanities. I am grateful to the IRC for the opportunity and to the School of Law and College of Business and Law at UCC for their continuing support.”

The Dean of the School of Law, Professor Mark Poustie commented: “Many congratulations to my colleagues Professor Cahill and Dr. O’Callaghan on securing these IRC Laureate Consolidator Awards with their innovative and exciting projects.  It is heartening to see that the School’s increased research ambitions are being reflected in significant funding successes.   It is a key part of UCC’s strategy to enhance its research intensity and we will continue to encourage and support research ambition as much as we can”.

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