New Head of School of Law at NUI Galway

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Professor Donncha O’Connell is the newly-appointed Head of the School of Law at NUI Galway having recently been appointed to an Established Chair in Law. He is also a part-time Commissioner of the Law Reform Commission, the statutory body charged with advising the government on law reform proposals, and a member of the Legal Aid Board.

Welcoming the news, Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway said: “On behalf of NUI Galway I am delighted to announce this professorial appointment.  Donncha O’Connell has a tremendous record of achievement as an academic, teacher and public intellectual.  I am confident that he will lead the School of Law in a new and exciting phase of its development. He will lend his talents to further developing the strong international reputation of the School of Law, drawing on his academic skills, public policy experience and his leadership abilities as a former Dean.”

Donncha was born in 1968 and grew up in Swinford, Co. Mayo. He graduated with a BA (in Legal Science and Sociology & Politics) in 1988 and an LL.B in 1990 after which he was called to the Irish Bar. Immediately after that he went to the University of Edinburgh for a year graduating with a Masters in Law in 1993.

Upon returning from Edinburgh Donncha was appointed to a lectureship at the School of Law, NUI Galway and taught Constitutional Law, Labour Law and European Human Rights there until taking unpaid leave of absence in 1999.

In 1999 he was appointed as the first full-time Director of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL), an NGO founded in 1976 by Kader Asmal and Mary Robinson. In 2002 Donncha resigned as Director of the ICCL and returned to the Law School at NUI Galway. In the same year he was appointed as the Irish member of the EU Network of Independent Experts on Fundamental Rights established by the European Commission on foot of a recommendation by the European Parliament LIBE Committee.

In 2005 Donncha O'Connell was elected Dean of Law at NUI Galway and served a full term until 2008. During that time he worked through the Council of Deans to bring about the establishment of the new College of Business, Public Policy & Law, NUI Galway, made up of the former faculties of Commerce and Law as well as the Shannon College of Hotel Management & Catering.

While serving as Dean of Law Donncha continued to teach Constitutional Law and European Human Rights to under-graduate students while pioneering new courses, such as Equality Law: Principles & Thematic Application and Processes of Law Reform, offered to post-graduate students on the Law School's LL.M in Public Law.

In 2007, he tendered successfully with an international consortium that formed FRALEX, the legal expert group that advises the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights based in Vienna and continued to work as the Senior Irish Expert until 2011.

He edits the Irish Human Rights Law Review, published biennially by Clarus Press. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the London-based NGO, INTERIGHTS from 2009-2012. Donncha joined the Board of INTERIGHTS while spending a sabbatical year (2009-2010) as a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Human Rights, London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE).

He has been a member of the National Council of the Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC) Ltd., the National Executive Committee of Amnesty International – Ireland and the Advisory Board of the Public Interest Law Alliance (PILA), a project of FLAC.

Since 2006 Donncha has played an active part on the Board of Directors of the internationally-acclaimed, Galway-based, Druid Theatre Company. He is also a trustee of Counterpoint Arts based in Dublin and London.

ENDS

 

Ceann Scoil an Dlí nua in OÉ Gaillimh

Tá an tOllamh Donncha O’Connell nuacheaptha mar Cheann Scoil an Dlí in OÉ Gaillimh tar éis dó a bheith ceaptha le gairid mar Chathaoir Bunaithe sa Dlí. Chomh maith leis sin tá sé ina Choimisinéir páirtaimseartha ar an gCoimisiún um Athchóiriú an Dlí, an comhlacht reachtúil a bhfuil sé de chúram air comhairle a chur ar an rialtas faoi mholtaí athchóirithe dlí. Tá sé freisin ina bhall den Bhord um Chúnamh Dlíthiúil.

Chuir an Dochtúir Jim Browne, Uachtarán OÉ Gaillimh, fáilte roimh an scéala: “Thar ceann OÉ Gaillimh tá ríméad orm an ceapachán ollúnachta seo a fhógairt.   Tá éachtaí bainte amach ag Donncha O’Connell mar fhear léinn, mar theagascóir agus mar intleachtóir poiblí.  Táim muiníneach go dtreoróidh sé Scoil an Dlí i dtréimhse nua agus spreagúil dá cuid forbartha. Úsáidfidh sé a chuid buanna chun cur le cáil láidir idirnáisiúnta Scoil an Dlí, ag úsáid a chuid scileanna acadúla, a thaithí ar bheartas poiblí agus a chumais cheannaireachta mar Dhéan.”

Rugadh Donncha sa bhliain 1968 agus tógadh é i mBéal Átha na Muice, Co. Mhaigh Eo. Bronnadh céim BA (san Eolaíocht Dhlíthiúil agus sa tSocheolaíocht agus Polaitíocht) air i 1988 agus bhain sé LLB amach i 1990 agus ina dhiaidh sin glaodh chun Bharr na hÉireann é. Go díreach ina dhiaidh sin d’fhreastail sé ar Ollscoil Dhún Éideann ar feadh bliana áit ar bhain sé amach Máistreacht sa Dlí i 1993.

Nuair a d’fhill sé ó Dhún Éideann ceapadh mar léachtóir i Scoil an Dlí, OÉ Gaillimh é, áit ar mhúin sé Dlí Bunreachtúil, Dlí Oibreachais agus Cearta Daonna na hEorpa go dtí gur thóg sé saoire neamhláithreachta gan phá i 1999.

Sa bhliain 1999 ceapadh é mar an chéad Stiúrthóir lánaimseartha ar an gComhairle um Chearta an Duine (ICCL), an eagraíocht neamhrialtasach a bhunaigh Kader Asmal agus Mary Robinson i 1976. Sa bhliain 2002 d’éirigh Donncha as mar Stiúrthóir an ICCL agus d’fhill sé ar Scoil an Dlí in OÉ Gaillimh. An bhliain chéanna ceapadh é mar bhall de chuid na hÉireann ar Líonra an AE de Shaineolaithe Neamhspleácha ar Chearta Bunúsacha a bhunaigh Coimisiún na hEorpa tar éis moladh ó Choiste LIBE Pharlaimint na hEorpa.

Sa bhliain 2005 toghadh Donncha O’Connell mar Dhéan Dlí in OÉ Gaillimh agus d’oibrigh sé téarma iomlán go dtí 2008. Le linn an ama sin d’oibrigh sé le Comhairle na nDéan chun Coláiste an Ghnó, an Bheartais Phoiblí & an Dlí, OÉ Gaillimh a bhunú. Cuireadh na dámha Tráchtála agus Dlí chomh maith le Coláiste Bainistíochta Óstáin agus Lónadóireachta Shionainne le chéile chun an Coláiste nua seo a bhunú.

Nuair a bhí sé ina Dhéan Dlí lean Donncha ar aghaidh ag teagasc Dlí Bunreachtúil agus Cearta Daonna na hEorpa do mhic léinn fochéime agus chuir sé cúrsaí nua chun cinn ag an am céanna cosúil le Dlí Comhionannais: Prionsabail agus Feidhmiú Téamach agus Próisis um Athchóiriú Dlí, a chuirtear ar fáil do mhic léinn iarchéime ar an LLM sa Dlí Poiblí a bhíonn ar fáil i Scoil an Dlí.

Sa bhliain 2007, d’éirigh leis sa tairiscint a chuir sé ar aghaidh in éineacht le grúpa idirnáisiúnta FRALEX, an grúpa saineolaithe dlí a chuireann comhairle ar Ghníomhaireacht an AE um Chearta Bunúsacha i Vín agus lean sé leis ag obair mar Shaineolaí Sinsearach Éireannach go dtí 2011.

Déanann sé eagarthóireacht ar an Irish Human Rights Law Review, a fhoilsíonn Clarus Press gach re bliain. Bhí sé ina bhall den Bhord Stiúrtha ar an eagraíocht neamhrialtasach INTERIGHT, atá lonnaithe i Londain, ó 2009-2012. Chuaigh Donncha ar Bhord INTERIGHTS nuair a bhí sé ag caitheamh bliain shabóideach (2009-2010) mar Chomhalta Sinsearach ar Cuairt in Ionad don Staidéar ar Chearta Daonna, Scoil Eacnamaíochta agus Eolaíocht Pholaitiúil Londan.

Tá sé mar bhall de Chomhairle Náisiúnta na nIonad Comhairle Dlí Saor in Aisce (FLAC), Coiste Feidhmiúcháin Náisiúnta Amnesty International - Éire agus Bord Comhairleach Comhaontas Dhlí Leas an Phobail, tionscadal de chuid FLAC.

Ó 2006 i leith bhí páirt ghníomhach ag Donncha ar Bhord Stiúrthóirí Chompántas Amharclainne Druid, compántas atá lonnaithe i nGaillimh agus a bhfuil cáil idirnáisiúnta air. Tá sé ina iontaobhaí chomh maith ar Counterpoint Arts i mBaile Átha Cliath agus i Londain.

 

CRÍOCH

 

Keywords: Press.

Author: Marketing and Communications Office, NUI Galway
« Back

Press office

E info@nuigalway.ie
T +353 (0)91 493361

Press member?

Visit our press centre

Connect & share