Restorative Justice

Overview of the Project:

Facing Forward/University College Dublin Project: Sexual Trauma and Abuse: Restorative and Transformative Possibilities?

Facing Forward, a non-governmental organisation, is currently undertaking research in collaboration with University College Dublin on the possibility of using restorative justice to address sexual trauma and abuse. Dr. Marie Keenan of University College Dublin is the project’s Principal Investigator. One of the aims of the study is to discover if there are gaps in current service provision for those who have suffered sexual trauma and those who have offended in the area of sexual crime, their families and extended networks. The research design is informed by participatory and emancipatory action research. By interviewing victim/survivors and offenders and a wide range of stakeholders and service providers, the project aims to discover if there is a need for restorative approaches to sexual crime in Ireland. The results of the research will inform decisions regarding the possible future development of a restorative justice programme in Ireland, for people who have been affected by sexual crime, for those who have committed sexual abuse/violence and for the families and communities of both.


Biographies of the Principal Investigator and Researchers:

Dr. Marie Keenan

Dr. Marie Keenan specializes in therapeutic and restorative justice responses to crime and sexual trauma. She is a systemic and forensic psychotherapist, a lecturer in the School of Applied Social Science and a member of the Advisory Board of UCD’s Criminology Institute. Dr. Keenan is the Principal Investigator of a Facing Forward/UCD collaborative research project, Sexual Trauma and Abuse: Restorative and Transformative Possibilities and is co-Principal Investigator with KU Leuven on a European Commission Daphne III funded project, Developing Integrated Responses to Sexual Violence: An Interdisciplinary Research Project on the Potential of Restorative Justice. Her most recent publications include Child Sexual Abuse and the Catholic Church: Gender Power and Organizational Culture (2012), New York: Oxford University Press and Broken Faith: Why Hope Matters (2013) Bern: Lang, with Pat Claffey and Joe Egan (Eds).

Cian Ó Concubhair

Cian Ó Concubhair received a Law Degree (LL.B) from Trinity College Dublin in 2013, graduating top of his class and winning the Henry Hamilton Hunter and Desmond and Maud O’Connor Prizes for obtaining a First Class Honours and writing the best research dissertation respectively.

He was elected a Scholar of Trinity College Dublin in 2012.

Graham Loftus

Graham Loftus received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Philosophy and History (BA) from the National University of Ireland, Galway in 2011. He subsequently, read for a Master of Arts in Philosophy (MA) in the 2011/2012 academic year at University College Dublin.

The title of his thesis is: ‘A Heideggerian critique of modern conceptions of freedom’.

Martin Mulrennan

Martin Mulrennan received a Law Degree (LL.B) from University College Cork in 2008. He subsequently, read for a Master of Laws (LL.M) in the 2009/2010 academic year at University College Cork.

The title of his thesis is: ‘Refusal of Medical Treatment on Religious Grounds’.