Social Impact

Our colleagues and school engage with stakeholders, organisations, media and the wider society in multiple ways. We have advised and collaborated on research projects with government departments, and have strong links to community groups, activists, charities and organisations linked to our research. Our social impact can be seen in our media presence, citations and active involvement on boards. We are proud to have influenced, shaped and exported policy and practice nationally, in Europe and globally. Part of our exchange with policy-makers, activists, journalists and the wider society is our social media presence and you can follow and engage with us on Twitter and Facebook for updates.

Our school in the media:

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Professor Bryan Fanning's research on policy responses in Tottenham to the London riots is cited in this article in the UK newspaper "The Observer on Sunday"

Dr Sarah Donnelly, Lecturer in Social Work, was interviewed by Sarah McInerney for the Sunday Times on the 14th August 2016 for an article 'The Demographic Time Bomb' on homecare for older people. The article also cites her recent research 'I'd prefer to stay at home but I don't have the choice.' The article can be read here.

Martina Byrne was interviewed on her research into the Irish professional class response to immigration (Real and 'not really' immigrants) by Prof Laurie Taylor on the BBC Radio 4 sociology programme 'Thinking Allowed'. The listenership is in excess of 1 million worldwide. The programme is available from BBC Radio 4 podcasts here:

German Business Weekly interviews Dr Stephan Köppe, Lecturer in Social Policy for feature on private schools.
The German Business weekly WirtschaftsWoche interviewed Dr Stephan Köppe, Lecturer in Social Policy, for their feature on private schools. Dr Köppe explains why for-profit schools are struggling in the German education market. A link to the article can be found on the main story page. (Text in German)

The German Business weekly "WirtschaftsWoche" interviewed Dr Stephan Köppe, Lecturer in Social Policy. In their feature on private schools Köppe explains why for-profit schools are struggling in the German education market. The article can be found here: (please note, text in German).

Dr Koppe also presented his book 'Welfare Markets. Privatising Education and Pensions in Germany, Sweden and the USA’ (English Title) last week at the German political science conference (DVPW Kongress) in Duisburg-Essen.


Report on Dr Micheal Collins speaking to the Oireachtus Budget Oversight Committee about how the state loses 21.4 Billion Euro each year through "tax expenditures". Read it here.


Dr Mary McAuliffe writes an editorial describing how Sexism and Misogyny in the Health Service harms more than just women. Read it here.


Prof. Tony Fahey talks about Irish Social Housing policy in the Irish times here.


Prof. Michelle Norris talks to the Irish Times about policy solutions to the council housing crisis. Read the article here.


Michelle Norris comments on the governments housing strategy: Action plan must deliver on social housing targets. Read article here.


The launch and key findings of the report entitled "I'd Prefer to Stay at Home but I don't have a choice:" Meeting Older People's Preference for Care: Policy, but what about practice?", jointly authored by Dr Sarah Donnelly (Lecturer in Social Work, UCD), Age Action Ireland, and the Alzheimer Society of Ireland were covered in a piece in the Irish times under the headline "Many in nursing homes could live at home if supported - report." The piece can be read in its entirety here.


Muireann Ní Raghallaigh, Lecturer in Social Work wrote an Opinion piece for the Irish times entitled 'Ireland can and should accept refugee children' on unaccompanied refugee children. You can read the article here.


Dr Michael Byrne, researcher in Social Policy, features in an Irish Times article entitled 'Evictions more likely with arrival of vulture funds, report says'. The article is talking about a report that Dr Byrne authored, entitled ''From Puerto Rico to the Dublin Docklands: Vulture Funds and debt in Ireland and the Global South.' for the Debt and Development Coalition Ireland, a coalition of Irish development, faith-based and solidarity groups concerned about the effects of debt on developing countries. It is chaired by Sorley McCaughey, advocacy and policy officer with Christian Aid. The full article can be found here



Dr Stephan Köppe, Lecturer in Social Policy, features in Irish Times article on 'Generation Rent'. In the interview Köppe comments on stricter rent control and states:

“Often tenancy agreements are for a year, maximum four years, and then you have to try to renew it.

“It’s not like ‘now I’ve signed a contract and now I can stay in that home for 30 years’. With every renewal, the landlord has the potential to increase rent and there’s no limitation to that so that increases insecurity,” says Köppe.

While Köppe believes the widespread aspiration to home ownership is a very culturally embedded phenomenon in Ireland and the UK, he says many of the positives of home ownership can be found in renting, as they are in many continental European countries, where stricter rental regulations are in place.

“All studies suggest the feeling of home is really important. It has a lot to do with long-term commitment to the dwelling itself, but also the surrounding community.

“After four or five years, we see hardly any difference between renters and home owners. Once you are a long time in your place, you build those social links to the community and have those benefits. It’s really about making long-term rental attractive,”

Full article is here.

Dr Muireann NiRaghallaigh's research on unaccompanied minor refugees in Ireland was cited by regular opinion columnist Victoria White in the Irish Examiner on the 12th January 2017, you can read Victoria's full column here.

Dr Marie Keenan writes about Restorative Justice after Sexual Violence in the Irish Examiner on Friday 13th April. You can read her article here.

The Irish Independent discusses Dr Michael Collins' research on the current 'living wage'. Read the article here.

The launch of the research report "I'd Prefer to Stay at Home but I don't have a choice:" Meeting Older People's Preference for Care: Policy, but what about practice?" as well as commentary by Social Workers working in the area of elderly care provision was covered in an article entiled "Social Workers 'waiting for people to die' to get elderly clients the care they need" in The full article can be read here

Professor Michelle Norris, Dr Michael Byrne and Ms Anna Carnegie discuss why it's time to challenge some of the assumptions about social housing. This piece is based on recent research conducted at the School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice in conjunction with Clúid Housing Association.

Professor Bryan Fanning explains why now it is time to reassess the story of the Plantation of Ulster in a News Analysis opinion piece in the Belfast Telegraph.

Dr Mary McAuliffe talks about the Irish Revolution in episode 2 of RTE's documentary series. Watch the video here.

Dr Michael Collins was speaking on RTE Primetime about the tax system, tax policy etc. You can watch the video here.

Dr Marie Keenan has been closely involved with the documentary Beyond Redemption, a "Would You Believe?" Special. This important documentary, presented by journalist Mick Peelo, lifts the lid on Ireland’s sex offenders to discover a number of  unpalatable truths: most are not paedophiles, most are never caught or convicted and almost 40% of them are children under 18; most sexual abuse happens within families and is kept secret.  Demonising the few sex offenders who are convicted is understandable, perhaps, but takes the focus away from the majority, who continue to operate undetected. In fact, it endangers rather than protects our children and our society. The programme looks at the current response to sexual abuse and whether a more rehabiliative focus might be of greater benefit to both offenders and to the wider community. The documentary airs on RTE on Thursday 20th October at 10.15 pm

Dr Keenan's talk on RTE Radio 1
Dr Marie Keenan, Lecturer in Social Work, and 'Rachel', Survivor of Sexual Violence did interviews for a long and very comprehensive piece on the RTE Radio 1 Sean O’Rourke Show on 15th September on the role of restorative justice and the personal experience of that process. You can listen back to the interview on:

The Examiner also carries an overview of 'Rachel’s' and Marie's interview with Sean O’Rourke for that RTE1 Radio show yesterday morning titled ‘I wanted to be able to forgive him. I wanted to let go and have closure’. Please see
A  news piece in is titled ‘Sexual assault victims should be able to confront their attackers’ and focuses on an interview with Marie Keenan around the process and power of restorative justice. Please see


Dr Michael Collins talks about Vulture Funds and their tax arrangements in the Republic on Morning Ireland

Dr Michael Collins, Assistant Professor in Social Policy, spoke to RTE's Morning Ireland about the tax arrangements of vulture funds purchasing debt in Ireland on the 9th January. You can listen back to the interview here.


Dr Ní Raghallaigh spoke on Radió na Gaeltachta
Dr Muireann Ní Raghallaigh, Lecturer in Social Work has contributed on a number of occasions recently to media interviews on the European refugee crisis. On 2 September, Dr Ní Raghallaigh spoke on Radió na Gaeltachta. She described the crisis as a crisis about people - about men, women, teenagers, children and babies - and described them as predominately refugees who are forced to leave their homelands because their lives are at risk.
Dr Ní Raghallaigh highlighted the need for Europe to act and to act quickly and for Ireland to take more than than 600 refugees that it has so far agreed to take. She reminded listeners that Lebannon's population is similar to that of Ireland but Lebanon hosts approximately 1 million refugees. She also highlighted the fact that while offering refugees sanctuary here will involve a cost initially, ultimately these are people, many of whom are highly educated, who will contribute to our economy.
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You can listen back to the programme here (from 05.40):!rii=17%3A10460572%3A4061%3A%3A


Dr Mary McAuliffe was on Tonight With Vincent Browne on 24th August 2016 discussing Feminism and Equality. You can watch the video here.

8/2/17 Dr Mary McAuliffe was part of a panel discussion on the Pat Kenny Tonight Show discussing Political correctness, you can watch the video here (discussion starts circa 37.30)

Professor Bryan Fanning is part of a panel talking about migration in the context of Irish history on Northern Visions TV. Watch the episode here.

Dr Muirean n NiRaghallaigh speaks to Newstalk Breakfast about the mental health supports required by unaccompanied minor refugees from the camp in Calais. Listen to the podcast here.

Dr Michael Rush was on the Panel for Sarah Carey's "Talking Point" show on Saturday 13th August discussing "The Housework War". The Podcast of the panel discussion can be found here.

Dr Martina Byrne was interviewed by Sarah Carey on Newstalk's 'The Sunday Show' on the 7th August on the subject of 'How Prevalent is Racism among the Irish Middle Class?'. You can listen to a podcast of the interview on the Newstalk website.

10/11/16 - Dr Muireann NiRaghallaigh was speaking on Newstalk Drive about unaccompanied minor refugees being brought to Ireland from Calais. You can hear her here. The interview starts at 16:33.

Professor Bryan Fanning of the Social of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice launched ‘This Ability Counts’ a series of radio programmes produced and presented by Mary Napier, a graduate of the School.

A new five-part radio series called This Ability Counts will be broadcast soon on local community radio station, Dublin South 93.9fm. A positive portrayal of living with disability, the series is produced and presented by Mary Napier, who lives with Cerebral Palsy and holds both a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master’s Degree in Social Science from UCD.

In each programme, Mary will highlight issues of broad concern to people with disability, their families and the wider community.  Mary will also speak with leaders in education, business and technology as she attempts to highlight the ‘ability’ in disability.  

Over the five 30 minute episodes experts will also provide advice on learning to drive, opportunities in education, pursuing a career, participating in sports activities as well as outlining what assistance is available for people living with disability. 

This Ability Counts airs at 2.30pm each Monday from March 7th – April 4th on Dublin South 93.9fm and online at

This Ability Counts funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland with the television license fee.


Dr Sarah Donnelly, Lecturer in Social Work, spoke about the findings of the report that she authored in conjunction with the Alzheimer's Society of Ireland and Age Action Ireland, "I'd Prefer to Stay at Home but I don't have a choice:" Meeting Older People's Preference for Care: Policy, but what about practice?" on LMFM's "The Michael Reade Show". A podcast of the show (7th June 2016) is available here. Dr Donnelly's interview begins around the 57 minute mark.

She was also interviewed about the report on Highland Radio's ""Shaun Doherty Show". A podcast of the show (3rd June 2016) is available here. Dr Donnelly's interview begins around the 1hr 14 minute mark.

An article, 'The Unfairest deal' in Ireland's political and cultural magazine Village cites Dr Sarah Donnelly's recent report on home care for the elderly. The article can be read in full here.

Dr Stephan Koppe talks about "a new deal for Irish Families" on the Social Europe website here.

Dr Michael Byrne speaks on the "Reboot Republic" podcast about housing policy and social housing. You can listen to the entire podcast here.