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Talking about Perpetrators was a series of cross-disciplinary presentations and discussion looking at representations and narratives of perpetrators and perpetration. The event included participants from the arts, law, media and social sciences, and was hosted by Dominic Thorpe (Artist in Residence, University College Dublin) and Dr Emilie Pine (School Of English, Drama & Film, University College Dublin). It was held in The Presidents' room of Dublin Castle, significantly the site of the former Children's Court of Dublin, and was supported by the Irish Memory Studies Network, Irish Research Council and Parity Studios.



 Dr Marie Keenan (School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social  Justice, University College Dublin)

– Them and Us: Talking about Perpetrators of Sexual Violence.


Dr Liam Thornton (Sutherland School of Law, University College Dublin)

– Perpetrating Direct Provision: Law, Politics and the Polity.


Sinead O'Shea (Film-maker and Journalist)

– How perpetrators are presented in the media.


Dr Niamh NicGhabhann (Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick)

– Representing the history of mental health treatment and care in the   museum - negotiating issues of history, memory and responsibility.


Discussion Panel Chair:

Dr Emily Mark Fitzgerald (School Of Art History & Cultural Policy University College Dublin)


Participants' Biographies


Marie Keenan is a Forensic and Systemic Psychotherapist, Restorative Justice Practitioner, Researcher and Lecturer at the School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice, University College Dublin and a member of the Advisory Board of UCD’s Criminology Institute. Her recent publications include Child Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: Gender, Power and Organizational Culture, (2012) Oxford University Press, Broken Faith: Why Hope Matters (2013) Oxford: Lang, with Pat Claffey and Joe Egan (Eds) and Sexual Trauma and Abuse: Restorative and Transformative Possibilities? (2014), Dublin: UCD.



Niamh NicGhabhann is the course director for the MA Festive Arts Programme at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick. Her research focuses on Irish studies, with an emphasis on the art and architecture of Ireland, concepts of public space, memory, performance and the body. She is particularly interested in exploring these concepts through visual images, built landscapes, poetry and prose fiction. Her current research also includes work on arts management, cultural entrepreneurship and innovation, and ideas of measurement and value in the arts and cultural sector. She is a member of the editorial board of Artefact, the journal of the Irish Association of Art Historians, and her monograph, Medieval Ecclesiastical Buildings in Ireland, 1789-1915: Building on the Past, was published by Four Courts Press in 2015.



Liam Thornton is a graduate of University College Cork (BCL (Int.) and PhD) and a lecturer in law in UCD School of Law. Liam’s core research interests revolve around socio-economic rights within legal systems, with a particular focus on the socio-economic rights of asylum seekers.



Sinead O’Shea is a filmmaker and journalist. She began her career co-directing a television series called Sampler about alternative politics and culture which won an Irish Film and Television Award in 2003. She later worked with Newstalk and RTE before moving to London and joining Al Jazeera English when it launched in 2006. Since then she has made over 100 films and reports for the channel from all across the world but has recently returned to Ireland. Her three part series for Drivetime on the treatment of separated children in Ireland was made as part of the Mary Raftery Journalism Fund.

Sinead is now with The Irish Times and this year won a Media Justice Award for her work on direct provision. She is currently filming her first feature documentary about punishment shootings in Northern Ireland.



Dominic Thorpe is an Irish visual artist who works primarily through the body in performance, drawing, video and photography. His work often involves contextual and relational based processes. He has shown and performed work widely internationally and in Ireland, including at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the Bangkok Cultural Centre Thailand, Performance Space London and the Galway Arts Centre Ireland. He has received numerous awards and bursaries from the Arts Council of Ireland, the Kildare County Council, Culture Ireland and CREATE. For Unit1 he has co-curated the work of over 70 Irish and International artists. He currently works at the Creative Well public art project, Riverbank Arts Centre Newbridge and at KCAT arts centre Kilkenny. He is currently artist in resident at the humanities department of University College Dublin.



Dr Emilie Pine lectures in Modern Drama in the School of English, Drama and Film at UCD. Emilie has published widely on Irish cultural studies and her monograph The Politics of Irish Memory: Performing Remembrance in Contemporary Irish Culture is published by Palgrave (2011). She is currently writing a cultural history of Ireland in the 1930s, The Material State. Emilie is Assistant Editor of the Irish University Review and Judge for the 2013 Irish Times Theatre Awards. She is founder of the Irish Memory Studies Research Network.



Dr Emily Mark-FitzGerald is Lecturer in the School of Art History and Cultural Policy at UCD, where her research concerns public art, memory and commemoration, museology and the visual culture of migration/diaspora, and contemporary Irish and international art. She is co-director of the newly established UCD-NCAD Research Centre for Creative Arts & Critical Cultures, and one of the founding editors of the Irish Journal of Arts Management & Cultural Policy. Active also in the Irish arts and cultural community, she is one of the Directors of the Irish Museums Association, and runs the popular blog www.artsmanagement.ie reflecting on developments in the Irish cultural sector.



Symposium organised by

Dominic Thorpe and Dr Emilie Pine

Oct 29, 2015. Dublin Castle.