Appointment of Professor Eilionóir Flynn

Sep 05 2018 Posted: 11:05 IST

The School of Law is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Eilionóir Flynn as Established Professor of Law in the School of Law / Centre for Disability Law and Policy. Eilionóir is the Director of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, National University of Ireland Galway. She is a graduate of University College Cork (BCL, PhD), and published her first book with Cambridge University Press in 2011, entitled “From Rhetoric to Action: Implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.”

Eilionóir’s current research interests include legal capacity, advocacy, access to justice, and the intersectionality of disability, gender and ageing. In 2014 she was awarded a European Research Council Starting Grant for the VOICES project, to document the narratives of people with lived experience of legal capacity denial. An edited collection from this project, entitled “Global Perspectives on Legal Capacity Reform: Our Voices, Our Stories” was published by Routledge in 2018.

She is passionate about educating a new generation of disability activists and scholars, and will co-ordinate a new Marie Curie Training Network known as DARE (Disability Advocacy Research in Europe) of 15 early stage researchers across seven European countries from 2019-2021. In 2018 she was awarded a Wellcome Trust Investigator Award for a project entitled “Re(al) Productive Justice: Gender and Disability Perspectives.”

At a national level she is actively engaged in the process of legal capacity reform, and co-ordinates a working group of over 15 civil society organizations in the fields of disability, mental health and older people on this issue. Internationally, she has supported the Secretariat of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and in particular the working group which developed General Comment 1. She can be contacted at

Recent Funding Successes


Professor Flynn has secured €4.1m in funding from the European Commission’s Marie Curie programme for a new European-wide training network for early stage researchers in the field of disability rights. This network is known as the DARE Project (Disability Advocacy and Research for Europe) and will be co-ordinated by the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at the National University of Ireland, Galway, with the collaboration of 7 partner institutions: the Institute for Social and Political Sciences (Portugal) , Maastricht University (Netherlands), University of Leeds (UK), the European Disability Forum, the European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities, the University of Iceland and Swiss Paraplegic Research.The primary aim of DARE is to equip a new generation of researchers to respond to global challenges facing persons with disabilities and policy makers. Its goal is to give legitimacy, through research, to the lived experience of persons with disabilities, as a basis for law reform. Two new researchers from this network will be based full time at NUI Galway, and their research will focus on the intersectionality of disability and ageing, and on the roles of NHRIs and Ombudsmen in monitoring human rights obligations.
Fifteen Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) will be recruited across the network on a full-time basis over three years starting in September 2019 and will explore and develop recommendations for disability law and policy reform in light of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. All of the researchers will also have the opportunity to gain invaluable and funded work experience with leading civil society groups such as JUSTICE (UK), AGE Platform Europe (Belgium), the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Switzerland), the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (USA) the European Group of National Human Rights Institutions  Pi Consultancy (Netherlands), University of Limerick (Ireland), LUMOS (UK), Christian Blind Mission (Ireland), European Social Network (UK), European Association of Palliative Care (Belgium) and Vision Sense (UK).


Professor Flynn has received an Investigator Award of £812,835 from the Wellcome Trust for her research project entitled “Re(al) Productive Justice: Gender and Disability Perspectives”. The key goal of this project is to make visible the experiences of disabled people in Ireland seeking reproductive justice. The project will achieve its goal using three complementary approaches. First, it will critically analyse the legislative and policy frameworks regulating reproductive decision-making for disabled people in Ireland in light of human rights norms. Second, it will use an oral history methodology to document the lived experience of disabled people in making reproductive choices in Ireland. Finally, it will draw on the findings from the legislative analysis and oral histories to develop a toolkit for health and social care practitioners. This toolkit will clearly outline the applicable legal regulation of this field in a manner accessible to practitioners, and document the supports which could be used to ensure respect for the reproductive rights of disabled people in health and social care decision-making processes. Three new researchers will be recruited to join the CDLP for this project, which will run for 3.5 years from December 2018.


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