Tributes paid to ‘wonderful’ academic Vicky Conway following her death. Too young to die; a remarkable woman with academic achievements but most importantly a core interest in human rights (a former member of the Policing Authority, who also sat on the Commission on the future of Policing). Source: The Irish Times

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Tributes paid to ‘wonderful’ academic Vicky Conway following her death

Well known legal academic and former Policing Authority member also sat on the Commission on the Future of Policing

Dr Conway previously served as a member of the Policing Authority, which provides oversight of the Garda, as well as sitting on the Commission on the Future of Policing

Jack Power

Wed Jul 20 2022 – 13:42

Dr Vicky Conway, an academic and well known commentator on police reform, has died.

In a statement on Twitter, Dublin City University (DCU) school of law said: “We are terribly sad to have to share the passing of our colleague Vicky Conway. She was a wonderful person, wise and kind, and we will miss her”.

Dr Conway previously served as a member of the Policing Authority, which provides oversight of the Garda, as well as sitting on the Commission on the Future of Policing.

She joined the school of law and Government in DCU in 2015, having previously worked at the University of Kent, Queen’s University Belfast, the University of Limerick and the University of Leeds. She graduated from University College Cork, before completing a master’s degree in criminology at the University of Edinburgh, and was awarded a PhD from Queen’s University Belfast.

Bob Collins, chair of the Policing Authority, said Dr Conway had a “genuine desire” to ensure the human rights of the most vulnerable in society were upheld in their dealings with the Garda.

“Her contribution to, and impact on, the work of the Authority and the oversight of policing is an important legacy for which we should all be very grateful,” he said.

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said she was “deeply saddened” to hear of the death of the academic who had made an “important contribution” to society through her work.

“Her voice has been a prominent one in relation to policing and criminal justice, and was at all times one of conviction and challenge. Her deep commitment to the human rights of the most vulnerable was evident in all of her work,” she said.

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said Dr Conway made a “significant contribution to policing” both in Ireland and Britain. “Vicky’s passion for human rights-focused policing was evident in all her engagements with myself and my Garda colleagues. She was a strong and dedicated advocate for vulnerable members of society and minority communities,” he said.

Her colleague John Doyle, director of the DCU institute for conflict resolution, said “Vicky was much loved and admired by us all”.

Another colleague in the DCU school of law, Prof Christian Kaunert, said her “warmth, kindness and care for students and colleagues alike has been unsurpassed”.

Dr Sindy Joyce, an academic and Traveller rights campaigner, said Dr Conway had been a “wonderful, kind and compassionate person”.

Former Amnesty International Ireland director Colm O’Gorman described her as “the most wonderful person,” who had a “fantastic legal mind”.

The Abortion Rights Campaign said it was saddened to hear of her death. “Her work, like many, made a lasting change in Ireland, and we are better for having agitated alongside her,” the group said.

Lawyers for Choice, a group who campaigned for the repeal of the Eighth Amendment restricting abortion services, said the law lecturer was “a clever, kind, brilliant person”.

Sinn Féin TD Pádraig Mac Lochlainn said the academic had been “a leading voice in the modernisation and accountability of policing” in Ireland. Independent TD Thomas Pringle said Dr Conway had always provided “reasoned and empathetic advice” when working on issues before the Oireachtas committee on justice.

Former minister for justice Charlie Flanagan said Dr Conway “spoke truth to power” and made important contributions to policing reform and criminal justice matters.

The Irish Council for Civil Liberties described her as a “brilliant and groundbreaking academic”, who had been a “fearless voice for accountability” in Irish policing.

Dr Conway also hosted a podcast called Policed in Ireland, which discussed policing issues. The independent platform that produces the podcast, the Tortoise Shack said the academic “meant so much and helped so many” and had made a huge contribution to Irish society.Jack PowerJack Power

Jack Power is a reporter with The Irish Times

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