Professor Niamh Hourigan
Prof. Niamh Hourigan is a Sociologist and Vice-President of Academic Affairs at Mary Immaculate College.
As Vice-President of Academic Affairs, she is responsible for managing the academic activity of MIC and maintaining intellectual quality of the institution’s teaching and research. She also oversees a range of functions across the College including Student Academic Administration, Student Life, Teaching and Learning as well as Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Interculturalism.
She is currently a member of the Teaching Council, a member of the Board of the Central Applications Office (CAO) and a member of the Irish Department of Justice’s Review Team of Civil Legal Aid. Prior to her appointment at MIC, she served as Head of Department of Sociology at University College Cork. She began her academic career as Course Director of the BA Economic and Social Studies at NUI Galway.
Prof. Hourigan has worked for four Irish universities and has published widely on a variety of themes including value change, minority cultures, education, corruption, crime, and community violence. She has led research projects funded by the Irish Aid, Universities Ireland, and the Irish Research Council. Her sole authored books include Rule-breakers: Why ‘being there’ trumps ‘being fair’ in Ireland (Gill and Macmillan, 2015) and Escaping the Global Village: Media, Language and Protest (Lexington Books, 2003, 2004). She has also edited several texts: Understanding Limerick: Social Exclusion and Change (Cork University Press, 2011), Minority Language Media: Concepts, Critiques and Case Studies (with Mike Cormack, Multilingual Matters, 2007) and Social Movements and Ireland (Manchester University Press, 2006 with Linda Connolly).
Her PhD, which focused on minority language nationalism, was highly commended under the European Union Committee of the Region’s Doctoral Thesis Prize Competition. In 2010, she co-authored The TEACH Report (Traveller Education and Adults: Crisis, Challenge and Change) with Dr. Maria Campbell which mapped challenges faced by young Mincéirs (Irish Travellers) in the Irish education system. In 2011, she received the UCC CACSSS Special Research Commendation Award for her ethnographic research on organized crime and community violence in Ireland.
She has served as editor of the Irish Journal of Sociology and chaired the Editorial Committee of Cork University Press. Having worked as a journalist and radio presenter while completing her PhD, she is a frequent contributor to the Irish media on themes of sociological interest.