Tributes have been paid to former QUB academic Dr Vicky Conway, one of Ireland’s foremost researchers on policing, after her death.
Dr Conway was an associate professor of law at Dublin City University and civil rights campaigner. She was a former member of the Policing Authority and the Commission on the Future of Policing and host of the Policed in Ireland podcast.
In a short statement this morning, the School of Law and Government at Dublin City University (DCU) 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.”
A graduate of UCC and the University of Edinburgh as well as Queen’s University Belfast, she previously held positions at the University of Kent, QUB, the University of Limerick and the University of Leeds.
Professor Phil Scraton was Dr Conway’s Doctoral supervisor in Queen's Law School.
“Throughout her time at Queen's as a researcher and lecturer she was an inspiration to so many postgraduates, staff members and the students she taught. Dr Conway's books, articles and research reports have made a significant contribution to knowledge and to political reform,” he said.
“At Dublin City University she was Associate Professor in the School of Law and Government. We worked together on the Irish Council for Civil Liberties' research project on deaths in contested circumstances and the coronial process in Ireland and were about to collaborate on a new text.
“As a postgraduate student, colleague and friend, I witnessed her compassion and understanding for bereaved families who had been marginalised by a process that had failed them at every level.
“A wonderful person, always generous with her time and supportive to others, Vicky's untimely death is a profound loss to her family, her friends, the academic community and the many families with whom she worked,” he said.
Dr Conway was also a member of the Lawyers for Choice group which advocated for the repeal of the Republic of Ireland's 8th amendment banning abortion, and hosted members of many marginalised groups on her podcast.
“Ireland’s reproductive justice community is forever lessened for her loss,” Lawyers for Choice said on Twitter. “A fighter and an intellect in our cause.”
Dr Conway hosted the Policed in Ireland podcast series for tortoise shack, which foregrounds people’s first-hand experiences with gardai while contextualising them through expert commentary.
Tony Groves, co-founder of tortoise shack, said: “Words cannot express how devastating the loss of Vicky is. She meant so much and helped so many. We are heartbroken for her family and everyone who knew her.
“On a personal level, I will be forever grateful for the day that she said to me ‘I have an idea for a podcast’. Working with her and Brian on Policed was one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever been involved in.
“And that’s because she was one of the best people I’ve ever known. I’ll miss her terribly. Her listeners will miss her. And, such was the impact she made on all of society, Ireland will miss her.”