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DkIT Academic Gives Keynote Address in Serbia

27 April 2023

Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) are delighted to report that one of their academics, Dr Coleman A. Dennehy who is an assistant lecturer in the Department of Humanities, recently gave a prestigious keynote address at Iustoria 2023 conference in the Faculty of Law, University of Belgrade in Serbia. Dr Dennehy spoke on crime, punishment, and criminal law in an Irish colonial setting.

The paper he presented was essentially concerned with what exactly was the criminal law of Ireland in the late medieval and early modern period, and particularly what was the law of punishment at the time. It sought to understand the law through a colonial lens, asking whether the law was harsher in colonial Ireland than it might have been in England at the same time. Finally, it considered the practical application of the law on the ground. Dr Dennehy Said,

“Whilst Irish criminal law was probably harsher than in England ‘on paper’, and there was certainly plenty of racial or ethnic provisions relating to civility/barbarity issues, it was made clear that the application was usually not as severe as it might be”.

Dr Dennehy evidenced this through the unusually low conviction rate, jury connivance at the downgrading of the charge, post-conviction pleadings (such as benefit of the belly and benefit of clergy), and the emerging use of incarceration as a form of punishment.

Dr Dennehy’s interests include early modern history, the history of representative assemblies, appellate legal history, and the history of crime and punishment. He has published many articles and chapters and has four books to his name: Restoration Ireland: Always settling and never settled; The Irish parliament, 1613-89: The evolution of a colonial institution; Law and revolution in Seventeenth Century Ireland; Henry Bennet, Earl of Arlington, and his world: Restoration court, politics and diplomacy (with Robin Eagles).

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