Tributes have poured in for Dublin City University (DCU) academic and police reform commentator Dr Vicky Conway after her death was confirmed this morning.
In a statement on Twitter, DCU’s 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.”
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. pic.twitter.com/bnxczPcJ5C
— Law and Gov DCU (@LawGovDCU) July 20, 2022
Dr Conway joined DCU in 2015 and was made associate professor of law in 2017. She was a member of the Commission on the Future of Policing and served twice as a member of the Policing Authority.
Minister for Justice Helen McEntee led tributes to Dr Conway, describing her voice in relation to policing and criminal justice as “one of conviction and challenge”.
“I am deeply saddened to hear of the death of Dr Vicky Conway,” she said. “Vicky made an important contribution to Irish society through her academic and professional work.
“She was a member of the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland and served two terms as a member of the Policing Authority, making a substantial contribution to developing the oversight of policing in Ireland.
“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.
“I would like to express my heartfelt condolences to Vicky’s family and loved ones, her friends, colleagues and all the students she inspired through her teaching. Vicky’s untimely passing has shocked and saddened us all. May she rest in peace.”
Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said Dr Conway was “a strong and dedicated advocate for vulnerable members of society and minority communities.”
“An Garda Síochána is saddened to learn of the death of Dr Vicky Conway,” he said in a statement.
“Dr Conway made a significant contribution to policing here and in the UK through her academic research, publications and lectures, as well as her membership of both the Policing Authority and the Commission on the Future of Policing in Ireland.
“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.
“An Garda Síochána sends its condolences to Vicky’s family and friends.”
The Policing Authority said it was “deeply saddened” to learn of the death of its former member, saying Dr Conway made an “invaluable contribution to its work”.
Chairperson Bob Collins said: “Vicky’s contribution to policing was rooted not only in academic curiosity but in a genuine desire to ensure that everyone’s engagement with the Garda Síochána, in particular those most vulnerable in our society, was rooted in a respect for their humanity and a vindication of their human rights.
“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.
“Those of us who worked very closely with Vicky witnessed not only her passion for oversight but her strong appreciation of the challenging work that police officers perform on our behalf and a desire to improve things on the ground for them.”