Shane O'Mahony

Personal statement

Shane's research examines the use of alcohol and drugs in historical and contemporary contexts. In particular, his published work has examined how and why the meaning of "addiction" and other concepts of problematic drug and alcohol use, change over time and across different cultures. His doctoral research also involved undertaking in-depth qualitative interviews with drug users, in order to explore their understandings of dominant theories of drug addiction, and whether these theories could account for their lived experience of drug addiction. Shane also researches and writes about cultural approaches to crime and violence, and has particularly focused on the issue of crime and emotions, as well as crime and boredom. He is an active member of the Irish Criminology Research Network, the Society for the Study of Addiction, and the Sociological Association of Ireland; and has contributed conference papers, research and academic blogs at various society events.

Shane has a wealth of experience of university teaching, delivering lectures and seminars in criminological theory, drug and alcohol use, cultural criminology, and criminological approaches to violence. Shane's approach to teaching is based on an understanding that knowledge is co-created, and therefore, his classes tend to be interactive, and based on a blended learning method with a particular emphasis on the use of multimedia content.

Academic qualifications

  • BA History & Psychology - University College Cork
  • MA Criminology - University College Cork
  • PhD Criminology - University of Manchester.

Professional memberships

  • Royal Academy of Medicine Ireland
  • Irish Criminology Research Network
  • Sociological Association of Ireland
  • Society for the Study of Addiction.

Teaching specialisms

  • Alcohol and drug use
  • Criminological theory
  • Violence.

Contact Shane about

  • If you're interested in postgraduate study in Criminology
  • If you're interested in working in the fields of alcohol and drugs and/or homelessness
  • Student funding and scholarship applications.


  • O’Mahony, S. (2018). “The neoliberalisation of addiction understandings in Ireland”. Irish Criminology Research Network. Available at: Irish Criminology Research Network.
  • O’Mahony, S. (2019). “From Shebeen’s to supervised injecting centres: The socio-historical construction and portrayal of addiction in modern Ireland”. Irish Journal of Sociology. 27(2); pp. 153-197.
  • O’Mahony, S. (2020) “A socio-historical deconstruction of the term addiction and an etiological model of drug addiction”. [PhD Thesis]. University of Manchester: Manchester. Available at:
  • O’Mahony, S. (Forthcoming). “A social history of addiction in Ireland”. The Routledge handbook of intoxicants and intoxication”. 1st Ed. Routledge: United Kingdom.

Conference papers

  • “The social deprivation addiction causal link and the ‘progressive’ development of Irish drug policy” - Sociological Association of Ireland annual conference 2018.
  • “The social development of understandings of addiction in Ireland” - Society for the Study of Addiction annual postgraduate conference 2018.
  • “The addicted habitus in Cork City” - Society for the Study of Addiction annual conference 2018.
  • “Field work and the researcher: The politics, practice and ethics of self in field research”. Methodx: Methods Northwest annual conference 2018.
  • Crack, smack and tac: The evolution of drug ecologies and the addicted habitus in Cork City”. Sociological Association of Ireland annual conference 2019.
  • “The disease model of addiction: structural and epistemic violence and the marginalisation of drug users” International Social Theory Consortium annual conference 2019.

Research impact

I've communicated my research findings to community drug services in Ireland, and presented my research at various academic conferences. I've also published my research in international peer reviewed academic journals.

Edit profile | Website feedback to