Sharon McLaughlin is a graduate of NUI Galway having completed a BA in Public and Social Policy in 2001, an LLB in 2003, and a Masters in Public Law in 2006. Sharon was awarded her PhD in 2011 for her thesis entitled ‘The Protection of Children in the Online and New Audiovisual Services Environment’. Sharon currently lectures Media Law, EU Law, Criminology, Victimology and The Irish Legal System.
Research, Innovation & Engagement
Sharon specialises in Media and Communications law, with a particular focus on the protection, participation and empowerment of children in the online environment. She co-authored a book entitled ‘Media Law in Ireland’ (2018), part of Kluwer Law Online’s International Encyclopedia of Laws series, and co-edited a book entitled ‘Towards a Better Internet for Children? Policy Pillars, Players and Paradoxes’ (2013). She has also authored a number of book chapters, reports and journal articles in these areas and has delivered papers at conferences at home and abroad.
Since 2010, Sharon has been member of EU Kids Online, a multinational research network that seeks to enhance knowledge of European children’s online opportunities, risks and safety.
In terms of engagement, Sharon works with An Garda Síochána and the Donegal Sexual Assault Treatment Unit delivering workshops on various aspects of online sexual exploitation to secondary school students. She also collaborates with An Garda Síochána, Donegal Youth Service, the Donegal Women’s Domestic Violence Service and others in the delivery of modules such as Victimology and Criminology. At a cross-departmental level, Sharon is currently working with Dr Nigel McKelvey in the Department of Computing LYIT on the provision of workshops on digital citizenship to educators, funded by Grow with Google.