Dr Jennifer O'Mahoney is a lecturer in social, abnormal, and forensic psychology at the Waterford Institute of Technology. Her research focuses on how victimology and trauma are remembered and narrated by survivors and collectively by wider society. Jennifer has worked extensively with survivors of sexual assault across multiple projects. She has completed counselling training with both the Edinburgh Women's Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre and the Waterford Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre. She is currently the Principal Investigator of the Waterford Memories Project, an oral-history driven study in digital humanities, and the Irish P.I. of SASCA (Support to Adult Survivors of Child Abuse in institutional settings) a two year project co-founded by European Union through the EC Justice Programme.
Dr O'Mahoney's research focuses on memory and the psychological impact of trauma. She is currently involved in three research projects.
Jennifer is the principal investigator and project coordinator on the Waterford Oral History Project, which aims to contribute towards a better understanding of the system of Magdalene Institutions that existed in Ireland through the gathering and study of testimonies from people who are directly or indirectly related to these institutions. The Applied Arts department of the Waterford Institute of Technology is currently housed in the former site of St. Mary’s Laundry and St. Dominic’s Industrial School. As educators, custodians of this building, and members of the wider community the project will recognize the history and journey of the people whose lives were impacted by St. Mary’s and St. Domininc’s.
Dr. O'Mahoney is also the Irish principal investigator of SASCA (Support to Adult Survivors of Child Abuse in institutional settings). SASCA is a 24 month European project, co-financed by the Justice Programme of the EU. The project aims to examine child abuse in institutional settings, from the perspective of adult survivors, in order to understand the long term effects of such events; how and the survivors of these crimes may find protection and compensation in the existing legal framework; and how their experience may enlighten the design of a prevention strategy for the protection of children living today in residential care.
Jennifer is a member of the Management Committee for COST Action Cultures Of Victimology: understanding processes of victimization across Europe (2019-2023). This Action intends to develop an innovative, functional and overarching theoretical framework for cultural victimology. The research premises that understanding the mediating and moderating influence of cultural constructs on victimology will improve understanding of the extent to which the current victimological knowledge base can be generalized from the types of victimization and geographical locations that have been relatively extensively studied to elsewhere.
From 2002-2003 Jennifer was a psychology tutor at the University of Edinburgh's Department of Psychology and researcher at the Scottish Executive Justice Department, followed by positions as a research assistant and tutor at the University College Cork. Jennifer has been a Lecturer in Psychology at WIT since 2003, teaching courses in abnormal psychology, social psychology and psychology and crime.
Jennifer has completed counselling training with both the Edinburgh Women's Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre and the Waterford Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre. She is a chartered psychologist with the British Psychological Society and graduate member of the Psychological Society of Ireland.
European Commission Joint Justice & Daphne Grant (JUST/2015/SPOB/AG/VICT) 2017-2019 - SASCA
Heritage Council 2016 – Heritage Management Scheme
Irish Research Council 2016 - New Foundations Grant
Royal Irish Academy 2016 - Charlemont Grant
Heritage Council 2015 - Community based Heritage Grant Scheme
Evaluation Committee, Psychological Society of Ireland (Current)
Athena Swann Committee, WIT (Current)
Research Staff Forum, WIT (Current)
Research Committee, Department of Applied Arts, WIT (Current)
Ethics Committee, Department of Applied Arts, WIT (Current)
Member of the Committee for Ireland (2019-2023): COST Action - Cultures Of Victimology: understanding processes of victimization across Europe
Academic Council, WIT (2015-2017)
Member of the Committee for Ireland (2015-2016): COST Action - Social psychological dynamics of historical representations in the enlarged European Union
Elected WIT representative to the Aurora (2015): Developing future leaders for higher education programme