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Successfully submitted for the award of Masters in Criminology to the Dublin Institute of Technology, October 2007.


Moral Panic is a concept that examines disproportionate reaction towards an event or persons. In March of 2006, several events occurred which provoked strong reactions from the media and from politicians. This thesis explores and examines those reactions, and will try to determine if a moral panic could be said to have occurred. This is accomplished through a qualitative reading of the reactions, by identifying themes running through the discourse on crime of the time in question, and by applying indicators of moral panic to the data. The study finds that though the reactions may not necessarily indicate moral panic, coverage of the event in both the political and media spheres proved unsatisfactory, and a recommendation of a need for moderation in future discourse on crime is suggested.