UNESCO Chair, and Director
+353 (0)91 49 2930

Prof. Dolan is joint founder and Director of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre and an Academic Director of the M.A. in Family Support Studies. He also contributes to the wider undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes of the School of Political Science and Sociology as well as supervising Ph.D. candidates and Masters Dissertations in Family Support, Social Work and Community Development.

Associate Director
+353 (0)91 49 5397

Dr. John Canavan is joint founder and Associate Director of the Child and Family Research Centre. He has extensive experience in researching and evaluating social intervention programmes in the areas of child and family care, educational disadvantage, and community and local development. He received his PhD from Queens University, Belfast in 2006 and holds an MA in Community Development from NUI, Galway.

Manager of Strategic Development
+353 (0)91 49 3879

Aileen Shaw joined the Child and Family Research Centre as the Manager of Strategic Development in 2007. She has extensive experience in fundraising and nonprofit management.

Aileen Shaw
Business Manager
+353 (0)91 49 5872

Emily O’Donnell was appointed to the position of Business Manager of the Child and Family Research Centre in 2008. Emily is responsible for the day to day operational and financial management of the centre.

As a graduate of NUI, Galway, Emily holds a BA in French and Italian, Higher Diploma in Business Studies and a Higher Diploma in Marketing Practice.

Prior to joining the Child and Family Research Centre, Emily worked in a number of business and marketing roles in the financial, education and communications sector.

+353 (0)91 49 5398

Gillian is currently the administrator for the Child and Family Research Centre. Since joining the CFRC in 2006, Gillian has provided support to the MA in Family Support Studies and works on a range of event management and operational areas at the Centre. Gillian holds a BA in Business Studies from the GMIT, Galway and a Higher Diploma in Education from NUI, Galway.

Prior to commencing employment at the CFRC, Gillian worked in a number of administrative roles in the Health and Technology sectors.

+353 (0)91 49 5759

Bernadine Brady is a Lecturer in the School of Political Science & Sociology and has been a Researcher in the Child and Family Research Centre since 2003. She is an experienced mixed-methods researcher, with particular expertise in relation to children’s policy and services. In recent years, Bernadine was lead researcher on evaluations of the Foróige youth citizenship programme and the Big Brothers Big Sisters Programme in Ireland and has previously undertaken studies in relation to children’s participation, family welfare conferencing and young carers in the CFRC.

+353(0) 91 49 3522

Anne Cassidy is a postdoctoral researcher working on the Mainstreaming and Development Programme with particular responsibility for the Meitheal and Child and Family Networks Evaluation. She is also part of the Centre’s UNESCO Youth Research Group. Anne also contributes to the BA in Early Childhood Studies and Practice (Final Year Dissertation Tutor) as well as the BA in Youth and Family Studies (Qualitative Research Methods).

+353(0)91 49 5396

Dr. Nuala Connolly is a postdoctoral researcher in the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre. Nuala is experienced in multi-method and multi-themed child and youth research, including longitudinal evaluation and field-based action research.

+353 (0)91 49 5733

Carmel is a Lecturer and Course Director of the Master Degree in Family Support Studies in the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway. Carmel is lead researcher on a number of practice based projects for the HSE and has designed and delivered a number of Family Support training initiatives for managers and practitioners. Carmel has also worked for many years in children and family services as both a practitioner and manager. Carmel’s recent publications and conference presentations are in the area of Family Support, child welfare and protection, and wellbeing.

Carmel Devaney
+353 (0)91 49 5732

Allyn Fives is a Lecturer in Political Science and Sociology and has carried out research at the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre since January 2009. His research projects include the RCT evaluation of the Barnardos Wizards of Words (WoW) reading programme, the national study of Young Carers in the Irish Population commissioned by the OMCYA, the evaluation of the Triple P parenting programme delivered by LWPP, and evaluations of the Restorative Practice programme in Tallaght West and the Belong project.

+353 (0)91 49 3653 / (0)71 9195544

Cormac is the Programme Coordinator of the BA in Youth and Family Studies (GY120), a three-year degree offered by NUI Galway in conjunction with St. Angela’s College, Sligo. As well as lecturing on this programme, he also provides inputs to the MA in Community Development, the MA in Family Support and to the Structured Ph.D. Programme at the School of Political Science and Sociology.

+353 (0)91 49 2062

Sheila is an Academic Coordinator of the BA Honours Degree in Early Childhood Studies & Practice, delivered through the Adult & Continuing Education department of NUI Galway. Sheila lectures on the programme and supports the lecturing team within the programme. As part of her role with the UNESCO CFRC Sheila has contributed to the MA in Family Support Studies, the MA in Community Development, and to the BA Connect in Childhood Studies.

+353 (0)91 49 5731

Danielle Kennan is experienced in applied social science and legal research. Danielle has taught, researched, and published in the field of children’s rights and child well-being. She has a particular expertise in the area of a child’s right to participate in decision making. She is currently a post-doctoral researcher on the Tusla Development and Mainstreaming Programme supporting prevention, partnership and family support.

+353 (0)91 49 5966

Fergal joined the Child and Family Research Centre in September 2009 as Researcher – Service Development and Design. Fergal previously worked in practice with the HSE as a Community Development Worker with responsibility for the development of family support services in North Tipperary, as a Child Protection Social Worker in Galway and as a Social Worker with out of home adolescents as part of the Crisis Intervention Service in Dublin.

Fergal Landy
Part-time Lecturer

Berni Smyth is a part time Lecturer with the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, NUI Galway. For a number of years, she has lectured on various post and undergraduate courses including the Masters in Family Support, Masters in Social Work, Masters in Community Development and the BA in Youth and Community Studies.

Berni has a Masters in Family Support (NUI Galway) and has undertaken research into intensive family support and the perceived social support networks of adolescent asylum seekers, refugees and migrants.

Brian Fox has recently joined the Centre as an intern. He is involved in different research-related tasks for the Centre and School of Political Science and Sociology under the supervision of research staff. His is based in ILAS on a three-day from May to August 2015.

Brian has recently completed the Mature Access Course in NUI Galway. He is planning to start an Undergraduate Course in Sociology and Political Science in September this year.

Research Assistant
+353 (0)91 49 5734

Iwona O'Donoghue provides research assistance to Professor Pat Dolan, UNESCO Chair in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement. Since joining the CFRC in 2009, Iwona has been responsible for the administration, coordination and management of activities relating to the UNESCO Chair.

In addition to her work with the UNESCO Chair, Iwona assists in the delivery and coordination of centre projects and events.