Meet the Grief Study Research Team

I’m Mark McCann. I’m a Research Statistician at the Institute of Child Care Research, and the Principal Investigator for the Grief Study. I’ve worked in the ICCR since 2009, but before that I worked on my PhD in the Centre for Public Health. My Doctoral thesis used the NILS, and looked at risk factors for admission to care homes for older people, including the importance of wealth and house value for the risk of care home admission; and reasons for the gender difference in the risk of being placed in a care home.
Since starting in the ICCR, I’ve worked on projects studying a parenting programme for Parents of Teenagers, looking at young people’s experience of sexual health clinics. Working with the Belfast Youth Development Study Team, I’ve collaborated on topics ranging from offending behaviour in adolescents, affluence and its effect on young people’s problematic alcohol use, and the effect of ecstasy use on depression.
In work, I’m interested in statistical methodology and its applications, drug and alcohol use, mental health, and social justice and equality – particularly in relation to health. These interests are what led to the idea for the Grief Study, to try and find ways to better support people finding it difficult to cope after losing someone close to them.
Outside of work, I enjoy swimming (please sponsor me for Marie Curie Cancer Care Swimathon), going on motorbike tours around Ireland, drinking Whiskey and playing the Banjolin. Not all at the same time. You can tweet or follow me @Mark_ICCR


My name is Aideen Maguire and I am a Research Fellow at the Institute of Child Care Research, working on the Grief Study. I have just recently been awarded my PhD in Epidemiology (January 2013) which focused on Measuring Mental Health in Northern Ireland. My undergraduate degree was in Social Psychology, obtained from the University of Ulster, Coleraine, and I later went on to complete a Masters in Social Research methods at QUB. The main focus of my PhD project was utilising population-wide antidepressant and anxiolytic medication prescribing data as a proxy indicator of population mental health. I was particularly interested in discovering which individual, household, area and GP practice level factors determined antidepressant and anxiolytic prescription variation within Northern Ireland.
My current research interests include pharmcoepidemiology and public health, especially issues surrounding mental health and the pharmacological treatment of mental disorders. What interested me most about the Grief study was the idea of medicalising sadness. I have an interest in the increasing use of pharmacological treatments for common mood disorders such as depression and anxiety and the exploration of prescribing practices post bereavement is extremely intriguing. In addition the longitudinal nature of the data available in the study allows for analysis of the long term effects of bereavement on mental health. Everyone will suffer loss in their lives, and most will react with normal sadness, but this study allows for the exploration of the factors that elucidate disorder post bereavement and those that protect against it.

Ah, when to the heart of man
Was it ever less than a treason
To go with the drift of things,
To yield with a grace to reason,
And bow and accept the end
Of a love or a season?

Robert Frost

I’m John Moriarty; I’m a Research Assistant at the Institute of Child Care Research working full time on the Grief Study. I studied Applied Psychology and am currently preparing my research dissertation on how adolescents influence one another’s drug use. My research has centred on how people internalise what others expect of them, and what knock-on effect this has on their health. In this context, bereavement interests me because when someone close to us dies, our own roles shift about and their death will change what is expected of us. The expectation that people will grieve in a certain way may be helpful to some who struggle with how to respond or feel; for others, feeling the need to perform one’s grief may compound feelings of stress.
Outside of work and dissertation, I’m currently reading Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby and writing a fan fiction version in which the frustrated protagonist grows up attending Dublin hurling matches. When the whirring of my laptop fans becomes too much, I either go to a gig or play 5-a-side soccer. Tweets to @John_ICCR are most welcome.


I’m Dermot O’Reilly; I’m a Senior Lecturer at the Centre of Public Health, and the Co- Investigator for the Grief Study. My main research interests have been in social epidemiology and in getting bits of data to talk to each other to advance this field. More recently however, I have been doing more research on the ageing process, though I must declare an interest as I seem to be getting on a bit. Outside work I work hard at trying to get a life and to understand jazz.

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