Researchers at UCD


Fiona McNicholas

Professor of Child & Adoles. Psychiatry

School Of Medicine



Prof Fiona McNicholas is a Consultant in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in Lucena Clinic, Rathgar and Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin. She trained in Psychiatry in Guys Hospital, and in Child Psychiatry in Great Ormond Street Hospital, London. She carried out a research fellowship in Stanford University, CA in 1999-2001 and returned as visiting professor in 2013/2014. She was Assistant Professor at Columbia University, NY prior to her appointment as chair in UCD in 2001. 




Association: The Lucena Foundation ¿ Psycho-education, parents evening, SESS, NSBU. , Function/Role: Co-Founder
Association: Working group on Eating Disorders, HSE 2007, Function/Role: Member
Association: Association of Child Psychology and Psychiatry (ACPP) now called child and adolescent mental health (ACAMH) Chair-2003-2005, Function/Role: Member
Association: Working group on Mental Health in Primary Care, HSE, Function/Role: Member
Association: Child Mental and Emotional Health Project Team, Programme for Action Children (PAC), HSE , Function/Role: Member
Association: Association of Eating Disorder , Function/Role: Member
Association: American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists., Function/Role: Member
Association: St. John of God Research Foundation., Function/Role: Director
Association: National Clinical Programme for Eating Disorder (2012-2013), Function/Role: National Clinical Lead
Association: Irish College of psychiatry ADHD SIG (2015- ), Function/Role: Chair and Founder

Conference Contributions

McNicholas, F (2015) Service gaps and potential innovations for young adults with ADHD: Stakeholder views and case note evidence from Ireland and the UK. [Oral Presentation], European Society of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Madrid , 23-JUN-15 - 23-JUN-15.
McNicholas, F (2015) Transition from child to adult service, fix that gap!. [Oral Presentation], National study day on psychosis and transitioning. Lucena Clinic, Rathgar, Dublin , 22-MAY-15 - 22-MAY-15.
O'Hara, L; McNamara, N; O'Connor, C; McNicholas, F (2015) Living with an eating disorder: A qualitative analysis of the perspectives of Irish young people and their parents. [Oral Presentation], European Conference on Youth Mental Health, Venice , 16-DEC-15 - 18-DEC-15.
O'Hara, L; McNamara, N; O'Connor, C; McNicholas, F (2015) In their own words: a qualitative analysis of adolescents¿ accounts of living with an eating disorder. [Invited Lecture], Annual Meeting of the British Psychological Society Developmental and Social Psychology Sections, Manchester , 09-SEP-15 - 11-SEP-15.
O'Hara, L; McNamara, N; Cullen, W; Dooley, B; Hastings, J; Nichols, D; McNicholas, F (2015) She¿s slipping away, we have to catch her quick! A qualitative analysis of parents¿ accounts of caring for a child with an eating disorder¿. [Oral Presentation], International Conference on Eating Disorders, Boston , 23-APR-15 - 25-APR-15.
McEnery, Dooley, B., Fitzgerald, A., & McNicholas, F. (2013) Getting the measure of males. [Oral Presentation], 15th Annual Congress of the European Society for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Dublin Convention Centre , 07-JUL-13 - 09-JUL-13.


Year 1989 Institution:
Qualification: Dip Chin Psychology Subject:
Year 1995 Institution:
Qualification: MD Subject:
Year 1985 Institution:
Qualification: MB, MCh, BAO Subject:



Twohig, A. and Molloy, E.J. and Mcnicholas, F. (2012) Preterm infant mental health: The attachment and social-emotional development of preterm infants. : Nova Science Publishers, Inc. [Details]
Buckley, S; Gavin, B; McNicholas, F (2009) Mental Health in Children and Adults: A Guide for Teachers. Drogheda: Mulberry Publications. [Details]
Sharkey, L; McNicholas, F (2004) The Elective Mutism Manual: A guide for Parents, Teachers, Clinicians and the Child. Dublin: MAC Communications. [Details]

Book Chapters

Hirota, T; Milavić, G; McNicholas, F; Frodl, T; Skokauskas, N (2016) 'Depression in children and adolescents' In: Frodl, T (eds). Systems Neuroscience in Depression. Netherlands: Elsevier. [Details]
McNicholas, F (1998) 'Child Psychiatry' In: Lawlor, B (eds). Psychiatry Revision for Membership. Unknown: Unknown. [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

McNicholas, F; Tatlow-Golden, M; Gavin, B; Singh, S (2016) 'A systematic review of service transition for people with ADHD'. European Psychiatry, 33 :s38. [Details]
Leahy, D; Schaffalitzky, E; Saunders, J; Armstrong, C; Meagher, D; Ryan, P (2016) 'Role of GP in providing early intervention for youth MH'. Early Intervention in Psychiatry, . [Details]
Kearney, A; O¿Hara, L; McNicholas, F (2016) 'Assessing the efficacy of eTOC alerts in Child and Adolescent mental health specialist library'. Journal of Hospital Librarianship, 16 (2):145-151. [Details]
Twohig, A; Reulbach, U; Figuerdo, R; McCarthy, A; McNicholas, F; Molloy, EJ (2016) 'Supporting preterm infant attachment and socio-emotional development in the neonatal intensive care unit: staff perceptions'. Infant Mental Health Journal, . [Details]
O'Connor, C; McNamara, N; O'Hara, L; McNicholas, F (2016) 'Eating Disorder Literacy and stigmatizing attitudes amongst adolescents'. Advances in Eating Disorders, . [Details]
Hayden, J. and Flood, M. and McNicholas, F. (2015) 'ADHD in children: a path to free medicines'. Irish Journal of Medical Science, . Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Schaffalitzky E, Leahy D;Armstrong C;Gavin B;Latham L;McNicholas F;Meagher D;O'Connor R;O'Toole T;Smyth BP;Cullen W (2015) ''Nobody really gets it': a qualitative exploration of youth mental health in deprived urban areas'. Early Intervention in Psychiatry, 9 (5):406-411. [DOI] [Details]
Leahy D, Schaffalitzky E;Saunders J;Armstrong C;Meagher D;Ryan P;Dooley B;McNicholas F;McGorry P;Cullen W (2015) 'Role of the general practitioner in providing early intervention for youth mental health: a mixed methods investigation'. Early Intervention in Psychiatry, . [DOI] [Details]
Coyne I, McNamara N;Healy M;Gower C;Sarkar M;McNicholas F (2015) 'Adolescents' and parents' views of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in Ireland'. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 22 (8):561-569. [DOI] [Details]
McNicholas, F; Adamson, M; McNamara, N; Gavin, B; Paul, M; Ford, T; Barry, S; Dooley, B; Coyne, I; Cullen, W; Singh, SP (2015) 'Who is in the transition gap? Transition from CAMHS to AMHS in the Republic of Ireland'. Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine, 32 (S 01):61-69. [DOI] [Details]
McNicholas, F; Healy, E; White, M; Sheridan-Pereira, M; O'Connor, S; Coakley, S; Dooley, B. (2015) 'Mental health outcomes at age 11 of very low birth weight infants in Ireland'. Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine, . [DOI] [Details]
McNicholas, F. and Oâ¿¿Connor, C. and Oâ¿¿Hara, L. and McNamara, N. (2015) 'Stigma and treatment of eating disorders in Ireland: healthcare professionalsâ¿¿ knowledge and attitudes'. Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine, . Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Johnson, K.; Healy, E.; Dooley,B.; Kelly, S. & McNicholas, F. (2015) 'Children born with low birth weight show difficulties with sustained attention but not response inhibition'. Child Neuropsychology, 21 (5):629-647. [DOI] [Details]
McNicholas F, Orakwue N (2014) 'Safe and judicious paediatric psychotropic prescribing'. Irish Medical Journal, 107 (2):41-43. [Details]
McNamara N, McNicholas F;Ford T;Paul M;Gavin B;Coyne I;Cullen W;O'Connor K;Ramperti N;Dooley B;Barry S;Singh SP (2014) 'Transition from child and adolescent to adult mental health services in the Republic of Ireland: an investigation of process and operational practice'. Early Intervention in Psychiatry, 8 (3):291-297. [DOI] [Details]
Leahy D, Schaffalitzky E;Armstrong C;Bury G;Cussen-Murphy P;Davis R;Dooley B;Gavin B;Keane R;Keenan E;Latham L;Meagher D;McGorry P;McNicholas F;O'Connor R;O'Dea E;O'Keane V;O'Toole TP;Reilly E;Ryan P;Sanci L;Smyth BP;Cullen W (2014) 'Primary care and youth mental health in Ireland: qualitative study in deprived urban areas'. BMC Family Practice, 14 . [DOI] [Details]
Hervas A, Huss M;Johnson M;McNicholas F;van Stralen J;Sreckovic S;Lyne A;Bloomfield R;Sikirica V;Robertson B (2014) 'Efficacy and safety of extended-release guanfacine hydrochloride in children and adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: a randomized, controlled, phase III trial'. European Neuropsychopharmacology, 24 (12):1861-1872. [DOI] [Details]
Leahy, D. Schaffalitzky, E. Armstrong, C. Bury, G. Cussen-Murphy, P. Davis, R. Dooley, B. Gavin, B. Keane, R. Keenan, E. Latham, L. Meagher, D. McGorry, P. McNicholas, F. O'Connor, R. O'Dea, E. O'Keane, V. O'Toole, T. Reilly, E. Ryan, P. Sanci, L. Smyth, B. and Cullen, W. (2013) 'Primary care and youth mental health in Ireland: qualitative study in deprived urban areas'. BMC Family Practice, 14 (194):1-11. [DOI] [Details]
Roche E, King R;Mohan HM;Gavin B;McNicholas F (2013) 'Payment of research participants: current practice and policies of Irish research ethics committees'. Journal of Medical Ethics, 39 (9):591-593. [DOI] [Details]
O'Keeffe N, Gavin B;McNicholas F (2013) 'Survey on critical incident reporting in a child and adolescent mental health service'. International Journal of Risk and Safety in Medicine, 25 (1):33-38. [DOI] [Details]
McNicholas, F., Dooley, B., McNamara, N. & Lennon, R. (2012) 'The Impact of Self-Reported Pubertal Status and Pubertal Timing on Disordered Eating in Irish Adolescents'. European Eating Disorders Review, 20 (5):355-362. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Connolly D, Leahy D;Bury G;Gavin B;McNicholas F;Meagher D;O'Kelly FD;Wiehe P;Cullen W (2012) 'Can general practice help address youth mental health? A retrospective cross-sectional study in Dublin's south inner city'. Early Intervention in Psychiatry, 6 (3):332-340. [DOI] [Details]
McNicholas F (2012) 'To adhere or not, and what we can do to help'. European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 21 (12):657-663. [DOI] [Details]
Malone KM, Quinlivan L, McGuinness S, McNicholas F, Kelleher C (2012) 'Suicide in Children over Two decades: 1993-2008'. Irish Medical Journal, 105(7): :231--233. [Details]
Drumm BR, Bourke B, Drummond J, McNicholas F, Quinn S, Broderick A, Taaffe S, Twomey J, Rowland M (2012) 'Cyclic vomiting syndrome in children:A prospective study'. Neurogastroenterology and Motility, . [Details]
Skokauskas, N,McNicholas, F,Masaud, T,Frodl, T; (2011) 'Complementary medicine for children and young people who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder'. Current Opinion in Psychiatry, 24 :291-300. [DOI] [Details]
McNicholas F, O'Connor N;Bandyopadhyay G;Doyle P;O'Donovan A;Belton M (2011) 'Looked after children in Dublin and their mental health needs'. Irish Medical Journal, 104 (4):105-108. [Details]
McNicholas, F., Dooley, B., Keogh, L., Lydon, A., Lennon, R., Ahern, S., Coyle, C., Whelan, A. & O'Donoghue, L.; (2010) 'Eatig problems in Irish children and adolescents - EPICA'. Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine, 27 (4):172-178. [Details]
McNicholas, F., Lydon, A., Lennon, R. & Dooley, B.; (2009) 'Eating concerns and media influences in an Irish Adolescent Context'. European Eating Disorders Review, 17 (3):208-213. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Sharkey, L,McNicholas, F; (2008) ''More than 100 years of silence', elective mutism - A review of the literature'. Europe, 17 :255-263. [DOI] [Details]
Johnson KA, Barry E;Bellgrove MA;Cox M;Kelly SP;D¿¿ibhis A;Daly M;Keavey M;Watchorn A;Fitzgerald M;McNicholas F;Kirley A;Robertson IH;Gill M (2008) 'Dissociation in response to methylphenidate on response variability in a group of medication na¿¿ve children with ADHD'. Neuropsychologia, 46 (5):1532-1541. [DOI] [Details]
McGarry J, McNicholas F, Buckley H, Kelly BD, Atkin L, Ross N (2008) 'The clinical effectiveness of a brief consultation and advisory approach compared to treatment as usual in child and adolescent mental health services'. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 13 (3):365-376. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Sharkey, L,Mc Nicholas, F,Barry, E,Begley, M,Ahern, S; (2008) 'Group therapy for selective mutism - A parents' and children's treatment group'. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 39 :538-545. [DOI] [Details]
Migone, M,Mc Nicholas, F,Lennon, R; (2008) 'Are we following the European charter? Children, parents and staff perceptions'. Child: Care, Health and Development, 34 :409-417. [DOI] [Details]
Murrin C, Mc Nicholas F, Keogh L, Shiely F, Corrigan H, Nic Gabhainn S, Kelleher CC ; (2007) 'Correlates of increased risk of eating disorders in Irish school children'. Irish Medical Journal, 100 (7):37-39. [Details]
Whitaker, AH,Feldman, JF,Lorenz, JM,Shen, S,McNicholas, F,Nieto, M,McCulloch, D,Pinto-Martin, JA,Paneth, N; (2006) 'Motor and cognitive outcomes in nondisabled low-birth-weight adolescents - Early determinants'. Pediatrics, 160 :1040-1046. [Details]
McNicholas, F,McKenna, L; (2003) 'Treatment of early onset bipolar disorder NOS, with low dose carbamazepine'. Irish Journal of Psychology, 20 :69-71. [Details]

Conference Publications

McEnery, F; Dooley, B; Fitzgerald; A & McNicholas, F (2013) Getting the measure of males . In: Jan K. Buitelaar eds. 15th International Congress of ESCAP - European Society for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Dublin, Ireland, , 06-JUL-13 - 10-JUL-13 , pp.S182-S182 [Details]
McEnery, F., Dooley, B., Fitzgerald, A., & McNicholas, F. (2013) Getting the measure of males 15th Annual Congress of the European Society for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry [Details]
McNamara, N; McNicholas, F; Coyne,I; Gavin, B; Barry,S; Dooley, B; Cullen, W; Singh, S; Paul, M & Ford, T (2013) Service providers' accounts of transition from child and adolescent to adult mental health services in Ireland . In: Jan K. Buitelaar eds. 15th International Congress of ESCAP - European Society for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Dublin, Ireland, , 06-JUL-13 - 10-JUL-13 , pp.S92-S92 [Details]
McNicholas, F. and Dooley, B. ; (2010) Pubertal Onset and Eating Disorders International Conference on Eating Disorders Salzburg, Austria, , 10-JUN-10 - 12-JUN-10 , pp.80-80 [Details]
Keogh, L., Dooley, B., McNicholas, F., Ahern, A. ; (2008) Adolescent eating disorder psychopathology on a continuum: A comparison of normal controls, community screen positives and cases in treatment for an eating disorder in Ireland International Conference on Eating Disorders Seattle, USA, , 15-MAY-08 - 17-MAY-08 , pp.10 [Details]
McNicholas, F., Dooley, B. & Keogh; (2007) Eating problems in children and adolescents: an epidemiological study of Irish adolescents American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 54th Annual Meeting Boston, MA, , 23-OCT-07 - 28-OCT-07 [Details]
Keogh, L., Dooley, B. & McNicholas, F.; (2007) The validity of the EDE in discriminating adolescents with and without eating problems in Ireland American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 54th Annual Meeting Boston, MA, , 23-OCT-07 - 28-OCT-07 [Details]


O'Keeffe N, Gavin BE;McNicholas F (2013) Portrayal of youth mental health in the media. Editorial [Details]


Drumm, B,Bourke, B,McNicholas, F,Broderick, A,Quinn, S,Drummond, J,Rowland, M (2011) CYCLICAL VOMITING SYNDROME, A PROSPECTIVE STUDY. Abstract [Details]


Sharkey, L,McNicholas, F (2006) Untitled - Response. Letters [Details]


Research Interests

Prof McNicholas clinical and research interests are ADHD, Selective Mutism and Eating Disorders and has published extensively in these areas. She is an active teacher, running postgraduate courses in child mental health, and providing training events for teachers and other professionals working with children. She is passionate about increasing public, professional and family awareness of mental health problems in children and providing the necessary information regarding treatment and prevention. 

Research Projects

Sponsor : Irish Research Council (IRC)
Title : What the Irish Youth Experts by Experience Panel (YEEP!) say about the mental health needs of young people with 22q11.2DS (22QYeep!)
Start Date / End Date : 01-MAR-16 / 30-NOV-16
Sponsor : Irish Research Council (IRC)
Title : Developing the evidence base on psycho-educational parenting programmes to enhance the mental health resilience of children and young people with 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome (Eb-PEPP)
Start Date / End Date : 01-MAR-16 / 01-NOV-16
Sponsor : National University of Malaysia
Title : Eating, Exercise and Body image of Young Irish Males and Impact On Self-Esteem and General Well-being
Start Date / End Date : 02-JAN-16 / 01-JAN-19
Sponsor : Shire Pharmaceuticals Ireland Ltd
Title : Financial support for the ADHD Meeting October 2016
Start Date / End Date : 01-JUN-16 / 31-DEC-16
Sponsor : Health Research Board (HRB)
Title : Transition from CAMHS to Adult Mental Health Services in Ireland (ITRACK): A Study of Service Organisation, Policies, Process and User and Carer Perspectives
Start Date / End Date : 01-OCT-10 / 31-JAN-14
Sponsor : University College Dublin Foundation Ltd.
Title : Shire Newman Fellowship in ADHD
Start Date / End Date : 01-SEP-14 / 30-SEP-17
Sponsor : Coordenacao de Aperfeicoamento de Pessoal de Nivel Superior (CAPES)
Title : Examining attitudes and practice to ADHD in Ireland and Brazil
Start Date / End Date : 01-SEP-14 / 31-AUG-16
Sponsor : EC Framework (FP7)
Title : THE MILESTONE PROJECT: Managing the Link and Strengthening Transition from Child to Adult Mental Health Care (MILESTONE)
Start Date / End Date : 01-FEB-14 / 31-JAN-19
Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : CBT Developments in Child Mental Health in Ireland
Start Date / End Date : 01-APR-09 / 30-SEP-19

Current Postgraduate Students

Farrah-Hani Imran, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)   -   Thesis Supervisor
Fabiola Honorio Neto, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)   -   Thesis Supervisor
Blanaid Gavin, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)   -   Thesis Supervisor



Modules Coordinated

201500   PSYC40220     Psychiatry: Child Mental Health Problems
201500   PSYC40290     Psychiatry: Intro Comm&Counselling Skills
201500   PSYC40300     Psychiatry: Promoting Mental Health
201500   PSYC40310     Psychiatry: Thesis
201500   PSYC40230     Psychiatry: Learning, Develop & Behaviour
201500   PSYC40040     Psychiatry: Treatment Modalities
201500   PSYC40170     Psychiatry: Assessment



External Collaborators

Stanford University, CA

Columbia University, NY

Great Ormond St, London

Maudsley Hospital, London

University of Warrwick, UK

Bangor University, UK

Dept of Paediatrics, UCD, TCD

Dept of Pharmacy, RCSI.