Researchers at UCD


Muireann Ní Raghallaigh

Lecturer In Social Work / Assistant Professor of Social Work

School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice
Hanna Sheehey Skeffington Building (Arts Annex)
UCD, Belfield
Dublin 4

Tel: + 353 1 716 8146


Upon qualifying as a social worker Muireann Ní Raghallaigh worked with the HSE Team for Separated Children Seeking Asylum where she developed a keen interest in issues related to and affecting asylum seekers and refugees. Muireann subsequently undertook her Ph.D research in Trinity College Dublin. Her Ph.D., which was partly funded by the National Children's Office, was a qualitative study of the experiences of unaccompanied minors living in Ireland. It focused in particular on the coping strategies used by these young people. Subsequently, Muireann served as Director of the Bachelor of Social Studies Degree Programme in Trinity, where she lectured and supervised both undergraduate and postgraduate students. She also worked as a research fellow with the Trinity Immigration Initiative and as a lecturer in social care in the Dublin Institute of Technology. Muireann also worked, on a part time basis, as a Family Worker with the Daughters of Charity Child and Family Services.  She is a member of the Board of the Irish Refugee Council.

Muireann welcomes applications from Masters and PhD students, particularly relating to the following topics:
Integration of Migrant and Refugee Children
Unaccompanied Minors / Separated Children
Cross-cultural social work
Cultural Diversity in Social work
Experiences of asylum seekers and refugees




Association: Dept of Justice Anti Human Trafficking Unit's Working Group on Child Trafficking, Function/Role: Member
Association: The Children's Research Network for Ireland and Northern Ireland, Function/Role: Member
Association: Irish Refugee Council, Function/Role: Board member
Association: Child Migration Research Network, Function/Role: Member
Association: Association: IASW (Irish Association of Social Workers), Function/Role: .


Committee : Human Sciences Research Ethics Committee, UCD

Journals Edited

Irish Journal Of Applied Social Studies: Editorial Board member.



Book Chapters

McCaughren, S; Ní Raghallaigh, M (2015) 'Adoption in Ireland: Exploring the Changing Context' In: Christie, A; Featherstone, B; Quin S; Walsh, T (eds). Social Work in Ireland: Changes and Continuities. London: Palgrave Macmillan. [Details]
Ní Raghallaigh, M (2014) ''Ageing out' of foster care and moving into direct provision' In: Reid, C; Thornton, L (eds). #DirectProvision14: No place to call home. Dublin: Available Online [Details]
Ní Raghallaigh, M; Gilligan, R (2013) 'Obtaining informed and voluntary consent in a group context' In: Graham, A., Powell, M., Taylor, N., Anderson, D., & Fitzgerald, R (eds). Ethical Research Involving Children. Florence: United Nation's Children's Fund (UNICEF). [Details]
Ní Raghallaigh, M; (2011) 'Relationships with family, friends and God: The experiences of unaccompanied minors living in Ireland' In: Darmody, M. Tyrrell, N. and Song, S (eds). The changing faces of Ireland: Exploring the lives of immigrant and ethnic minority children. UK: Sense Publishers. Link to full text [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

Horgan, D; Ní Raghallaigh, M (2017) 'The social care needs of unaccompanied minors: The Irish experience'. European Journal of Social Work, . Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Ní Raghallaigh, M; Thornton, L. (2017) 'Vulnerable Childhood, Vulnerable Adulthood: Direct Provision as Aftercare for Aged-Out Separated Children Seeking Asylum in Ireland'. Critical Social Policy, 37 (3). Available Online [DOI] [Details]
Ní Raghallaigh, M; Morton, S; Allen, M. (2015) ''HIV transmission as a form of gender based violence: experiences of women in Tirgray, Ethiopia'. International Social Work, . [Details]
Ní Raghallaigh, M; Sirriyeh, A (2015) 'The negotiation of culture in foster care placments for separated refugee and asylum seeking young people in Ireland and England'. Childhood, 22 (2):263-277. Link to full text [Details]
Ní Raghallaigh, M; Allen, M; Cunniffe, R; Quin, S (2013) 'Experiences of Social Workers in Primary Care in Ireland'. Social Work in Health Care, 52 (10):930-946. Link to full text [Details]
Allen, M; Ní Raghallaigh, M. (2013) 'Domestic Violence in a Developing Context: The Perspectives of Women in Northern Ethiopia'. Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work, 28 (3):256-272. Link to full text [Details]
Ní Raghallaigh, M. (2014) 'The causes of mistrust amongst asylum seekers and refugees: insights from research with unaccompanied asylum seeking minors living in the Republic of Ireland'. Journal of Refugee Studies, 27 (1):82-100. [Details]
Ni Raghallaigh (2013) 'Book review of Motivational Interviewing in Social Work Practice by Melinda Hohman'. Journal of Social Work, . Available Online [DOI] Link to full text [Details]
Ní Raghallaigh, M; Cunniffe, R. (2012) 'Creating a safe climate for active learning and student engagement: an example from an introductory social work module'. Teaching in Higher Education, . Available Online Link to full text [Details]
Ni Raghallaigh, M,Gilligan, R; (2010) 'Active survival in the lives of unaccompanied minors: coping strategies, resilience, and the relevance of religion'. Child and Family Social Work, 15 (2):226-237. [DOI] Link to full text [Details]
Ní Raghallaigh, M.; (2011) 'Religion in the lives of unaccompanied minors: an available and compelling coping resource'. British Journal of Social Work, 41 :539-556. Link to full text [Details]

Other Journals

Ní Raghaallaigh M. (2013) 'Fostering Separated Children and Young People: The Experiences of Carers' Irish Foster Care Association Newsletter . Link to full text [Details]
Ní Raghallaigh, M; (2011) 'Social work with separated children seeking asylum' Irish Social Worker Autumn . Link to full text [Details]

Conference Publications

Ní Raghallaigh, M; (2008) The role of God and religion in the lives of unaccompanied minors living in Ireland International Conference on `Children and Migration: identities, mobilities and belonging(s) [Details]
Ní Raghallaigh, M; (2007) Living in a new land: Unaccompanied young people living in Ireland Annual Network Event, Special Residential Services Board, Co. Offaly, Ireland [Details]
Ní Raghallaigh, M. ; (2007) Negotiating changed contexts and challenging circumstances: the experiences of unaccompanied minors living in Ireland International Conference on0 ‘The migration of unaccompanied minors in Europe’, University of Poitiers, France Available Online [Details]
Ní Raghallaigh, M; (2007) The Situation of Unaccompanied Minors: Messages for Schools Seminar: English Language Support Teachers Association, St. Patrick’s College, Dublin [Details]
Ní Raghallaigh, M. ; (2007) Coping with the changes and challenges of exile: the experiences of unaccompanied minors living in Ireland Trinity0 Immigration Initiative’s Migration Research Fair, Trinity College Dublin.0 Available Online [Details]
Ní Raghallaigh, M; (2005) Negotiating Adolescence within Multiple Worlds: Unaccompanied young people seeking asylum in Ireland \i .0 Seminar on ‘Safeguarding refugee & asylum seeking children’, The British Association for the Study & Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, London [Details]
Ní Raghallaigh, M; (2004) Dídeanaithe/Teifigh (Refugees) Workshop with Transition Year Students, Scoil Chaitríona, Dublin [Details]

Published Reports

Ní Raghallaigh, M; Foreman, M; Feeley, M; Moyo, S; Wenyi Mendes, G; Bairéad, C. (2016) Transition: from Direct Provision to life in the community. UCD, Dublin. Link to full text [Details]
Ni Raghallaigh, M (2013) Foster care and supported lodgings for separated asylum seeking young people in Ireland: the views of young people, carers and stakeholders. Barnardos and the HSE, Dublin. Link to full text [Details]
Gilligan, R., Curry, P., McGrath, J., Murphy, D., Ní Raghallaigh M., Rogers M., Scjoltz J.J., Gilligan Quinn A.; (2010) In the Front Line of Integration: Young people managing migration to Ireland. Trinity College Dublin, Dublin. [Details]

Website article

Ní Raghallaigh, M (2012) Foster care for separated children: a positive policy development. Website article [Details]


Ní Raghallaigh, M (2016) Ireland can and should accept refugee children. Media Available Online [Details]

Policy Contribution

Ní Raghallaigh, M; Foreman M. (2015) Submission to the Task Force on Transitional Supports for Person's Granted Status in Ireland. Policy Contribution Link to full text [Details]
Foreman, M; Ní Raghallaigh M (2015) Submission to the Working Group on the Protection System. Policy Contribution Link to full text [Details]


Research Interests

Muireann is interested in issues relating to separated children seeking asylum / unaccompanied minors and issues related to asylum seekers, refugees, and migrants more generally, including human trafficking.  Muireann's other interests include culturally competent social work practice; international social work and international development; encouraging self awareness and personal development amongst social work students and practitioners; coping strategies (including religious coping); faith / religion and social work; and solution focused techniques. Along with colleagues, Muireann has undertaken research on gender based violence in Ethiopia (with Mary Allen) and on learning basic social work skills (with Rosemary Cunniffe) and on primary care social work (with Mary Allen, Suzie Quin, and Rosemary Cunniffe). She was funded by Barnardos and the HSE to undertake research on foster care for separated asylum seeking children and young people in 2012. More recently in collaboration with the Irish Refugee Council she was involved in a pan European project on Durable Solutions for separated children. She has also undertaken research on  social work perspectives on the direct provision system for asylum seekers in Ireland (in collaboration with Maeve Foreman of Trinity College Dublin). In 2015 she was funded by the Irish Research Council (New Foundations Engaging Civic Society funding stream) to undertake research in partnership with the Irish Refugee Council on the experiences of people transitioning out of the direct provision system. The research report which was co-authored with Maeve Foreman (TCD) and Maggie Feeley (UCD) was launched in June 2016 by the Minister for Integration David Stantan.

Research Projects

Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : OBRSS Research Support Scheme
Start Date / End Date : 01-NOV-16 / 31-OCT-19
Sponsor : EC - DG Home Affairs (DG HOME)
Title : Best Practice in Determining and Implementing Durable Solutions for Separated Children in Europe
Start Date / End Date : 15-MAY-14 / 14-NOV-16
Sponsor : Irish Research Council (IRC)
Title : Transitioning from Direct Provision to life in the community: the experiences of refugees and other protection seekers (TransitionDP)
Start Date / End Date : 01-MAR-15 / 31-DEC-15
Sponsor : Health Services Executive (HSE)
Title : The move from hostel care to foster care for unaccompanied asylum seeking minors in Ireland: What can be learnt for policy and practice nationally and internationally?_1
Start Date / End Date : 30-JAN-12 / 30-OCT-12
Sponsor : Barnardo's - Republic of Ireland Ltd
Title : The move from hostel care to foster care for unaccompanied asylum seeking minors in Ireland: What can be learnt for policy and practice internationally?
Start Date / End Date : 16-AUG-11 / 01-MAR-12

Recent Postgraduates

Marcella McGovern, PhD Completed. Title of thesis: 'How to implement integrated primary care: components, mechanisms and context factors as conceptualised by Irish primary care teams'

In addition, I have supervised the dissertations of numerous students on the M.Soc.Sc (Social Work) on a range of topics including Social work with Muslim clients; Female genital mutilation; Ethnic minority children in foster care; Intercountry adoption; Unaccompanied refugee children; Domestic violence & Homelessness

Current Postgraduate Students

Lisa Garavin, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)   -   Secondary Supervisor