Meet UCD Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

CAP Staff Photograph

Find out more about our team of clinicians, lecturers and researchers and their areas of expertise.

Professor Fiona McNicholas

Prof Fiona McNicholas + Prof Andrew Deeks

Professor Fiona McNicholas, MD FRCPsych Dip Clin Psychotherapy‌

Full UCD Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, UCD School of Medicine
Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at Lucena Clinic, Rathgar, Dublin
Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin, Dublin

Prof McNicholas’ clinical and research interests lie in ADHD, eating disorders, psychotropic medication use and mental health disorders in 22q11DS. She has published extensively in these areas. An active teacher, she runs postgraduate courses in child mental health, and 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 information regarding treatment and prevention. 

Prof McNicholas trained in Psychiatry in Guys Hospital, London, 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 there as Visiting Professor in 2013/2014. She was Assistant Professor at Columbia University, NY prior to her appointment as chair in UCD in 2001.

She has been awarded over €1 million as Principal Investigator in research grants in Child and Adolescent Mental Health and is Co-Investigator on grants awarded of nearly €8 million including the current EU 7th Framework programme CER, EU MILESTONE PROJECT (2013-2018) on the transition from child to adult mental health care. She is currently PI on projects comparing Growing Up in Ireland population-based data with CAMHS clinical data and the UCD Foundation Newman ADHD Shire Fellowship, exploring attitudes and social representations of ADHD in Ireland, in primary care, education, the media and the criminal justice system.

Former research studies include the iTRACK study of transition from CAMHS to adult mental services in Ireland; the STEDI study of knowledge of and attitudes towards eating disorders in Ireland and pathways to care; eating problems in children and adolescents; consultation and advice in child psychiatry community settings with treatment as usual; medical, psychological, and cognitive outcomes of low birth weight; and selective mutism.

Associate Professor Elizabeth Barrett

Dr Elizabeth Barrett

Associate Professor, Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, UCD School of Medicine

Consultant in Child and Adolescent Liaison Psychiatry, Children's University Hospital, Temple Street.

Elizabeth graduated from University College Cork. Her early interest in the interface between physical illness and mental health stemmed from basic training and membership examinations in paediatric medicine prior to training in Psychiatry. She completed the Dublin University rotational training programme and completing Higher Specialist training in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in Ireland. She worked at Great Ormond Street and the South London and Maudsley Trust prior to taking up her post at Temple St and UCD. She has extensive experience of supporting young people and their families throughout their journey through paediatric services and during transition periods to other services. Clinically, Dr Barrett advocates for enhanced services for children and adolescents with both medical and mental health illnesses in paediatric settings.

From a clinical and research perspective, she has an interdisciplinary focus, appreciating the importance of interfacing across the hospital in a liaison psychiatry service to support children and their families, and welcomes the opportunity to develop links with paediatric and surgical colleagues. She has developed several national postgraduate training initiatives in conjunction with UCD, the College of Psychiatry of Ireland, the RCPI and with the Lucena Clinic. She has been involved with undergraduate, postgraduate and interdisciplinary training at UCD, TCD, the RCPI, the College of Psychiatry of Ireland and has previously been a guest lecturer at UCL, KCL and UCC.

Current projects include the international Trainee Burnout (BOSS) Study, the CAP-STATE study (exploring Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Training in Europe). She is also the lead for an interdisciplinary conference in 2017 at UCD, titled "Mind Reading: Mental Health and the written word".

For more information on Dr Barrett.

Associate Professor Blánaid Gavin

Associate Professor Blánaid Gavin

UCD Associate Professor, Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, UCD School of Medicine

Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Children’s Mental Health Clinic, Dublin

Blánaid has a particular interest in the early recognition and treatment of mental health difficulties in young people and has worked with a broad range of agencies to promote awareness of young people’s mental health needs. She has led and contributed to the development of many training courses in Child and Adolescent Mental Health for psychiatric trainees, teachers, GPs and multidisciplinary colleagues and has organised multiple local, national and international conferences. Her research has explored the role of primary care in youth mental health; psychosis in adolescents; and the perspectives of young people in informing service developments.

Blánaid led and co-authored the Trasna Project – a unique project aimed at establishing the views of young people attending psychiatric services. She has published on various topics related to children’s mental health, and co-authored a Mental Health Handbook for Teachers as well as the Irish College of General Practitioners National Guideline’s on Children’s Mental Health and the National Guidelines on Psychosis. Her current research focus is ADHD. She has also worked with many voluntary agencies and support groups to promote the development of services for children with mental health difficulties.

Blánaid trained in UCD, St John of Gods and the Colombia University Child Psychiatry Institute, New York. She is a past Chair and Board Member of the Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health (ACAMH) and established the ACAMH Special Interest Group in Youth Mental Health in Dublin. This led to the first International Summit on Youth Mental Health and precipitated the International Declaration on Youth Mental Health (2011) of which she is a co-author.

Research Profile

Associate Professor Aisling Mulligan

Assoc. Prof Aisling Mulligan MD, DCH, MRCPCH, MRCPsych, MSc (CBT)

UCD Clinical Professor, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, UCD School of Medicine

Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Dublin North City and County CAMHS (previously Mater CAMHS).

Prof Mulligan has an interest in environmental and genetic influences in ADHD, in particular the influence of the home environment in ADHD. She has collaborated with national and international research groups on topics including neuroimaging in adults with ADHD and neuropsychological endophenotype studies in ADHD. She is currently academic leader of the UCD/Mater Masters in Child Art Psychotherapy and has been a key influence in the development of a post-MSc 2 year graduate clinical training programme in Child Art Psychotherapy.

Prof Mulligan qualified from Trinity College Dublin in 1995 and trained in paediatrics prior to training in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. She completed an MD in the Department of Psychiatry, Trinity College Dublin; her doctoral thesis was on the topic of familial symptoms of autism in children with ADHD, and the association of symptoms of autism with oppositional, language and motor disorders in ADHD. She has authored or co-authored over 50 academic publications as well as a book chapter and book on autism symptoms in children with ADHD. 

For more information on Professor Mulligan’s work please visit:

Dr Lesley O'Hara

Dr Lesley O’Hara BA, MSc (Psychology), PhD (Psychology)

Postdoctoral researcher, MILESTONE project. Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, UCD School of Medicine

Together with Prof Fiona McNicholas, Dr O’Hara is responsible for Ireland’s participation in the MILESTONE project, an EU-FP7 study of transition from child to adult mental health services across Europe. Dr O’Hara’s research interests lie in the field of critical health psychology. She is particularly concerned with the lived experience of illness, whether physical (men’s health; diabetes management) or mental illness (eating disorders; child and adolescent mental health). In addition to her research, Dr O’Hara lectures on the subject of eating disorders and research methods, and supervises students at PhD and MSc levels in UCD and DBS.

Dr O’Hara holds a BA in Psychological Studies, Sociology and Politics from the National University of Ireland, Galway, and an MSc and PhD in Psychology from Nottingham Trent University, UK.


The MILESTONE study is an EU-wide, eight country (Ireland, UK, Belgium, Croatia, France, Germany, Italy, and Netherlands) study of transition from child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) to adult mental health services (AMHS). It aims to strengthen transitional care, including appropriate service discharge, across healthcare systems. MILESTONE will be the first to delineate an evidence-based decision-making process for identifying those who must transition to AMHS, those who can be managed by other services, and those who can be discharged from CAMHS. It will also be the first to evaluate longitudinal outcomes and experiences of young people who reach the CAMHS transition boundary in EU countries with varying service structures, transition ages, service provision and care.

This 5-year study involves nine work packages. Ireland’s research team is participating in the longitudinal cohort study, and is also responsible for the ethics work package. This involves overseeing the ethical conduct of the study and developing new clinical, organisational, policy and ethics guidelines for improving care and outcomes for young people approaching the age of transition from CAMHS.


Dr Mimi Tatlow-Golden

Dr Mimi Tatlow-Golden, BA Hons (German & History), H Dip Psych, PhD (Psychology), Prof. Cert. (University Teaching & Learning)

Newman Research Fellow, Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, UCD School of Medicine

Dr Mimi Tatlow-Golden’s research addresses children’s and young people’s self-concept, experiences and well-being in relation to mental health, school, and media. Her Newman Fellowship is exploring views of ADHD among professionals who work with children and young people (e.g., in primary care, education and criminal justice) and in the media. She also currently explores children and the digital world including responses and exposure to food marketing.

Mimi is frequently invited to speak about her research to policy-makers, politicians and NGOs, such as the Canada Stop Marketing to Kids Coalition, the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Nordic Countries’ Working Group on Monitoring Food Marketing to Children, WHO-Europe Network on Restricting Marketing of Unhealthy Foods to Children, the All-Ireland Obesity Forum, the Ministers for Children and Mental Health, and the Irish Foster Carers’ Association. She has active collaborations with academics and NGOs in the University of Liverpool, Imperial College London, University of Ulster Coleraine, WHO-Europe, North-West University in South Africa, Dublin City University and, in Psychology, Public Health, Public Policy and Economics in UCD.

A former Department of Children and Youth Affairs Research Scholar, she has first-class degrees in German and History (TCD) and Psychology (UCD) and a PhD in Psychology (awarded with no changes) from UCD. She also received a German Government Academic Exchange (DAAD) Award for a year’s study at Freiburg University.

Mimi holds a Professional Certificate in Higher Education Teaching and Learning, has lectured extensively, and supervises research to PhD. She has been an editor or peer reviewer for multiple Irish and international journals. She is active in community dissemination, having presented the RTE1 Radio series The Other Side of Childhood on children’s mental health. Currently she is working with Clued In Psychological Society of Ireland Special Interest Group in Child and Adolescent Psychology project, developing online resources for children and families who are preparing to see a psychologist.

UCD Foundation Shire Newman ADHD Fellowship: ADHD attitudes and services in Ireland.

Attitudes: The Newman Fellowship is exploring attitudes and knowledge regarding ADHD in primary care, education, criminal justice and the media. Findings will be available in late 2016.

Services: National case note data analysis of service transitions and young adult services has established that almost no young people with ADHD transfer from child to adult mental health services; most disengage or refuse transfer. A study of an innovative university-based ADHD clinic in Ireland has identified professionals’ views of the nature and potential of such services. It was shortlisted for a 2015 Eadbhard O’Callaghan Prize at the Association of Child and Adolescent Mental Health (ACAMH) 5th Annual Conference in Youth Mental Health.

Last Updated May 2016

Dr Aleksandra (Ola) Gronostaj-Miara

Dr Aleksandra (Ola) Gronostaj-Miara, MA (Social Sciences), PhD (Psychology)

Post-doctoral researcher, St John of God’s

Ola is working on a project led by Prof Fiona McNicholas, the Growing Up in Ireland and Children in CAMHS study. It examines similarities and differences between children attending Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, and those identified by the Growing Up in Ireland cohort study as having emotional and behavioural difficulties.

Ola earned her masters and doctoral degrees at Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Poland. Her research to date has explored mood and social support in illness, and connections between mood and memory. Her PhD (supervised by Prof W?adys?aw ?osiak) addressed social support and stress management in patients facing life threatening diseases. She recruited oncological patients and their spouses from across nine hospitals in Poland to complete week long diaries describing their mood and support exchanges. As part of a cross-university group in Cracow she worked on a project led by Dr Borys?aw Paulewicz, that aimed to solve some of the methodological shortcomings typical for memory bias research by identifying new ways of measuring the connections between mood and memory.

She has taught undergraduate courses on subjects such as Clinical Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Psychology of Social Maladjustment, and Diagnosis and Therapy of Youth with Behavioural Disorders.

The GUCCI project:

Growing Up and Children in CAMHS in Ireland Study:  Translating population-based findings into a clinical context. Comparative analysis of Growing Up in Ireland and CAMHS

The GUCCI project seeks to translate findings of the Growing Up in Ireland (GUI) cohort study into clinical practice in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. GUI has identified several trajectories and complex interaction models of health, psychological, social and environmental factors in children's lives in Ireland. The GUCCI project seeks to identify whether young people identified through GUI analysis as having emotional and behavioural disorders are similar to the group attending child and adolescent mental health services. Establishing similarities and differences will allow prediction of factors associated with risk or resilience and exploration why some individuals, identified as at risk, are not attending services.


Ms Fabiola Honorio Neto

Fabiola Honorio Neto BA (Psychology), PGDip (Public Mental Health)

PhD Scholar (Science without Borders), Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, UCD School of Medicine

Funding: CAPES- Federal Agency, Ministry of Education, Brazil.

Supervisors: Prof. Fiona McNicholas, Dr. Blánaid Gavin, Dr Mimi Tatlow-Golden

Brazilian collaborator: Guilherme Polanczyk, Assistant Professor of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, University of São Paulo Medical School, Brazil.

Fabiola is exploring clinicians’ views of ADHD, of their clinical practice and experiences of young people and their families. Her research interests are in ADHD, health professionals’ attitudes, community-based health services, interdisciplinary collaboration for child MH, transcultural child psychiatry, and the use of art as a child-centred research method.

Fabiola obtained her BA in Psychology and a Postgraduate Diploma in Mental Health Science in Brazil, at the University of São Paulo Public Health School. She also has experience as a multi-disciplinary team clinician in paediatric clinics and child mental health services in São Paulo. She is a graduate member of the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI).

Examining ADHD Attitudes and Practice in Ireland and Brazil (2014-2018)

This Ireland/Brazil cross-cultural study will analyse attitudes and practices of professionals in paediatric services and child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS), and perspectives of families and children. A comparison of ADHD policies and treatment outcomes will also be carried out. The project has 3 stages:

  1. A national survey of professionals who may treat ADHD, i.e. child mental health teams in CAMHS and community/ neuro paediatricians to establish ‘what clinicians say they do’;
  2. A review of paediatricians and child psychiatrists’ case notes and focus groups to analyse ‘what they actually do’ and
  3. Focus groups with families to explore satisfaction with the service received, and interviews with drawings will explore the experience of living with ADHD and views of treatment for children and adolescents. This will allow comparison of professionals and service-users, as well as exploration of different treatment approaches and procedures for ADHD in paediatric clinics and CAMHS. 

Dr Farrah-Hani Imran

Dr Farrah-Hani Imran

Consultant Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon, Head of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, Burns and Wound Care, National University of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 

PhD Scholar, UCD School of Medicine
Funding: Ministry of Education, Malaysia.

Dr Farrah-Hani Imran is the Head of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, Burns Unit & Wound Care Team in the National University of Malaysia Medical Centre, and currently a PhD Scholar in the School of Medicine, University College Dublin, Ireland. Farrah-Hani read Medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), Dublin, then completed her basic surgical training, higher surgical training and fellowships in plastic surgery in Dublin, Malaysia & USA.

Farrah-Hani’s unique, cross-field research aims to examine motivation/drive in health in general and athletic populations, traversing sports, plastic surgery and mental health. She has a diverse background and interests in athlete welfare, mental health, mental strength, sports psychology, doping control, body image, self-esteem, ethical cosmetic surgery, clefts, burns and wound management. These stem from a lifetime in sports and the arts.

Farrah-Hani is a former international rhythmic gymnast and National Athlete, representing Malaysia in Rhythmic Gymnastics from 1989 to 1994. During that time, she was Malaysian National Sportsgirl twice, Kuala Lumpur Sportsgirl and Malaysian National Sportwoman finalist and Captain of the Malaysian National Team. She was South-East Asian Champion from 1991-1994; and 5-time Malaysian National Champion & Malaysian National School Sports Champion. She paved the way for future generations by creating history as the first Malaysian gymnast to represent Malaysia at the World Championships 1993 in Alicante, Spain. She was a soprano in the Suara Mas Children’s Choir, and subsequently the pioneer batch of the National Choir of Malaysia in 1991, performing in children’s festivals in USA & Japan. She is a pianist (Royal Academy of Music) and classically trained ballerina (Royal Academy of Dance).

Professionally, Farrah-Hani was the first Malaysian to be awarded the Association of Graduates Medal from RCSI, Her World Youth Woman of the Year in 2007 and the Constable Fellowship Award from the American Association of Plastics Surgeons 2011. 

Farrah-Hani is in public service, and voluntarily serves as Team Manager for the Malaysian National Rhythmic Gymnastics Team. She was the Team Manager of the historic 2017 SEA Games Rhythmic Gymnastics Team, who achieved a clean sweep of all the gold and silver medals at stake.

In her free time, Farrah-Hani volunteers her time as an invited speaker, lecturer and educator, championing mental health, empowerment, ethics, principles and integrity. As a PhD Scholar, she gives up her minimal free time to enthusiastic medical students who request her to teach research, surgical and life skills.

Researcher ID: I-5985-2016
Scopus Author ID: 55388024900

Ms Rachael McKenna

Rachael McKenna BA, H Dip Psych, M Psych Sc

Research Assistant, Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, UCD School of Medicine

Rachael is currently working on the Newman ADHD Study of ADHD attitudes in Ireland and the MILESTONE study of service transitions in youth mental health. Her interests lie in mental health difficulties, particularly youth mental health, and she is passionate about promoting positive mental health and well-being.

Rachael completed a BA in English and Sociology at UCD, an HDip in Psychology at DBS and a Masters of Psychological Science at UCD. Her M. Psych. Sc thesis focused on comorbidities and outcomes for clinic-attending adults with ADHD and high IQ, and included a systematic review of existing literature concerning this population. She is currently a volunteer with the ISPCC and Foróige and hopes to engage in future clinical study (DClin) and work in the near future.

 Last Updated December 2018