Meet the team

Meet the team


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

Who We Are

We are clinical and academic Child and Adolescent Consultant Psychiatrists who work with a broad array of teams and individuals with an interest in mental health and wellbeing. This includes psychology, social science, sociology, nursing, medicine, psychotherapy, pharmacy, dietetics, law, criminology and humanities. We have a long established track record of working with young people and their families to ensure their voices and experiences are central to our research, teaching and advocacy. 

We are committed to interdisciplinary research and work collaboratively, through education, advocacy and communication, to improve the mental health and well-being of children in Ireland and internationally. We carry out clinically relevant and patient-oriented research. We draw on a range of clinical and theoretical perspectives.

We are guided by the principles of the



Eating Disorder international conference: SIMPLE teamEating Disorder international conference: SIMPLE team






Fiona McNicholas

Professor Fiona McNicholas

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, CHI at 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 Blánaid Gavin

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.

For more information on Assoc Prof Gavin’s work please visit:


Associate Professor Elizabeth Barrett

Consultant in Child and Adolescent Liaison Psychiatry, Children's University Hospital, CHI at 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’s work please visit: 


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

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:


Gordon Harold

Professor Gordon Harold

Professor of the Psychology of Education and Mental Health, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge
Visiting Full Professor, UCD School of Medicine, Dublin
Originally from Dublin, Gordon is the inaugural Professor of the Psychology of Education and Mental Health at the University of Cambridge, having previously held appointments as the Andrew and Virginia Rudd Chair and Professor of Psychology at the University of Sussex, the Alexander McMillan Chair and Professor of Childhood Studies at the University of Otago in New Zealand, and Professor of Developmental Psychopathology at Cardiff University. His primary research interests focus on (1) examining the interplay between family relationship dynamics and child-adolescent mental health, (2) understanding the interplay between genetic factors, pre-natal, post-natal environmental factors and child-adolescent mental health and development, and (3) promoting the development and implementation of evidence-based practice and policy guidelines aimed at enhancing mental health outcomes for young people. Gordon is a member of UKRI-ESRC’s Expert Advisory Group (EAG; Infrastructure, Skills and Methods), a member of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Methods Advisory Group (MAG) in the UK, and an advisor to multiple other UK and international government departments and scientific committees.