Trinity College Dublin

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Aoife O'Brien

Thesis Title: 'Bereavement and grief in Irish schools: A thanatological approach toward understanding and intervention development'

Supervisor: Dr Conor Mc Guckin

Biography

Aoife Mary O'Brien is a qualified primary school teacher. In 2008, as part of an undergraduate programme, Aoife undertook research that explored teachers' knowledge of bereavement, its impact on the school environment, and the strategies, resources, and services available to support bereaved children. Having received first class honours, Aoife was awarded the Trinity Gold Medal.

Aoife worked as a primary school teacher for four years in a DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools) band 1 school, in both Dublin and Limerick. During this time she trained as a 'Rainbows' facilitator so as to provide children, youth, and adults with support following bereavement, loss or separation. Aoife was involved in establishing the 'Rainbows' programme in St. Gabriel's primary school in Dublin, and went on to facilitate weekly meetings with bereaved children in Presentation Primary School in Limerick.

In 2012, Aoife was awarded the Faculty scholarship from Trinity College Dublin to begin her Ph.D. in the School of Education.

In 2013, Aoife was awarded a Government of Ireland postgraduate scholarship by the Irish Research Council (IRCHSS) for her doctoral project.

Aoife is currently working toward her Ph.D. in Education, the title of which is "Bereavement and grief in Irish schools: A thanatological approach toward understanding and intervention development".

Conference Participation

O'Brien, A. M., & Mc Guckin, C. (2014). Grief support in Irish schools: Consistency or confusion? The Thirty-Ninth Educational Studies Association of Ireland (ESAI) Annual Conference, Sheraton Hotel, Athlone, County Westmeath, Ireland, 10th – 12th April, 2014.

O'Brien, A. M., & Mc Guckin, C. (2014). Living in the "Assumptive World": What do we really know about grief and bereavement in Irish Schools? The British Psychological Society (Northern Ireland Branch) Annual Conference, La Mon Hotel and Country Club, Castlereagh, Co. Down, Northern Ireland, 3 - 5 April 2014. Proceedings of the British Psychological Society.

O'Brien, A. M., & Mc Guckin, C. (2013). Support for the Grieving Student: Examining Attitudes and Provision. Second Annual Conference of The Welsh Branch of The British Psychological Society, Glyndwr University, Wrexham.

O'Brien, A. M. (2013). The Impact of Bereavement: Support for Students in an Irish Context. The Postgraduate Research Annual Conference, Trinity College Dublin.

O'Brien, A. M., & Mc Guckin, C. (2013). Grief and Bereavement: Responding to the needs of Irish Schools. Psychology, Youth, & Education Seminar.

O'Brien, A. M., & Mc Guckin, C. (2013). Bereavement and grief: The response in Irish schools. The British Psychological Society (Northern Ireland Branch) Annual Conference, The Manor House Resort, Killadeas, Co. Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, 26th – 28th April, 2012. Proceedings of the British Psychological Society.

O'Brien, A. M., & Mc Guckin, C. (2013). The bereavement audit study: From policy to action. The Thirty-Eighth Educational Studies Association of Ireland (ESAI) Annual Conference, Southern Court Hotel, Limerick, County Limerick, Ireland, 21st – 23rd March, 2013.

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Last updated 2 August 2017 kellyva@tcd.ie.