Dr Eileen Murphy is a Senior Lecturer in Osteoarchaeology at Queen’s University Belfast. Her osteological and funerary research focuses on Irish populations of all periods and prehistoric populations in Russia, while her archaeological work has focused on prehistoric sites in both Ireland and Scotland. She has published two monographs, six edited volumes and is the editor of the international journal Childhood in the Past. She has published numerous papers in academic journals and books and has undertaken over a substantial number of reports on collections of human remains. She has received funding from a variety of organisations, including the Royal Society, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency and through the INSTAR programme of the Heritage Council. She is currently supervising five PhD students, four of whom are undertaking projects which involve human remains. She is the Senior Project Osteoarchaeologist on the Ballyhanna Research Project, and her aspect of the research has focused on the children buried in the graveyard.


Dr Colm Donnelly is a specialist in Medieval and Post-Medieval buildings and industrial archaeology. He is a project manager on the Ballyhanna Research Project and his role involved advice on the history and archaeology of Medieval Gaelic Ulster. He is the manager for the Centre for Archaeological Fieldwork (CAF) at Queen’s University Belfast and is also a Senior Research Fellow.





Dr Catriona McKenzie is a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at Queen’s University Belfast. Catriona obtained a BA (First Class Honours) from University College Cork, in History and Archaeology. She trained in the analysis of human skeletal remains at the University of Sheffield where she was awarded an MSc (Distinction) in Human Osteology and Funerary Archaeology. Catriona recently completed a PhD at Queen’s University Belfast under the supervision of Dr Eileen Murphy and Dr Colm Donnelly. The focus of her doctoral research was a biocultural analysis of the adult individuals from the Ballyhanna skeletal collection. At present Catriona is working as the main editor on the production of the Ballyhanna monograph which will be published by the NRA. This monograph will combine all of the research which has been undertaken as part of the Ballyhanna Research Project.


Ms Róisín McCarthy was the Research Osteoarchaeologist on the Ballyhanna Research Project. She trained in the analysis of human skeletal remains at University College Cork where she completed an MA. She is currently working for the Burial Services at Oxford Archaeology.




Dr Philip Macdonald has directed excavations at a variety of sites in Northern Ireland including the Medieval cemetery at Kilroot, Co. Antrim. He has a diverse range of research interests, including a concern to refine conventional stratigraphic approaches to the study of cemetery sequences. His contribution to the Ballyhanna project involves developing a methodology to assess how cemetery developed and how the character of burial activity at the site changed over time.



Ms Naomi Carver graduated in June 2003 with a BSc (Honours) in Archaeology-Palaeoecology from Queen’s University Belfast. She commenced employment with the Centre for Archaeological Fieldwork (CAF) in September 2003 and since then has gained extensive experience on a range of archaeological sites, including both developer funded and research-based projects. She has also worked for Archaeological Consultancy Services (ACS Ltd.), Margaret Gowen and Co. Ltd. and Gahan and Long Ltd. She recently finished working with Dr Phil Macdonald on a post-excavation project comprising the phasing and development of the Ballyhanna cemetery site.


Dr Jeremy Bird is Head of the School of Science at Institute of Technology Sligo. He attended King’s College, London University and graduated in 1977 with an honours degree in Applied Biology. He completed a Master of Science degree in Applied Biology at the University of South West England and later went on to complete a PhD in Chromosomal Genetics at NUI Galway (1990). From 1992-1995 Dr Bird was employed as a Lecturer at Institute of Technology Tallaght and subsequently at Institute of Technology Sligo. Dr Bird was involved in the supervision of PhD student Ms Sheila Tierney and the bio-molecular component of the Ballyhanna Research Project.


Sheila Tierney obtained a BSc (Honours) in Pharmaceutical Science and Forensic Analysis from Limerick Institute of Technology. She is now currently doing a PhD in the Institute of Technology Sligo entitled ‘Ancient DNA analysis of medieval human remains from Ballyhanna Co Donegal’. Her research interests include biomolecular archaeology, molecular science and forensic analysis.






Dr Ted McGowan is a lecturer in analytical chemistry at Institute of Technology Sligo. He worked as an analyst in the State laboratory (1977-1980) and an analytical chemist for Abbott Laboratories (1980-1982). He obtained a PhD in analytical chemistry from the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada (1982-1986) prior to taking up a lecturing position at Institute of Technology Sligo in 1986. He has led several research projects and projects involving both academic and industrial collaborators. Research interests are focused on the general field of analytical chemistry particularly on the development and application of multielement atomic emission and atomic mass spectrometry techniques for trace element analysis. Current research projects include the development of analytical methods for environmental, pharmaceutical, archaeological and forensic applications. His role in the Ballyhanna Research Project involved the supervision of Tasneem Bashir and the multi-elemental component of the research.








Michael MacDonagh is a Senior Archaeologist with the National Roads Authority which commissioned the Ballyhanna Research Project in 2004 following the site’s discovery and excavation during advance archaeological works on the N15 Bundoran-Ballyshannon Bypass. Based in the NRA NW Region, Michael oversees the running of the Project along with the other members of the Project management team.
Grainne Leamy is an Archaeologist with the National Roads Authority and as a member of the Project management team has assisted in many ways since its inception. Amongst many other Project duties Grainne has been responsible for the establishment of the Ballyhanna Church Heritage Garden - the consolidation of the church foundation and the creation of the landscaped public garden around it.
Deirdre McCarthy is an Archaeologist with the National Roads Authority and is a key member of the Project management team. She is responsible for co-ordinating day to day management of the Project including liaison with statutory authorities over licensing and ensuring, crucially, that all the Project members know what is going on and that all runs smoothly.