Principal Investigator

Dr Eileen Murphy is a Senior Lecturer in Osteoarchaeology at Queen’s University Belfast. Her osteological 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 over 50 papers in academic journals and books and has undertaken over 50 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 the National Roads Authority (NRA). She is the principal investigator of the QUB component of the Ballyhanna Research Project, which is funded by the NRA and has involved collaboration with the Institute of Technology in Sligo. The project has focused on a detailed biocultural analysis of a collection of over 1000 human skeletons. She is currently supervising five PhD students, four of whom are undertaking projects which involve human remains.


Associate Investigator

Dr Barra Ó Donnabháin is a Lecturer in Archaeology in University College Cork. He has published one monograph and 30 academic papers. He was co-author of the IAPA Technical Paper on the Treatment of Human Remains published in 1999. His forthcoming publications on Irish prehistory include many contributions to a National Museum of Ireland volume on Bronze Age burials (Cahill and Sikora forthcoming) and as yet unpublished reports on important Neolithic sites such as Poulnabrone, Co Clare and Annagh, Co Limerick. He has received funding from various organisations, including the Royal Irish Academy, the Wellcome Trust and the Department of the Environment. His most recent research project has been a topographical and geophysical survey of a leprosarium at Timoleague, Co. Cork. He is co-ordinator and main lecturer on the MA in Osteoarchaeology at University College Cork.




Dr Harry Welsh (Phase 1 and 2)  

Dr Harry Welsh is an archaeologist and historian, with his doctoral research being on the origin and development of fire services in Northern Ireland. He has taken part in archaeological excavations for over ten years at a variety of sites ranging from prehistoric to early modern and has a particular interest in the interpretation of fire-related evidence uncovered during excavations. He also specialises in training, fire safety, health and safety and personnel management. Harry is a member of the Royal Historical Society, Institution of Fire Engineers, and Institute of Historical Research. He is an associate member of the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, and Vice President of the Ulster Archaeological Society.




Mara Lee Tesorieri (Phase 2)

Mara is an osteoarchaeologist based at the University College Cork where her doctorial research is currently being undertaken. The research, entitled ‘Health in the Medieval World: Regionality and the Bioarchaeology of Ireland and Britain in the Middle Ages’, seeks to present a regional comparison of health within Irish and British populations from the early medieval to high Medieval periods (600 AD to 16th century) within a biocultural context. Her research interests include Prehistoric and Medieval health, specifically focusing on non-specific health indicators and infectious disease. She has taken part in many excavations all over Ireland and has provided osteological analysis and reports for archaeological companies throughout the county. She is a member of the British Association of Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology, the Irish Association of Professional Osteoarchaeologists, the American Association of Physical Anthropologists and the Paleopathology Association.


Project Partners


Mr Michael McDonagh

Michael is a Senior Archaeologist for the National Roads Authority for the north-west, west and midlands and has national responsibility for archaeological procurement. He both instigated and now manages the Ballyhanna Research Project which focuses on a large assemblage of Medieval human remains recovered during excavations on the route of the N15 Bundoran-Ballyshannon Bypass.


Mr Paul Logue

Paul is a Senior Inspector with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency with responsibility for fieldwork and post-excavation programmes and the development control portfolio. He worked in the commercial sector before being appointed a member of the EHS Archaeological Excavation Unit in 1998 and subsequently became a member of the EHS Development Control team. He was director of the excavations at the Neolithic palisaded settlement at Thornhill, Co. Derry.


Ms Sinéad McCartan

Sinéad is the Curator of Prehistoric Antiquities in the Ulster Museum. She is a prehistorian with a particular interest in the Mesolithic. One of her main research projects has involved research on prehistoric Rathlin in areas where numerous prehistoric burials have been discovered. Ms Sinéad McCartan Sinéad is the Curator of Prehistoric Antiquities in the Ulster Museum. She is a prehistorian with a particular interest in the Mesolithic. One of her main research projects has involved research on prehistoric Rathlin in areas where numerous prehistoric burials have been discovered. Ms Sinéad McCartan


Ms Maeve Sikora

Maeve is an Assistant Keeper in the Irish Antiquities Division of the National Museum of Ireland. Her responsibilities include the curation, maintenance and cataloguing of collections. She was involved in the NMI’s unpublished burials project and will be a co-author on the resultant monograph.


Ms. Tracy Collins

Tracy is a Company Director of Aegis Archaeology Limited. She has excavated numerous burials, including important Mesolithic cremations at Hermitage, Co. Limerick. She has undertaken many publications which focus on prehistoric burials.


Ms. Jacinta Kiely

Jacinta is a Company Director of Eachtra Archaeological Projects Ltd. She has undertaken numerous excavations at prehistoric sites and has published papers on Irish Neolithic settlement and Bronze Age pottery.




Mr Stephen Gilmore

Stephen is a Company Director of Northern Archaeological Consultancy Ltd. As well as helping to run the company he is their Fieldwork Project Manager. He has a particular interest in prehistoric archaeology and has undertaken numerous excavations at prehistoric sites.


Mr Jonny Geber

Jonny is employed as an osteoarchaeologist for Margaret Gowen and Company Ltd, while working part-time on a PhD at Queen’s University Belfast. He has written more than 50 osteological reports and has published numerous papers on human osteoarchaeology.


Ms. Isabel Bennett

Isabel is an archaeologist who currently works as curator in Músaem Chorca Dhuibhne in Baile an Fheirtéaraigh on the Dingle Peninsula, Co. Kerry. She has edited the Excavations bulletin since the edition of 1987. Excavations is published by Wordwell, with funding from the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government.