Bereavement Support Line 1800 80 70 77

National Bereavement Forum 2023 Programme



10.00am Opening of forum

10am Opening of Forum by Orla Keegan, Head of Education and Bereavement, Irish Hospice Foundation

10.05am Morning session

  • Bereavement Research in Ireland: What is going on?
  • Speaker: Orla Keegan, Irish Hospice Foundation
  • Bereavement informed service for children and families. A National Picture
  • Speaker: Maura Keating, Irish Childhood Bereavement Network
  • Developing a competency framework for bereavement service providers in the community: A collaborative approach
  • Speaker: Amanda Roberts, Irish Hospice Foundation

11.30 Tea/coffee

12pm Mid morning session

  • Key findings and implications from Ireland’s first Suicide Bereavement Survey
  • Speakers: Dr Eve Griffin, National Suicide Research Foundation & University College Cork; Fiona Tuomey, Healing Untold Grief Groups.
  • Collaboration in bereavement: The Value of Local Bereavement Development Networks.
  • Speakers: Eibhlin McNamara, St Vincent Hospital; Lisa White, Naas General Hospital; Niamh Finucane, St Francis Hospice Dublin and Amanda Roberts, Irish Hospice Foundation.

1.30pm Lunch

2.30pm Afternoon

  • Cultural Translations: Supporting bereaved Ukrainian families in Ireland
  • Speakers: Iryna Matuzov and Colleen Brown, Barnardos Children’s Bereavement Service.
  • Healing and Hope. A bereavement support programme for the Ukrainian community
  • Speakers: Carol Milton, Trainer/Facilitator ; Diane Clabby, Trauma-informed Psychotherapist.
  • Supporting the Ukranian community: sharing national and local resources
  • Facilitator: Maura Keating, Irish Childhood Bereavement Network.

4.20pm Forum close by Jean Callanan, Chari of Board, Irish Hospice Foundation Board member

4.30pm End of Forum

Forum Speakers

Colleen Brown

Colleen Brown is the Project Coordinator with Barnardos Children’s Bereavement Service. She has worked for the Barnardos Children’s Bereavement Service for 10 years. Her background is in collective trauma, arts psychotherapy and peacebuilding.

Carol Milton

Carol Milton has an M.A in Applied Spirituality from the Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosophy, a Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy Education with the Association of Community Counselling Education and Therapy (ACCEPT), trained as an Adult Education Tutor with the Dublin Institute of Adult Education and as a professional trainer with DCM Training and Evaluation. She is author of the book “The Coldest Night”, A Family’s Experience of Suicide.

Dr Eve Griffin

Dr Eve Griffin, Principal Investigator at the National Suicide Research Foundation, Ireland, and Research Fellow with the School of Public Health, University College Cork. She has more than ten years’ research experience in the area of suicide prevention.

Fiona Tuomey

Fiona Tuomey is the CEO of Healing Untold Grief Groups (HUGG). Two years after the death of her daughter by suicide, Fiona established the national suicide bereavement charity HUGG. The charity delivers unique peer support groups, led by trained volunteers with a lived experience of suicide

Iryna Matuzova

Iryna Matuzova is the Ukrainian Project Worker with Barnardos Children’s Bereavement Service. She is a psychologist from Ukraine with many years’ experience working with children and families. Iryna and her family needed to seek refuge in Ireland and have been living in Ireland since April 2022.

Niamh Finucane

Niamh Finucane is the Co-ordinator of Social Work & Bereavement Services, St. Francis Hospice Dublin. Niamh has written and presented on the role of social work in palliative care and working in bereavement. She has been involved in national projects on the development of palliative care and the development of bereavement services. 

Maura Keating

Maura Keating is the Irish Childhood Bereavement Network (ICBN) National Coordinator at Irish Hospice Foundation for the past 7 years. The ICBN is a hub for those working with bereaved children, young people and their families. Maura has 40 years’ experience working in the development of specialist children’s services at a practice and policy level.

Orla Keegan

Orla Keegan is Head of Bereavement and Education with Irish Hospice Foundation and Honorary Senior Lecturer at Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI). She co-chairs the Bereavement Taskforce of European Association for Palliative Care, is a member of the steering committee for Bereavement Network Europe and sits on the editorial board for Bereavement: Journal of grief and responses to death.

Dr Amanda Roberts

Dr Amanda Roberts works in a Bereavement Development role with the Irish Hospice Foundation. She has worked in areas of bereavement, health or social care for over 25 years in various roles including healthcare researcher, lecturer, social care worker and in a service development role. Her current role involves working collaboratively with bereavement support providers at a local and national level to enhance bereavement care in Ireland.

Diane Clabby

Diane Clabby is an accredited Trauma Informed Psychotherapist and Gambling Psychotherapist with an Honours Degree in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy. She also holds a Diploma in Trauma Informed Psychotherapy, a Level 8 UCC certificate in Problem Gambling, a Level 7 QQI Certificate in Suicide Postvention and a Level 6 QQI Train the Trainer Certificate. Diane has a special interest in working with trauma, loss and bereavement, suicide prevention, intervention and postvention, abuse and addiction (especially gambling addiction).

Lisa White

Lisa White is the End-Of-Life Care Coordinator in Naas General Hospital. The role of the End of Life Care Coordinator is to work towards ensuring that good quality compassionate end of life care is central to the hospital. She has a background in Social Work for 18 years in the area of Child Protection and a Post Graduate Professional Certificate in Children and Loss.

Eibhlín Mc Namara

Eibhlín Mc Namara is the Bereavement Care Coordinator and Senior Palliative Care Social Worker at St. Vincent’s University Hospital. She has been a member of the South Dublin Bereavement Network Group for the past two years. For several years Eibhlín was involved in the Bereavement Care Programme in another acute hospital in Dublin.