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Dr. Damien Brennan

Associate Professor (School of Nursing & Midwifery)

Dr Brennan is Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Teaching & Learning at the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin. He holds overall responsibility for the leadership and governance of all undergraduate activity including the Honors Degree programs in General Nursing, Mental Health Nursing, Intellectual Disability Nursing, General and Children's Nursing, and Midwifery. Professor Brennans teaching and research are focused on the Sociology of Health and Illness. Dr Brennan has developed a significant agenda of research which examines 'Contexts of Care Provision in Ireland'. He has made a major contribution to understanding Ireland's problematic institutional past, while also examining the potential for care provision within contemporary Irish communities and families, with particular reference to Intellectual Disability and Mental Illness. This research agenda has attracted funding from bodies such as the Irish Research Council, the National Disability Authority, the Irish Penal Reform Trust and the Department of Health and Children. Dr Brennan held roles of PI, Co-Researcher and project manager to these funded research initiatives, which has resulted in quality outputs in academic journals, book chapters and a sole authored book. Dr Brennan also acts as a 'public intellectual', disseminating research through TV Documentaries, National Radio, Print Media, Key Note Addresses and Public Lectures. His work is an established point of reference which both informs and shapes national discourse concerning 'Contexts of Care Provision in Ireland'.
  Aetiology of mental illness   Development studies   Development, prevention and treatment of mental disease or disorder   Gender issues, gender studies   Mental health nursing   Mental health promotion   Patterns of health   Psychiatry   Social Theory   Sociological influences on health   Sociology of illness and health
 The development of measurements of caring capacity in domestic / home settings
 A participatory action research pilot study to enhance long term care planning for older people with an Intellectual Disability (ID) in Ireland and their families.
 Understanding family strategies that enable long term and sustainable home environments for older people with an Intellectual Disability
  An Intellectual Disability Supplement to the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing TILDA. Wave II III.

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Details Date
Sociological Association of Ireland, Member of Executive. 2005 to 2011
Details Date From Date To
An Bord Altranais, Registered Psychiatric 1992 To Date
An Bord Altranais, Registered Nurse Tutor 2000 To Date
Sociological Association of Ireland 2003 To Date
Brennan, D., McCausland, D., O'Donnovan, M-A., Eustace-Cook, J., McCallion, P., & McCarron, M., Approaches to and outcomes of future planning for family carers of adults with an intellectual disability: A systematic review, Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 33, (6), 2020, p1221 - 1233, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Damien Brennan, Family Care provision for psychiatric patients in Post Institutional Ireland , Prisons Asylums Workhouses Institutions in Ireland: Public Record Office of Northern Ireland AND Queens University Belfast , Queens University Belfast, Thursday 13th to Sat, 2019, Conference Paper, PUBLISHED  URL
Brennan, D., McCausland, D., McCallion, P. and McCarron, My Future Care Road Map, Planning Tool Guidance Document, Trinity College Dublin, 2019, p1 - 47, Report, PUBLISHED  URL
Brennan, D., McCausland, D., McCallion, P. and McCarron, My Future Care Road Map, Accessible Planning Tool, Trinity College Dublin, 2019, p1 - 12, Report, PUBLISHED  URL
Brennan D., Key Note 'Irish Insanities Legacy and Mental Hospitals Institutional Confinement' , '​Legacies matter' Annual Conference of the Sociological Association of Ireland, Dublin Institute of Technology Grangegorman, 18 & 19 May, 2018, Conference Paper, PUBLISHED  URL
Brennan, D., Present and future sustainability of family care giving, Caregiving capacity and contemporary Irish family life Learning from the experiences of families and older people with an intellectual disability, Trinity College Dublin, 11th April, 2018, Conference Paper, PUBLISHED
McCausland, D., McCallion, P., Brennan, D., and McCarron, M., The exercise of human rights and citizenship by older adults with an intellectual disability in Ireland, Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 62, (10), 2018, p875 - 887, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  URL
The myth of the Irish insanity epidemic in, editor(s)Cohen , International Handbook of Critical Mental Health, Surrey, Routledge , 2017, pp133 - 140, [Brennan D.], Book Chapter, PUBLISHED
Brennan D., Key Note - Caring Capacity in the Domestic Space: Current and Future Challenge , Irish Association of Social Workers and Social Care Ireland - National Conference, Our Lady's Hospice, Dublin, September 22nd , 2017, Conference Paper, PUBLISHED
Brennan D., Family Care Giving, International Summit on Ageing with an Intellectual Disability - Best Practices in Policies, Services and Community Supports to Advance Health and Wellbeing, Trinity College, Dublin, 20th September, 2017, Conference Paper, PUBLISHED

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Irish Independent - Nicola Anderson, 'People with intellectual disability in limbo as families shun talks on future Irish', Irish Independent, Dublin , 2017, -, Broadcast, PUBLISHED
Irish Examiner - Catherine Shanahan & Noel Baker, 'No care plans for special needs elderly', Irish Examiner Thursday, June 16, 2016, -, Broadcast, PUBLISHED
Damien Brennan, 'Time for Those Damaged by the Asylum System to Tell Their Stories', Irish Independent , 2014, -, Broadcast, PUBLISHED
Damien Brennan, Mental Health and Happiness in Ireland, Trinity Week Symposium , Trinity College , 9th April, 2014, Trinity College , Invited Talk, PUBLISHED
RTE, 'Marian Finucane - Sunday Morning Radio', RTE, Ireland, 2013, -, Broadcast, PUBLISHED
News Talk - George Hook, 'The Right Hook', 2013, -, Broadcast, PUBLISHED
Irish Times - Jo Humphreys, 'Professional and local interests had stake in keeping asylums, says major study', Ireland, Irish Times, 2013, - 5, Broadcast, PUBLISHED
Irish Times - Fintan O Toll, 'Time for State to acknowledge great wrong of Irish mental hospital system', Ireland, Irish Times, 2013, -, Broadcast, PUBLISHED
Brennan D., Irish Insanity: The excessive use of Mental Hospitals in Ireland, Trinity College, 24th October, 2013, School of Nursing and Midwifery "Tell me about public lecture series", Notes: [public lecture], Invited Talk, PUBLISHED


Award Date
Masters in Arts (j.o.), Trinity College November 2006
Sociology of Mental Health and Illness; Health Promotion, Particularly Mental Health Promotion and Environmental Health Promotion; Sociology of Health and Illness; Economics of Social Policy; Education Theory and Practice; Development Studies and Equality Issues; Nursing Theory; Research Theory and Utilisation