About Us

We are a group of experienced researchers with more than 20 years experience working with senior policy makers and practitioners to identify and meet their research needs. All our senior researchers have worked in national policy organisations and have been involved in the development and implementation of research programmes and in carrying out research for senior decision-makers. Individually we have led the design, conduct, analysis and reporting of many studies across areas as diverse as health, services, well-being, crime, restorative justice, children and families. We each have a strong commitment to making sure research is used to improve the lives of people.

    • Dr Sinead Hanafin is a nurse, midwife and public health nurse since the 1980s and worked as the Head of Research at the Irish Department of Health and Children for several years
    • Dr Kieran O’ Dwyer worked as the Head of Research for the Irish police force as well as spending time at the OECD

  • Sandra Roe worked at the Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs and is a social research consultant since 2005

Meet The Senior Team

Sinead about

Dr Sinead Hanafin

Managing Director

Sinead holds a Diploma in Research Methods (Royal College of Surgeons Ireland), M.Sc (Trinity College Dublin) and PhD (King’s College London). She has also completed a European PhD programme having studied at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, Lund University, Sweden and Edinburgh University, Scotland.

She is a qualified nurse, midwife and public health nurse and has worked in various health services in Ireland and the United Kingdom. Most recently, she was employed as the Head of Research within the Department of Health and Children / Children and Youth Affairs in Ireland and has extensive knowledge and experience in the area of using research for decision making.

She has recently been appointed as Visiting Research Fellow at Trinity College.
Recent publications include:

  • Evidence, policy and pragmatics: a case study on the development of a national research and data strategy on children’s lives and the role of knowledge exchange. Evidence & Policy; 9 (1), January 2013 , pp. 29-42
  • National Research and Data Strategy on Children’s Lives published by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs 2011. Available from: Report

Ms Sandra Roe

Research Associate

Ms. Sandra Roe is an experienced researcher who holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) in Sociology and French and an M. Sc. in Applied Social Research. She has conducted research for a wide range of Government and Non-Government Organisations in Ireland and internationally since 2005 in areas such as children and young people, education, homelessness, ethnicity, health, migrant rights, recreation, the arts, aging and inter-country adoption. She has also worked as a Qualitative Researcher on ‘Growing up in Ireland’;the government funded National Longitudinal Study of Children in Ireland. Recent publications include:

• Report of a consultation with young people on reform of the Junior Cycle published by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.
Available from: Report

• Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (2010) Life skills matter- not just points: A survey of implementation of Social Personal and Health Education (SPHE) and Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) in second-level schools.

Available from: Report

Kieran-ODwyer about

Dr Kieran O’Dwyer

Research Associate

Dr Kieran O’Dwyer holds a B. Comm, MPA and M Sc and was awarded a PhD from University College Dublin in 2008 for his thesis on the Garda restorative justice programme. Kieran has worked in various government departments including as policy analyst in the Departments of Finance and Energy.

He worked for 6 years in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris. He was then Head of Research in the Garda Síochána between 1994 and 2006 where he was involved in the development, analysis and reporting of research and evaluation projects including public attitude surveys, human and vehicle resource modeling, crime statistics analysis, victimisation studies, activity analysis, and reviews of court appearances and promotion systems. He worked in the Irish Prison Service from 2006 to 2012, latterly as Director of Regimes.


Dr Emma Dwan O’Reilly

Research Associate

Dr Emma Dwan O’Reilly holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) in History of Art and English from University College Cork, a Master’s degree from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin and a PhD. from University of Ulster, Belfast.

She holds the position of assistant editor of the Irish Journal of Arts Management and Cultural Policy. She joined the research team at Research Matters Ltd in 2014.