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About the conference

The conference is the Network’s flagship annual networking event. This year the theme of the event is Children Should be Seen and Heard. This theme has been chosen as a way for us all to reflect on the ways children are seen and heard in our societies, as well as the ways they should be (meaningfully) seen and heard.

This year, we are also celebrating the new collaboration between the Children’s Research Network and the Trinity Research in Childhood Centre (TRiCC) – CRN’s home since early 2019. On Wednesday evening, TRiCC welcomes the Trinity College community and all CRN members to a special lecture by Professor Neil Marlow who has led seminal research on long term outcomes for extremely preterm infants. The lecture will followed by a networking reception. Then on Thursday, we hold our full day conference, commencing with a Welcome speech by the Dean of Research, Trinity College Dublin, Professor Linda Doyle, and featuring a key note from the new Special Rapporteur for Children, Dr Conor O’Mahony.

Our Speakers

Professor Neil Marlow

Neil Marlow is Professor of Neonatal Medicine at University College London and current Chair of the NHS England Neonatal Critical Care Clinical Reference Group. He is the Chair of the ongoing NHS England Neonatal Transformation Review.

He took up his appointment at UCL following 11 years as Professor of Neonatal Medicine at Nottingham and 7 years as Senior Lecturer in Bristol. He is an Honorary Consultant in the University College Hospital Neonatal Service. Neil provided neonatal advice to the DH Working Groups that reported on Neonatal Services in 2002 and to the Toolkit for Quality Neonatal Services published in 2008.

His major academic interests have been in long-term outcomes following prematurity and he is the Director of the MRC-funded EPICure studies (www.epicure.ac.uk). He runs a series of local studies into brain and cognitive development following very preterm birth, communication about extremely preterm birth and is a co-investigator on a range of mainly UK based cohort and randomised studies.

Neil has been President of the British Association for Perinatal Medicine, Director of the UCL Institute for Women’s Health, President of the European Society for Paediatric Research and Chair of two European Academy of Paediatric Societies Meetings. He was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and is an Honorary Life Friend of Bliss, the UK-based charity for premature babies. He is also a member of the executive of the European Foundation for the Care of Newborn Infants.

Dr Conor O’Mahony

Title of key note: “The Shadow of the Past: Facing up to Ireland’s Child Abuse Legacy”

Dr Conor O’Mahony is a senior lecturer in child law and constitutional law at the School of Law at University College Cork. He is the director of the Child Law Clinic, through which he works to support litigation concerning children and to advocate for law reform in the area of child law (most notably on the issue of victims of sexual abuse in primary schools, including the Louise O’Keeffe case). He is co-Principal Investigator (with Dr Kenneth Burns) of the Voluntary Care in Ireland Study. Past projects include a major study of District Court child care proceedings, and an international project funded by the European Commission aimed at developing children’s rights capacity among child protection professionals. In 2019, he was appointed Special Rapporteur on Child Protection by the Irish Government for a three-year term.


Children Should be Seen AND Heard is an invitation to celebrate, share and learn from each other about what we are doing well in terms of engagement and inclusion of children and young people, but also an opportunity to consider how we may continue to overlook, forget or ignore their voices. This conference is a call for us to go further in our research, our practices and our policies with children and young people across the island of Ireland.

Programme (draft)

Date: 4th December

Venue: Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute, Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute (TBSI), Pearse Street

  • 18:00 – 19:00 - TRiCC Annual Lecture by Dr Neil Marlow
  • 19:00 – 19:30 - Networking reception

Date: 5th December

Venue: Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute, Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute (TBSI), Pearse Street

  • 09:00 – 09:30 - Registration and refreshments
  • 09:30 – 09:35 - Conference is opened by Dr Tracey Monson, Chair of the CRN Advisory Committee
  • 09:35 – 09:50 - Welcome by Professor Linda Doyle, Dean of Research, Trinity College Dublin
  • 09:50 – 10:00 - CRN Activities update
  • 10:00 – 10:30 - Poster Session
  • 10:30 – 11:30 - Parallel Sessions A
  • 11:30 – 11:45 - Tea and Coffee
  • 11:45 – 13:00 - Parallel Sessions B
  • 13:00 – 14:00 - Lunch
  • 14:00 – 14:30 - Keynote by Dr Conor O Mahony
  • 14:30 – 15:30 - Parallel Sessions C
  • 15:30 – 15:45 - Tea and Coffee
  • 15:45 – 16:45 - Workshops (Research with children and young people)
  • 16:45 – 17:00 - Closing Address
  • 17:00 Conference closes

Workshops: These workshops focus on upskilling researchers, practitioners and policymakers

Oral or poster presentations: We will have three types of presentations throughout the day:

  • Traditional oral presentation: A 15 to 20-minute presentation with PowerPoint slides, giving insights into a research study, or evidence-informed practice/policy.
  • Lightbulb presentation: A 5-minute talk, delivered with or without PowerPoint slides. This snapshot presentation is an opportunity for early-stage researchers / practitioners / others new to presenting, to share a key message – method, insight, best practice or challenge – from their work along the theme of the conference.
  • Poster presentation: An A0 poster which will be displayed throughout the day. After a successful pilot at the CRN 2019 PhD Symposium, poster presenters will be invited to prepare a (strict) 90-second ‘elevator pitch’ of their poster which they will present to all delegates at a special poster session.


Registration is OPEN! (Eventbrite - opens in new tab)

In accordance with our aim for CRN events to be more inclusive, we have amended our conference fees:

  • CRN Members: €50; student / unwaged €25
  • Non-members: €100; student / unwaged €70
  • If you would like to have a promotional stand at the Conference – please get in touch

NOTE: Avail of the member rate, as well as free or discounted entry to many other CRN events though the year, by becoming a member!

  • Student / unwaged €15/~£13*
  • Part-time employed / retired €20/~£18*
  • Full-time employed €30/~£28*


Contact Dr Derina Johnson, CRN/TRiCC Research Coordinator at ChildrensResearchNetwork@tcd.ie for more details.