Researcher profile


Dr Kieran Walsh 

Introducing Kieran Walsh 

Dr Kieran Walsh is the Research Officer with the Irish Centre for Social Gerontology at NUI Galway. Kieran completed his PhD in 2004 on ’The Effects of Nursing Home Institutionalisation on the Cognitive, Sensory and Sensorimotor Abilities of Low Dependency Older Adults’ at the University of Limerick - UL. After completing a lecturing contract at UL, Kieran took a position as Senior Researcher in the Health Promotion Research Centre in NUI Galway, where he worked on the cross-national study on Health Behavior in School Aged Children project. Since joining the ICSG in April 2006, Kieran has worked on a variety of research projects in the areas of environmental gerontology and infrastructures of care. These have included studies on older adult community and voluntary activity, the impact of assistive technology on the lives of older people and the interaction between elements of place, technology and community.

His current research interests concern the relationship between older people and their surrounding environment within institutional and community settings and the social, health and well-being outcomes that this relationship has for older people. Kieran is also interested in the interaction between migratory and ageing processes in Irish and international settings. This refers to migratory experiences of past generations of older people, older adult return migration and the influence of migration trends in determining who will provide care to older people. Past and forthcoming publications include articles in Health & Place; Ageing International and Ageing & Mental Health. Kieran has also served as a peer-reviewer for Aging International.

Collaborative Partnerships and Projects

'Migrant Care Workers Caring for Older People'

Kieran was responsible for coordinating the Irish field research in the ’role of migrant health and social care workers in ageing societies’ research project. This project was a cross-national collaborative study investigating migrant care workers caring for older people in Ireland, the UK, the US and Canada. International project partners included the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (University of Oxford), the Oxford Institute of Ageing (University of Oxford), the Institute for the study of International Migration (Georgetown University) and the Community Health Research Unit (Ottawa University).

Work on this project is focused on dissemination activity: the national report, written by Dr. Kieran Walsh and Professor Eamon O’Shea, was launched in September 2009; the international synthesis findings were presented in February at the International Organisation for Migration and the comparative report will be published as a part of the International Organisation for Migration Research Series. The findings are also being used as the basis for a number of peer-reviewed articles.  

' Healthy Ageing in Rural Communities - HARC'

In 2009, Kieran was awarded grant monies by the Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland to establish the Healthy Ageing in Rural Communities (HARC) research network. HARC ( is an interdisciplinary cross-border initiative that seeks to bring together expertise on rurality and ageing from Ireland and Northern Ireland for the purposes of information sharing and the generation of research capacity. Kieran is the lead researcher and the coordinator of the network, which involves colleagues from the ICSG, Geography-NUIG, the Institute of Spatial and Environmental Planning (Queen’s University), the Centre for Health Improvement (Queen’s University), the Rural Community Network (Tyrone) and FORUM (Letterfrack, Galway).

The network are currently engaged in a base-line study on the experiences, contribution and participation of older people in rural communities across sites in Ireland, Northern Ireland and the cross-border region. The report on this work is expected to be launched in Autumn 2010.

Kieran Walsh

Kieran Walsh