Dr. Sheelah Connolly
Centre for Health Improvement,
Queen’s University Belfast
Sheelah Connolly joined the School of Medicine and Dentistry in Queens University Belfast in 2004, having previously lectured economics at the National University of Ireland, Galway for two years. Sheelah completed an MSc in Health Economics at the University of York in 2002 and a PhD in Epidemiology at Queens University Belfast. Over the past five years, she has worked on a variety of projects in the area of health services research, most notably using the Northern Ireland Longitudinal Study to examine the social and socio-economic determinants of morbidity and mortality in Northern Ireland, especially of older people. She has published work on the morbidity and mortality experience of unpaid carers, differences in morbidity and mortality across urban and rural areas and variations in care home admission rates across Northern Ireland. She is currently involved in a body of work trying to identify appropriate indicators of socio-economic status for health research in older populations, and is working on developing an indicator of socio-economic status based on house value.
Her research interests include identifying and explaining differences in morbidity and mortality and service usage across urban and rural areas, and linking secondary datasets to provide a more complete picture of the relationships between social circumstances, health service usage and health status.
Welcome to the Healthy Ageing in Rural Communities (HARC) research network, which is comprised of members of the National University of Ireland Galway, Queens University Belfast, FORUM Letterfrack, the Rural Community Network (RCN) and the Public Health Agency Northern Ireland.
HARC is a cross-border initiative funded by the Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland (CARDI) and 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.
As a part of this process, this web-site has been designed to inform practitioners, policy makers, academics, researchers, and other interested parties of the importance of ageing in rural communities and of the objectives and on-going activities of the HARC research network.
Aim and Objectives
The aim of HARC is to establish an interdisciplinary cross-border research network on healthy ageing in rural communities.
The network will draw on the interdisciplinary expertise of academic and stakeholder groups from both the ageing and rural sectors – thereby including both theoretical and applied perspectives and increasing the capacity for rural ageing research in the fields of ageing and rurality in Ireland and Northern Ireland.
HARC has five fundamental objectives, which are as follows;
1. To share existing knowledge on rural ageing in Ireland and Northern Ireland.
2. To enhance the capacity for research on rural healthy ageing in ageing and rural sectors across the island of Ireland.
3. To identify key research questions on healthy ageing in rural communities in Ireland and Northern Ireland.
4. To develop a coordinated interdisciplinary research programme for healthy ageing in rural communities across the island of Ireland.
5. To act as a dissemination and discussion network for future research in the area of healthy rural ageing