Research

In another life I was a business consultant and worked in the Business Information sector here and in the UK. More recently I have worked with Firebrand Productions research researching television programmes that were broadcast during primetime on RTE 1. Here are details of my two most recent projects:

BULLYPROOF – IFTA Award winner 2013

I was the researcher on this series and also coordinated a national media campaign.

‘In this 3 part series for RTE Education, Clinical Psychologist, David Coleman explored the issue of teenage bullying in Ireland. A key element of this series saw David providing his therapeutic support to a number of teens and pre-teens, (and their families), who have been affected by bullying. In Programme 1, David met with three youngsters who have suffered at the hands of bullies and began the process of helping them rebuild their shattered self-esteem. Jade (13) was regularly taunted, isolated and pushed around by other children when she was younger. Like many others, she has found it difficult to let go of the hurt and frustration over what happened. Hazel (14) was first bullied when she was 8 and even though she sought help at the time, the bullying just seemed to get worse. Even though the bullying has now stopped, Hazel has developed ways of coping with thelegacy of what happened in ways which are ultimately self-destructive. Having spent a year abroad, Eamonn (10) and his mum Sandra returned to Ireland while dad Jim remained working abroad. When Eamonn became the target of bullying in his new school, the family began to question whether they had made the right choice. For all three, the trauma of being the targets of bullies has had a dramatic effect on their lives and David’s aim was to help them try to move beyond this negative experience because the scars of bullying often last long into adulthood if they are not tackled and confronted. In this series, David also wanted to explode people’s sense of powerlessness when they are faced with a bullying situation because bullying is something that can be tackled, prevented and overcome. To highlight some of the positives, David met Mark Feehily of Westlife at the launch of the ISPCC’s shield campaign. Mark talks about the impact of bullying on him during his schooldays and offers living proof that this kind of childhood experience can be overcome. David also visited Colaiste Eanna, a Dublin secondary school, that responded to the shock of one student leaving the school because of bullying by developing a sophisticated but highly effective anti bullying programme that allows students who have witnessed bullying behaviour to report it in a safe and confidential way and helps resolve the problem without demonizing the perpetrator. It is a system that is now being copied by other schools.’

WHAT HAVE THE BRITS EVER DONE FOR US? – Broadcast on RTE 1 in May 2011 to coincide with the visit of Queen Elizabeth II to Ireland

‘A 52’ authored documentary which highlights the uniquely complex relationship between Ireland and its closest neighbour in a provocative, entertaining and intelligent way. The relationship between Ireland and Britain is a long one. It’s also a very tricky one. While acknowledging this, we shine a light on our national blind spot when it comes to our relationship with Britain and the influence it has had on our development as a society and country. This documentary was commissioned to coincide with the historic visit of Queen Elizabeth to Ireland in 2011 but this is not a history programme. Her majesty’s visit offers the ideal opportunity to examine the truth about our historical antipathy toward the ‘Brits’ despite the factual reality that their influence has been positive as well as negative and permeates almost everything in our lives. We explore the uncomfortable truth about the positive influence the British Empire has had on us – whether we like it or not!

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