A Book of Remembrance
Professor Eilís McCaughan 1963-2020
Eilís McCaughan was a highly respected and valued member of Ulster University’s School of Nursing. She led the ‘Cancer Care’ research group and throughout her clinical and academic career, was passionate about making a lasting and positive impact on the lives of people living with cancer. Eilís’ world leading research on maximising sexual wellbeing in prostate cancer led to the development of evidenced-based resources for healthcare professionals, patients and partners. These resources are now routinely used in clinical practice nationally and internationally.
Eilís was not only an exceptionally gifted academic, but she was also a valued colleague, mentor and friend. She drew immense joy and satisfaction from her work with PhD and early career researchers and took great pride in supporting and shaping the next generation of cancer care practitioners. Eilís had a natural talent for bringing people together. She had a great sense of humour and was such fun to be around!
Sadly, Eilís’ academic interest in cancer was also to become her reality. Eilís never wanted to be defined by her cancer diagnosis and bore her illness with courage and positivity and latterly with acceptance and grace. She continued to work and to provide help and support to others right up until the last few weeks of her life. Sadly, Eilís passed away on 6th November 2020 leaving behind her devoted husband Kader and their three children, Roisín, Yasmin and Ciarán.
Eilís’ loss casts a grey shadow over Ulster University and the wider cancer research community. The School of Nursing has lost someone very special, but Eilís lives on in our memories and in the legacy of her extraordinary life and work.
By Joy Harjo
This is the first morning we are without you on earth.
The sun greeted us after a week of rain
In your eastern green and mountain homelands.
Plants are fed, the river restored, and you have been woven
into a path of embracing stars of all colors
Now free of the suffering that shapes us here.
We all learn to let go, like learning to walk
When we first arrive here.
All those you thought you lost now circle you
And you are free of pain and heartbreak.
Don’t look back, keep going.
We will carry your memory here, until we join you
In just a little while, in one blink of star time.