A Book of Remembrance


Eilís McCaughan

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.








Book Owner: Ulster University, School of Nursing
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Helen Dolk

Dear Kader and family, My deepest sympathy to you for your loss. Eilis was one of those rare people who lights up a room and fills the space with positive energy. What a truly wonderful person at the centre of your family. She managed to balance an intense interest and joy in her family, …

Donna Fitzsimons

Eilis you are a treasure, a beautiful person – inside and out – fascinating, smart, wickedly funny, gentle, curious, grounded, challenging, inspiring……… You will live on in all that you role modelled, in all that you taught us – and we will do our best. One thing for sure, we will not meet your like …

Helene McNulty

My heartfelt sympathies to Kader and the Parahoo and McCaughan families at this time of great sadness. My condolences also to Eilis’s colleagues and friends throughout the University and to all who knew her in the wider communties in Portstewart and Ballycastle. She was a such a lovely person, friend and colleague, who achieved …

Professor Colum Walsh

So sorry to hear of Eilís‘ passing after her brave struggle with illness. She was such a warm and friendly colleague and I remember her great work from Northern Ireland regional cancer meetings that we helped to organize. My thoughts are with Kader and her family on this sad occasion, but I hope they …

Shauna Harte

Dear Kader and Family – my sincerest condolences on the passing of Eilís. Anytime I met Eilís in the corridors, she always had a beautiful warm smile and hello.  Thinking of you all. …

Roger Anderson

Dear Kader, So shocked and saddened to hear of such a great loss to you and all the family. We’ll be praying for you all as you grieve and come to terms with life without a dear wife and mother. kindest reagrds Roger …

Tony Bjourson

To Kader and all the family – I was really sorry to hear of Eilis’s passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family – Eilís always had a welcoming smile and a pleasant greeting any time I met her.  …

Julie Sittlington

I am very sorry to hear of your loss. I only knew Eilis to see, passing her in the corridor and she always had a warm smile. …

Julie McClelland

To Kader and family. I was so sorry to hear of Eilis’ passing.  She was always a warm and friendly face around the Coleraine campus and was always happy to stop for a chat.   …

Lisa Hanna-Trainor

To Kadar and family, My lasting memory of Eilis will always be her beautiful smile and her wonderful sense of humour. Eilis had a way of instilling calmness when she spoke to you. I am so very sorry for your loss and you will all remain in my thoughts and prayers. Eilis was an …