A Tribute to Our Dear Friend


In Loving Memory of Adrian

Founder, member and inspiration to creation of a Trauma Response Network for Ireland, instrumental in the training of 35 EMDR therapists in advanced EMDR training in early response to mass trauma events. 

Adrian O Grady was a kind, compassionate soul and lived to serve others. He was an Accredited Counsellor and Psychotherapist as well as a Director, Tutor & Complicated Grief Therapist and had recently opened his own counselling practice. Forever helping others he was a Station Officer with Dublin Fire Brigade. He was fully qualified in Critical Incident Stress Management as well as an EMDR Europe Accredited Practitioner. He was also a Child Safeguarding Educator and Paramedic Association Tutor. 

Adrian is deeply regretted by his loving wife Helen, sons Paul and Sean, daughter Kate, mother and father, mother-in-law, brothers, sister, brothers-in-law, sister-in-law, nieces, nephews, relatives and friends and all his friends in the counselling and psychotherapy community, the Ireland and UK EMDR Association, trauma therapist network, critical incident management community and Dublin fire brigade. 

Tributes are still being paid all from all over the country to Adrian who passed away suddenly in his counselling room on Monday afternoon 7 October 2019. Tributes are being paid from his fire brigade family, from the EMDR community in Ireland, from Irish Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists and from thousands of people Adrian supported, assisted, engaged, gave a helping hand to over the years. 

“We’re desperately sad to learn of the passing of our friend & colleague Station Officer Adrian O’Grady.” 

“Aido joined DFB in 1995 and was instrumental in bringing CISM, a peer support service for traumatic incidents (DFB Stress Matters), into the brigade. 

“In addition to being the SO in Tallaght fire station, he was also a qualified psychotherapist.

“An avid GAA player, he will be missed by everyone in the brigade.

“Our hearts go out to his family too, funeral arrangements to follow.

 “His unmistakable laugh along with his permanent smile and good humour will be sorely missed in the station. RIP Aido.” 

“My thoughts & sympathies go out to his family, colleagues and the lives of everyone he touched. May He Rest In Peace.”

“Very sad day for all firemen especially his colleagues in Tallaght. Rest in peace.”

“Humble – Decent – Honest –Caring – Always Empathetic  Immense Integrity professionally and Personally” 

“He Made Time for all, was always at end of phone, helped thousands of people silently compassionately  – dedicated his life to service of others.” 

“Adrian looked out for everyone and when dealing with Critical Incidents he made sure nobody was left out, encouraging Firefighters, Paramedics and Police to seek support when effected by the type of work we do, a huge void has been left with the loss of Aido.”


Tallaght Fire Station added: “The firefighters and officers of Tallaght fire station are devastated by the sudden and untimely passing of Station Officer Adrian O’Grady.

“‘Aido’ was a true champion of firefighter well-being throughout the whole of Dublin Fire Brigade and his legacy will remain for many generations in DFB.

Tribute from Gus Murray - Chairperson EMDR Ireland

Over the time I knew Adrian O’Grady, I was impressed by his clinical capability and commitment to growth, healing and change. I was also impressed by his commitment to ongoing learning and continuous professional and personal development.

After completing his trainings in Bereavement Studies and in Counselling and Psychotherapy, Adrian went on to take a leading role in Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) both within the Dublin Fire Brigade and Ambulance Service and in the National CISM network. With his training and accreditation in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy, he further developed and extended this and had recently been assisting in the first steps towards developing a Trauma Response Network in Ireland.

As an accredited EMDR practitioner, Adrian had begun his training to mentor new EMDR trainees and was shortly due to begin this work. On the wider front, he showed great leadership and was an enthusiastic contributor to our work in the development of EMDR in Ireland. Through his role in the Dublin Fire Brigade training centre, Adrian accommodated us by making the training centre available for many EMDR training and supervision events.

I was deeply shocked at the news of his sudden and unexpected death, all the more so as he and I had assisted in the delivery of EMDR Early Interventions trainings at the Dublin Fire Brigade training centre just a little over a month earlier.

Adrian was a warm, welcoming and generous man, always reaching out in support of others.

I can say without hesitation that Adrian has made an invaluable contribution to the field of counselling, psychotherapy and healing in Ireland and beyond. He will be greatly missed.


Tribute from Brendan McNicholas - Third Officer Dublin Fire Brigade

I would like to recommend the work of Adrian O’Grady and the positive effect he has had on mental well-being at Dublin Fire Brigade.  Adrian joined as a Fire fighter in 1995 and brought enthusiasm, charisma and energy to the organisation.  He brightened up our days.

To different people he was a leader, teacher, mentor, peer supporter, counsellor, Station officer and friend.  To him his most important roles were as husband to Helen and Dad to Paul, Kate and Sean.  He was approachable and could talk to anybody.  He loved being around people and understood them.  In a group, each person felt they had an individual relationship with him.  He built on that talent and went back to further education earning a BSc in Counselling and an MSc in Bereavement Studies.  Indeed he completed many shorter courses, especially those that would assist him in helping individuals and groups in crisis.  He was proud to qualify as a Psychotherapist and was always sure to seek further knowledge in this area.

Adrian took on the role of ‘Team Co-ordinator of the Dublin Fire Brigade Critical Incident Stress Management peer Support Team’.  He liked to shorten this long and unwieldy title to ‘Chief Hugger’ an in-joke amongst emergency responders who remember Adrian’s infectious laugh.  He interacted with his DFB colleagues in all ways, through sport, art, coffee, understanding that these social interactions increased the ‘street-cred’ of individuals and groups in this organisation, ultimately improving the chances that they would seek appropriate support when required.

Adrian was proud of the members of the DFB CISM team.  He had been involved in setting standards and in the process of selection, assessment and training of all group members.  He was instrumental in creating a world class support system for the men and women of DFB.  He made sure that the system was easy to access, provided a wide range of supports from and built a culture of openness.  He pioneered the Family Information Evenings for recruits and their families ensuring that they all knew where to seek help.  Most importantly, Adrian ensured that peers were available to all DFB members during their work through direct contact and phone helplines.  Indeed every computer terminal at DFB now carries a CISM icon to access information quickly.  Adrian was also careful to identify the support needed by call takers in the East Region Communications Centre who answer 999/112 calls and the administrative staff who see critical incidents through reports, recordings and knowledge of frontline staff who are more directly involved.

Adrian O’Grady was a member of CISM Network Ireland’s National Steering Committee and was regarded as one of the leading proponents of CISM in Ireland and abroad.  He had spoken at conferences in Ireland, the UK and the US and was a published author in academic journals work.  Adrian led a longitudinal survey of peer supports in the first five years of a Fire fighter’s career at DFB and was due to work on year 5 of that survey this year.  This work is supervised by DCU.  Adrian’s work at DFB was endorsed by the Hevey report into CISM Systems for Fire Services which was completed at Trinity College Dublin on behalf of the National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management.  His work is well received by many other agencies such as the State Claims Agency, An Garda Siochana, Dublin City Council, Dublin Airport Authority, the Irish Hospice Foundation, Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service.  Adrian travelled to London to provide counselling for members of London Fire Brigade and London Ambulance Service after the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

It is a legacy of Adrian O’Grady that the CISM system in DFB is robust and that the current Peer Support team is well capable of carrying on his good work.



Tribute from Davy Hutton - EMDR Consultant Supervisor

Adrian O’Grady was a dedicated, empathic, compassionate, person focused, kind-hearted member of the EMDR Ireland/UK community who it was my pleasure to know. I first met Adrian in 2016 after I was asked to facilitate an EMDR supervision group in Dublin. Adrian was a key person in this group and was eager to learn through supervision. I had the opportunity to guide him as his supervisor on his journey as an EMDR Accredited Practitioner. We talked often about trauma and client presentations among his clinical caseload. He would ring me and even on the phone I could hear the craic in his voice.

As his clinical supervisor, I had the pleasure of seeing him develop into a highly skilled practitioner and the tributes paid to him are a testimony to the numerous colleagues he’d helped overcome traumatic incidents.

He was a “helper”, someone who wanted to help people in any way he could e.g. as a Firefighter, Critical Incident Responder, EMDR Accredited Practitioner, friend and family man. He was an ardent supporter of EMDR because he saw its effectiveness in helping those who’d been traumatised. Adrian offered the Dublin Fire Brigade training centre as a location to use free of charge for supervision sessions and that is typical of the man. Adrian was also an educator and teacher who had a thirst for knowledge.

He was  big man with an enormous, generous, gentle heart. He was full of fun and readily made friends with everyone he met. It was my pleasure to have known Adrian and his gentle spirit.

He had a fantastic smile and laugh; which I know I’ll miss the most.

Tribute from Dr. Michael Paterson OBE, EMDR Europe Accredited Senior Trainer

I had the pleasure and honour of working with Adrian at his basic EMDR Therapy training in Dublin. His warmth as a person exuded from him and I could tell straight away that people would be very comfortable in his company. 

During the training I enjoyed Adrian’s humour and his commitment to learning EMDR Therapy so he could make a difference to his fire brigade colleagues and also others suffering psychological trauma. I was delighted to see Adrian and Johnny Moran becoming EMDR Europe Accredited Practitioners in record time and was impressed by their eagerness to set up an EMDR Therapy support group for less experienced therapists. The further step of setting up the Trauma Response Network Ireland shows clearly Adrian’s and Johnny’s commitment to humanity and alleviation of human suffering. The loss of Adrian is a blow to those who loved him, respected him, and enjoyed his company. Undoubtedly the world is a lesser place without him but he will live on in our hearts and with the legacy he has left for us.

Greggs Sausages Rollers!

Adrian O'Grady (1973 - 2019)


Adrian O’Grady MSc.

Station Officer | Counsellor & Psychotherapist |C.I.S.M. Director & Tutor | Complicated Grief Therapist| EMDR Europe Accredited Practitioner|Child Safeguarding Educator | Paramedic Ass. Tutor |


A tribute from Johnny Moran fellow Sausage Roller and Friend

“Whom we love and lose are no longer where they were before – They are now wherever we are “ (St John Chrysostom)

Adrian O Grady was a big man with a huge heart who left a giant legacy behind him.

Husband to Helen, father to Paul, Sean and Kate, Psychotherapist, Counsellor, friend to many.

Dublin Fire Brigade was a huge part of Adrian’s life having joined in 1995 and where he served as teacher, tutor, mentor, paramedic, complicated grief therapist and counsellor, station Officer.  He served as Team Coordinator for the Dublin Fire brigade Critical Incident Stress Management Peer Support Team, centrally involved in the development of Dublin Fire Brigade CISM programmes. He was regarded as one of the leading proponents of CISM in Ireland and abroad. As an integrated psychotherapist specializing in trauma, Adrian was also a trained experienced accredited EMDR therapist.  Adrian was a founder member of Trauma Response Network Ireland (TRNi) www.siobhans.sg-host.com and instrumental in the recent training of 35 Irish  therapists in advanced early response EMDR protocols this year.  The TRNi website includes a tribute page with messages from various colleagues , images of proud   marching Firemen led by their  Pipers Band delivering his body to be cremated upon a bright red Dublin  fire engine, just as he would have wanted with ceremony ending with  rolling of his final curtain and into the flames to the sound of Old Blue Eyes singing ‘That’s Life’.

Adrian had the grace and beauty of the ultimate freshly baked Victoria Sponge, an inviting tempting pudding of a man, as cuddly as a giant Teddy Bear whose belly laugh could light up a dark building, his presence could change the climate in a room. A connoisseur of all sports and expert in sausage rolls.

 “Before you tell your life what you intend to do with it, listen for what it intends to do with you. Before you tell what truth and values you have decided to live up to let your life tell you what truths you embody what values you represent “  (Palmer)  

Adrian was Sound, Solid, Sensitive, Brave, Consistent, Honest, Kind, Open, Imperfectly Perfect and fulfilled different roles to many people. 

The last time I saw him he was on a recent Saturday Morning him planning to cycle back from Davy Hutton’s Group Supervision at the Dublin Fire brigade Training Centre, Malahide Road to Lucan.  Everybody rushing off in all directions, him all togged out in his cycling outfit looking more like the Michelin Man than Stephen Roche, the laughter as always infectious our mutual slagging a soothing tonic to the seriousness of life and our work.

How I wish we could be back there now and prolong those last moments, tell him how much I loved and admired him, how much his presence made to those who knew him, how he made our world feel like a so much better place. Tell him again what a great therapist he was but remind him to take more care of himself,  to try not to always have his first  care for others but I bit my tongue as that  would mean I would have to listen to my own advice or settle on being  a hypocrite to our friendship

None of us know what lies ahead of us or that Adrian would have passed away in his counselling office on Monday afternoon 7 October 2019. That clients would still come and call on him that same day, knocking on the unanswered door of his counselling room only to walk way not knowing.  How I wish I would have texted him back earlier on that same faithful Monday morning, or even better picked up the phone for a chin wag and some laughter.

Adrian’s untimely early passing is a message that we therapists need more empathy for ourselves and each other. We need to take care more of each other, be kinder to each other, enjoy ourselves more in relationship with each other as people not just as fellow professional colleagues.

We meet at trainings, supervisions, conferences always with an underlying and professional purpose.

We all should practice what we preach more for our self and to each other.  I admit I should. 

 Imagine a vision of  a  celebration of each other , of  what we all do for others in our work , expressed in  music, poetry, ol agus ceol, laughter ,   FUN rather than CPD , no  purpose other than to enjoy ourselves and each other regardless of our training , affiliations, all coming  together as carers to acknowledge and care more for each other .

We hope to organise an Adrian O’Grady Tribute Therapists Fun Night Out in 2020 – further details to be announced on  www.siobhans.sg-host.com  all proceeds in aid of Trauma Response Network Ireland.