Mrs Gillian Donnelly has been associated with Forensic Management and Investigation of serious crime for many years and is a consultant in this field having used her expertise not only in the UK but also overseas. Our members were fortunate to have first-hand information from Gillian, who provided an in-depth picture of her role as a Forensic Scientist. She dealt with human situations and indicated the scope of investigations, integrity and compassion needed in dealing with a variety of research issues.
Respect for the dead was paramount, whether it be natural disaster, accidents or incidents. Early records provided the importance of forensic science after highlighting the Great Fire of London (1666) and another example of a Pit Disaster (1862). Identification of the dead proved almost impossible but provided ways for future research in dealing with major incidents. Factors affect the body by damage, and a scientist's use of protective equipment is essential, which provides reliable detection and implementation. She moved on to DNA and investigation, pointing out it now takes 85 minutes for full DNA examination. Primary and secondary methods may include fingerprints, dental records and analysis of body parts and their decomposition. Gillian placed emphasis upon profiling and family, post-mortem and ante-mortem reconciling such data. Listening to the Gillian’s talk, perhaps left us quite exhausted! Her passion shone through with clear interesting messages – not to be forgotten!! Many thanks.