New chair of the Discovery Programme board

The Discovery Programme: Centre for Archaeology and Innovation Ireland announces the appointment of a new chairperson and board members.

Professor Gabriel Cooney, School of Archaeology, UCD has been appointed to the role of Chair of the Board of The Discovery Programme by the Heritage Council and the Minister of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan.

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Professor Cooney is the adjunct Professor of Celtic Archaeology in UCD School of Archaeology. He served as Head of the Department in 2001-4, and as Head of School, 2008-12 and 2014-6. He was the Academic Secretary for the Sixth World Archaeological Congress (WAC-6) held in Dublin in 2008 with over 1800 participants from around the world. He was Chair of the Historic Monuments Council of Northern Ireland 2009-19 and a member of the board of the Heritage Council 2005-15. He is a Member of the Royal Irish Academy and serves on the Council of the Academy and on the Academy’s Standing Committee for Archaeology. Professor Cooney has published extensively on a diversity of topics from Irish prehistory, particularly on the Neolithic period, and on the evolution and future of Irish archaeology. Professor Cooney said that he was honoured to serve in this role at a key time for the development of the research and role of the Discovery Programme.

The Discovery Programme’s CEO Dr Edel Bhreathnach welcomed the appointment of Professor Cooney and believed that his experience and knowledge of research in Irish archaeology would be of great benefit to the Discovery Programme as the organisation evaluates its future direction. Dr Bhreathnach thanked the previous Chair, Dr Finbar McCormick, Queen’s University Belfast for all his work and commitment to the Discovery Programme in the past three years.

The Heritage Council also appointed two board members to The Discovery Programme, Dr Muiris Ó Céidigh and Dr Stephen Mandal.
Dr Ó Ceidigh is the founding Chief Executive of the National Milk Agency and has extensive experience of public management and regulation.
Dr Mandal is co-founder and CEO of the Irish Archaeology Field School, Cultural Tourism Ireland, Dig it Kids, and CRDS Archaeological and Historical Consultancy.