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New Chairperson for Discovery Programme Board

The Board of the Discovery Programme – Centre for Archaeology and Innovation is pleased to announce its election of Mr Tom Dowling as its new Chairperson. Mr Dowling took up the position following nomination by the Heritage Council, and was elected Chairperson on 19 March 2021


Mr Tom Dowling, a Laois native, is a former local government chief executive of Meath and Carlow County Councils, having held senior management positions in Dun Laoghaire Borough Council and Clare County Council. He is a Chartered Director with extensive corporate governance experience. In his time in local government and following retirement Tom has had a keen focus on community development, especially as chair and founder of Co-operation Ireland’s Pride of Place competition. He has also engaged with the community and business sector as chair and advisor to Bank of Ireland’s Enterprising Towns Awards.

Speaking on his election Tom noted “having worked with and listened to communities all over Ireland I am always reminded that heritage and archaeology provide powerful sources of pride and inspiration for everyone. I am looking forward to leading the Discovery Programme in enhancing our understanding of Ireland’s past through the study of its archaeology, sites and monuments, and sharing that understanding with as wide an audience as possible.”

Welcoming Mr Dowling’s appointment Ms Virginia Teehan, Chief Executive of the Heritage Council commented ‘We were delighted to nominate a chair with such experience of corporate and community leadership. From his time as a local authority chief executive we know that he has a strong interest and commitment to Ireland’s heritage. His leadership will help the Discovery Programme with its work programme and in strengthening its research on Ireland’s archaeological resource. I also want to pay tribute to the acting chair Mr Paul Walsh for his dedication and fine work in the past year’.