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This is what I have been able to ascertain so far:

  • Dúchas / The Heritage Service (a Department of the Ministry for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands) is said to be the responsible body. It has a National Monuments and Historic Properties Division.which sounds like the place where decisions relative to megalithic sites are made. But the Dúchas website at provides no information on their structure, policy, director, or staff.

    According to the December 21, 2000 article about Newgrange in the Irish Times (by their Science Correspondent Dick Ahlstrom), David Sweetman is "chief archaeologist", Victor Buckley is a "senior archaeologist", and Tom Condit is "another archaeologist" with Dúchas. Tom Condit is also the editor of Archaeology Ireland magazine.

  • The Heritage Council (which is also part of the Ministry for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands) also has some authority on megalithic sites. According to the Heritage Council website at,

    "The Heritage Council is advised on archaeological matters by the statutory Archaeology Committee. The Council has inherited the functions, established in the National Monuments Acts, of the National Monuments Advisory Council. It grant-aids a number of archaeological research projects. The Council is a statutory consultee under the Planning Regulations and the Committee has an input into planning decisions which affect archaeology. The Council is also asked to comment on a wide range of issues ranging from the Boyne Valley Integrated Development Plan to the Licensing of Archaeological Excavations. The Chairperson of the Committee is Prof. John Waddell (who is also a member of the Royal Irish Academy's National Committee for Archaeology [see below]), and the members include Dr. Michael Ryan, Prof. Barry Raftery (of NUI Dublin, he is also the Chairperson of the Royal Irish Academy's National Committee for Archaeology [see below]), Dr. Terry Barry (of Trinity College Dublin, he is also a member of the RIA National Committee for Archaeology [see below]), Ms. Mary Cahill, Father Tomas O'Caoimh, Mr. Ted Creedon, Mr. Michael O'Hanrahan and Mr. John Sheehan.

    Under the Archaeology Commitee is the Urban Archaeology Working Party which is made up of representatives of the Council, The National Museum of Ireland, The National Monuments Service and The Irish Association of Professional Archaeologists. The Working Party is charged with the role of overseeing the review of Urban Archaeology. The Archaeological Officer of the Council is Charles Mount (email"

  • The Royal Irish Academy (RIA).funded the excavation and renovation work at Knowth (carried out under the direction of George Eogan). I am not clear whether the RIA also has responsibility for the work itself. The RIA received a grant-in-aid of IR£1,725,000 from the Higher Education Authority in 1999, and awarded four grants totalling IR£2,000 from its Archaeological Research Fund in 1999. The RIA has a National Committee for Archaeology, which met three times in 1999, and organised a seminar on "Annual archaeological excavations" in November 1999. Members of this Committee (from 1 January 2000 to 31 December 2003) are: Mr. E. Cody (Secretary + RIA), Dr. P. Harbison (RIA), Mr. B. Lacey (RIA), Mr. P.D. Sweetman (RIA), Professor P. Woodman (NUI Cork), Professor B. Raftery (Chairperson, from NUI, Dublin, he is also a member of Dúchas' Archaeology Committee [see above]), Professor J. Waddell (NUI Galway, he is also the chairperson of Dúchas' Archaeology Committee [see above]), Dr. Terry B. Barry (Trinity College Dublin), Dr. F.G. McCormac (The Queen's University, Belfast), Dr. A. Lynch (National Monuments and Historic Properties Division, Dúchas), Mr. E.P. Kelly (National Museum of Ireland),. Mr. R.B. Warner (National Museums and Galleries of Northern Ireland), Mr. D. Power (Irish Association of Professional Archaeologists), and Miss M. Meek (N.I. Department of the Environment).

    The Royal Irish Academy also has a National Committee for Astronomy and Space Research (which is affiliated to the International Astronomical Union). Members (from 1 January 2000 to 31 December 2003) are: Professor P.K. Carroll (Royal Irish Academy), Professor B.P. McBreen (RIA), Professor F. Murtagh (RIA), Dr. N. Smyth (RIA), Dr. P. Callanan (Secretary + NUI Cork), Dr. A. Breslin (NUI Dublin), Professor R.M. Redfern (Chairperson + NUI Galway), Professor S. McKenna-Lawlor (NUI Maynooth), Professor P.S. Florides (Trinity College Dublin), Dr. A. Fitzimmons (Queen's University, Belfast), Professor E.J.A. Meurs (School of Cosmic Physics, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies), Professor L. Drury (School of Theoretical Physics, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies), Professor M.E. Bailey (Armagh Observatory), Dr. B. O'Donnell (Enterprise Ireland), Mr. B. Harvey (Irish Astronomical Society).

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Updated 29 January 2001
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