Announcing the Appointment of the Heritage Council's New Chief Executive

Nuacht /

The Heritage Council is delighted to announce the appointment of Virginia Teehan as its new Chief Executive with effect from 1 February 2019. Ms Teehan joins the Heritage Council with a wealth of experience, having acted as Director of Cultural Projects at University College Cork, prior to which she served as Director of the Hunt Museum in Limerick. She will begin in her new role following the retirement of serving Heritage Council Chief Executive, Michael Starrett in January.

One of Ms Teehan’s key tasks as Chief Executive will be to drive the implementation of the Heritage Council’s recently launched Strategic Plan, Heritage at the Heart, 2018-2022, which aims to place heritage at the heart of Irish society and decision-making.

Chairman of the Heritage Council, Michael Parsons stated:

 “It is with real pleasure that I can confirm that, on Friday, the Heritage Council endorsed the appointment of Virginia Teehan as our new Chief Executive. Having worked in the cultural sector for over 25 years, she brings a wealth of knowledge and experience that will help the Heritage Council to deliver on its strategic vision in the next five years. The Board and staff very much look forward to working with Ms Teehan during what promises to be an exciting time for heritage in Ireland.

 Welcoming the appointment, Minister of Culture Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan stated

 “I am very pleased to welcome the appointment of Virginia Teehan as Chief Executive of the Heritage Council. Ms Teehan’s experience and achievements to date in national and international aspects of our heritage will be of enormous benefit to the Council. I look forward to working with the Heritage Council and the new CEO into the future, in the new and exciting national policy context offered by the development of Heritage Ireland 2030 and the Government’s commitment to invest €285m in Heritage through Project Ireland 2040 over the next decade. I wish Ms Teehan every success in her role.”

 As a cultural leader Virginia Teehan has been involved in the inception, management and delivery of a large number of strategic, high profile projects. These include major capital projects in Cork such as The Glucksman Gallery, St. FinBarre’s Cathedral Conservation Project, and the restoration of the Crawford Observatory. The Hunt Museum, Limerick, was awarded Irish Museum of the Year during Teehan’s tenure as Director. Also while at the Hunt Museum she curated a number of award-winning, exhibitions, including shows celebrating the work of the late Louis le Brocquy, Seán Keating, Roderic O’Conor and Jack B. Yeats. Her more recent work includes curating the major exhibition, The Arts and Crafts Movement, Making it Irish, which was held at the McMullan Museum of Art, Boston College, as part of the 2016 Centenary Commemorations. Teehan was Executive Producer of the documentary film, The Genius of George Boole, narrated by Oscar winning actor, Jeremy Irons. Currently, she is leading a major collaboration between UCC and RTÉ on a major three-part documentary, The Irish Revolution based on the award winning Atlas of the Irish Revolution. This documentary series will be transmitted by RTÉ in February 2019 and narrated by actor Cillian Murphy.  

 A qualified archivist, Teehan has a strong professional profile. She was appointed by Minister de Valera to the Board of The Heritage Council in 2000-2005 and re-appointed to the Heritage Council Board by Minister Dick Roche from 2005-2008. Minister Heather Humphreys appointed her to The Board of the National Museum of Ireland in 2016.  

 The new Chief Executive is looking forward to engaging with the opportunities and challenges presented by her new role. She said:

 “The role of Heritage Council CEO brings with it wonderful opportunities to shape and drive the next phase of the Council’s evolution. At a time when the heritage sector is on the cusp of change through the Heritage Council’s new vision, Heritage at the Heart, 2018-2022, coupled with Heritage 2030, a major new policy being developed by Minister Madigan and officials at the Department of Culture, Heritage and Gaeltacht, I couldn’t be more confident in our abilities to re-invigorate the sector. 

 Over the past 22 years, Michael Starrett, the out-going CEO, has lead a team of professionals whose passion, energy and enthusiasm has changed the landscape of Irish heritage. The opportunity that lies ahead for Heritage Council is exciting, the chance to lead this next chapter is incredibly exhilarating and I am honoured to take on the role of CEO.”