New Chairman for Discovery Programme Ltd

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Heritage Council nominates Mr Tom Dowling as chairman of the board of the Discovery Programme Ltd

The Heritage Council has announced the appointment of Mr Tom Dowling as Chair of the Board of the Discovery Programme Ltd for a term of three years. The Discovery Programme is Ireland’s national archaeological research body. The Heritage Council as the major funder has the power to nominate members to the Discovery Programme’s Board, including the position of Chairman.

Mr Tom Dowling is a former local government chief executive (Meath and Carlow County Councils). Since retirement he has engaged in the community and business sector as chair and advisor to Bank of Irelands’ Enterprising Towns Awards as chair and founder of Co-operation Ireland’s Pride of Place Competition. He also served as Chair of Third Age Ireland and board member of Aura Leisure Group. He is an Accredited Executive Coach and a Chartered Director with extensive corporate governance experience.

Announcing this nomination, Ms Virginia Teehan, Chief Executive of the Heritage Council commented ‘We are 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’.


The Discovery Programme: Centre for Archaeology and Innovation Ireland is Ireland’s national archaeological research body, which is supported by the Heritage Council. The Discovery Programme is incorporated as a Company limited by guarantee.

The Discovery Programme pursues its goals by identifying 'gaps' in our knowledge or areas where intense research is required or would be valuable. Current areas of its work programme include the finalisation of a new volume on recent archaeological surveys on the Hill of Tara, Co Meath and Cherish (Climate, Heritage and Environments of Reefs, Islands and Headlands), which is a European-funded Ireland-Wales project between the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, Aberystwyth University: Department of Geography and Earth Sciences and Geological Survey, Ireland. The project will receive €4.1 million through the Ireland-Wales 2014-2020 Programme. It aims to raise awareness and understanding of the past, present and near future impacts of climate change, storminess and extreme weather events on the rich cultural heritage of the Irish and Welsh regional seas and coast

This appointment is pro-bono, i.e. it does not attract any remuneration and it follows on from a publicly advertised process to fill the position of chairman.