31/01/12 Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan TD announces six appointments to The Heritage Council

Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, is pleased to announce today, Tuesday 31 January 2012, that he has appointed six new appointments to the Heritage Council.

Dr Ciara Breathnach, Mr Ted Creedon, Ms Catherine Heaney, Dr Fidelma Mullane, Mr Michael Parsons and Dr Kieran O’Conor are to serve on The Heritage Council.

Minister Deenihan said "I am delighted that each of these six appointees has accepted my invitation to serve on the Council. Their collective expertise will bring valuable and diverse talents to bear on the work of the Council and further complement the existing skill set of the board."
It should be noted that under the Government’s programme for reform of the Public Service the Heritage Council is under critical review. The appointment of these members is in line with the requirement of the Heritage Act, 1995 which states that the Council should have between 14 and 16 members.

These appointments follow an invitation in 2011 for Expressions of Interest in becoming a non-executive member of The Heritage Council.



Biographies of appointees to the board of The Heritage Council

Dr Ciara Breathnach
Dr Ciara Breathnach lectures in History at the University of Limerick. She holds a PhD in History from the NUI (UCC) and has published on Irish socio-economic and cultural history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In collaboration with the National Library of Ireland, the National Archives of Ireland, the Glucksman Library (University of Limerick), Dublin Diocesan Archives and Kerry County Library, Dr Breathnach has managed a number of digitisation projects since 2003, the focus of which has been to preserve, conserve and increase accessibility to historical records. 


Mr Ted Creedon  

Ted Creedon previously served as a member of the Heritage Council from 2005 to 2010.  During his term on the Council, Mr Creedon actively served on and chaired a number of the Council’s committees.  Mr Creedon is a journalist and broadcaster and has been involved in the promotion of heritage at local, county and national level in both a professional and a voluntary capacity for over thirty-five years.  His involvements included being Chairman of Kerry County Council’s Historic Monuments Committee 1991-1992, President of Kerry Archaeological and Historical Society 1985-1988 and full-time Development Officer of Oidhreacht Chorca Dhuibhne (Dingle Peninsula Heritage) 1980-1986.

Ms Catherine Heaney
Catherine Heaney is founder and managing director of DHR Communications, a public relations consultancy with a particular emphasis working with organisations seeking to bring about positive change in society.  The Company’s client base is primarily made up of public / statutory and not-for-profit organisations.  At DHR, in addition to acting as Account Director across a number of clients,  Ms Heaney is responsible for overall company management and compliance; personnel management and business development. She is a graduate of the School of Journalism, Dublin Institute of Technology.  In a voluntary capacity, Ms Heaney serves on the board of directors of Women’s Aid and is also a board member with Connect Ethiopia.

Dr Fidelma Mullane
Dr Fidelma Mullane is a graduate of NUI Galway where she completed a Masters Degree in Geography on the topic of vernacular architecture. She trained as a Planner at the University of Paris, where she was also awarded a doctorate for her research on Irish traditional building practices. With over twenty years experience in the heritage sector, both as an expert adviser and vernacular architecture specialist, she currently works on heritage research and conservation projects, as well as publishing and lecturing widely on the topic.

Mr Michael Parsons
Michael Parsons is the President of Laois Heritage Society.  He has a track record of many years promoting awareness in heritage locally, particularly amongst young people and in schools.  Mr Parsons spent most of his career as Principal of Portlaoise College (formerly Portlaoise Vocational School), retiring in 2008.  He served as President of the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD) in 2004-2005 and has served on several of their committees promoting arts, heritage and culture in schools.

Dr Kieran O’Conor
Dr Kieran O’Conor is a lecturer in medieval archaeology at NUI Galway. Dr O’Conor’s research interests include castles, medieval rural settlement and landscape. He is the author of many peer-reviewed publications on the medieval period, including the important 1998 book The Archaeology of Medieval Rural Settlement in Ireland.  Dr O’Conor received his PhD from University College Cardiff in 1994. He has worked with the Discovery Programme (Ireland’s institute for archaeological research) and with the State’s National Monuments Service, before joining the Department of Archaeology at NUI Galway in 2000. Dr O’Conor is English-language editor of Chateau Gaillard – the international journal of castle studies.




Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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