Experts on gardening, archaeology, the Irish language and the arts are among those appointed to the Heritage Council today.
The statutory body, which has a budget of €10.4m this year, has the job of protecting, enhancing and educating the public about Ireland’s national heritage.
Minister for the Environment Dick Roche today announced 12 new members to join the four outgoing members and the chairman on the committee.
“The Heritage Council has an important role to play in promoting best practice in protecting our national and local heritage.
“It has established itself as a recognised centre of excellence and I want the council to continue and build on the good work of the outgoing members across the whole range of heritage values that it has a role in promoting and protecting,” Mr Roche said.
The outgoing chairman, Tom O’Dwyer, whose appointment is for two and a half years, was formerly chef de cabinet to two Irish European Commissioners and director-general in European Commission.
Other outgoing members of the council are Dublin City Librarian Deirdre Ellis-King, Cork City Archaeologist Maurice Hurley, former senator and Gaeltacht heritage expert Nioclas O’Conchubhair and director of Hunt Museum Virginia Teehan.
The new members – who will serve on the council for five years – include Betty Coffey, the former Cathaoirleach of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council; Billy Colfer, chairman of Wexford Historical Society; and former head of the Department of Archaeology, University College Dublin, Professor Gabriel Cooney.
Broadcaster Ted Creedon, artist Rhonwen Hayes, landscape horticulturalist Mary Keenan, gardening expert Finola Reid and Louth County Manager Martina Maloney are also on the council.
They are joined by the co-ordinator of the Burren’s Life nature project, Brendan Dunford; Dr Carolynne Ferris, of the Countryside Access and Activities Network, Northern Ireland; former Cathaoirleach of Bray Town Council Noel Keyes and the Department of the Environment’s principal of heritage policy, Donal Enright.