As it is legally constituted as a limited company, the Discovery Programme is run by a nine member Directorate (Board of Directors). Each Directorate is appointed for a term of 5 years. The Chairman is appointed by the Heritage Council (our funders) with the approval of the government minister with responsibility for heritage matters, currently the Minister of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. The Heritage Council also appoints three other members. Five additional members are appointed by the Discovery Programme Council. The current Directorate came into office on 15 January 2011. It will serve until 14 January 2016. All the members of the Directorate are archaeologists or are involved in related research.


Membership of the Council comprises of:

1. The Chairman of the Directorate.
2. One member from each nominating body appointed by the directors - so that not less than five men and not less than five women shall be members of the Council.
3. Such person or persons of international repute as the Council may co-opt from overseas from time to time, such persons so appointed not to exceed four at any time.

The functions of the Council are:

1. To nominate five persons to the Directorate.
2. To review annually and from time to time the work of the company.
3. To make proposals for the formal consideration and response by the Directorate and in conjunction with the Directorate to formulate and establish long-term research strategies.
4. To co-opt persons of international repute from overseas to the Council.


No member of the Council with the exception of the Chairman of the Directorate may be a member of the Directorate.

Current Council

Council members and their associated nominating bodies

Dr Michael Ryan - Chairman of Directorate (from January 2001; re-appointed January 2006)
Ms Teresa Bolger - Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland
Dr John O’Keefe - Department of the Environment, Northern Ireland
Mr Robert Shaw - Discovery Programme staff
Dr Eileen Murphy - Queen’s University Belfast
Dr Ann Lynch - Department of the Environment, Heritage, and Local Government
Dr Michelle Comber - National University of Ireland, Galway
Dr Colin Rynne - University College Cork
Mr Raghnall Ó Floinn - Royal Irish Academy
Dr Greer Ramsey - Ulster Museum
Dr Rob Sands - University College Dublin

Two further places are reserved for a National Museum of Ireland and Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland nominee.

Company Reg. No.: 243328 (Dublin, Ireland) A Company Limited by Guarantee. Registered Office 63 Merrion Square, Dublin Ireland. Reg. Charity No.: CHY 12549.