We are delighted to announce that the RSAI has been awarded funding under the Community Heritage Grant Scheme 2020. The grant will help us improve the preservation and access to the RSAI collections, including the  digitisation of the unique Miller/Robertson albums. We cannot wait to share the outcomes of the project with you in due course.

*** IMPORTANT NOTICE OFFICE CLOSURE AND EVENTS CANCELLATION***

Dear Members and Visitors,

Please be advised that our staff will continue working from home and both the RSAI office and library will remain closed to the public until further notice. We will resume our normal opening hours as soon as it safe to do so.

Unfortunately, we are obliged to cancel our Spring lecture series and upcoming Spring Excursion to county Wexford. With further government restrictions in place, we decided that suspending our current programme of lectures and events is the most appropriate measure to help minimise the spread of the coronavirus. The talks and lectures scheduled for April and May 2020 will be postponed until further notice.

Thank you for your understanding.

The RSAI Team

Report of the Council for 2019

Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland

Report of the Council for 2019

 

At the Annual General Meeting of the Society, held in the Helen Roe Theatre, 63 Merrion Square, on Thursday 24thJanuary 2019, the following were elected to their respective offices, nominations having been received and being in accordance with the Statutes and Bye-Laws and not in excess of the several vacancies on Council:

 

PRESIDENT                                                              DR. CONOR LUCEY

JOINT HON GEN SECRETARY                           MS. LIZ ALLMAN

JOINT HON. GEN. SECRETARY                         MS. PHILIPPA BARRY

HON. TREASURER                                                 DR. BRIAN DORNAN

VICE-PRESIDENT, CONNACHT                         DR MIRIAM CLYNE

VICE-PRESIDENT, LEINSTER                            DR ANN LYNCH

VICE-PRESIDENT, MUNSTER                            DR TRACY COLLINS

VICE-PRESIDENT, ULSTER                                PROF JIM MCADAM

MEMBERS OF COUNCIL                                     MR MICHAEL FEWER

DR PAUL SMITH

 

Nine meetings of the Council were held between February 2019 and January 2020 at which the attendance was as follows:

Dr. Conor Lucey6Dr John Gillis8
Ms. Liz Allman9Mr Conleth Manning7
Ms. Philippa Barry7Ms Evie Monaghan0 (maternity leave)
Dr. Brian Dornan8Dr Lynda Mulvin (co-opted October 2019)3
Dr Miriam Clyne4Mr. Edmond O’Donovan2
Dr Ann Lynch6Dr Dagmar O’Riain Raedel1
Dr Tracy Collins1Mr Patrick Salmon7
Prof Jim McAdam3Dr Paul Smith9
Mr Michael Fewer (resigned January 2020)6Mr Seamus Taaffe (resigned December 2019)2
Dr Kelly Fitzgerald9Dr. Andrew Tierney           (resigned September 2019)2
Dr Colleen Thomas7

During the year nine Meetings of the Society were held. A list of the papers and the lectures given will be found under the heading Proceedings.  Three excursions were held, details of which appear under the heading Excursions.

 

MEMBERSHIP

During the year 20 Members, 7 Retired Members, 1Family Members and 11Student Memberswere elected.

As Member

Mr Michael Cronin, Ms Deirdre McAlister, Mr Brian Honan, Gilly Clarke, Colm O Niadh, Ms Mairead Carew,

Mr Joe O’Keeffe, Mr John R. Bowen, Mr Andrew Wallace, Mr Kevin Reid, Mr Joseph Cunningham, Mr Philip Quilty, Dr Shawn Ahearn, Mate Ambrus, Dr Rachel Finnegan, Dr Elva Johnston, Mr Robert Charles, Mr Micheál Mc Keown, Ms Mary E. Mysliwy, Mr Robert McGuire

As Retired Member:

Mr Brian O’Neill, Ms Joyce Enright, Mr Joseph Durkan, Dr Pádraig Ó Laighin, Mr Roland Gadd, Dr Teresa Jane Fanlon, Mr Robert Martin

As Family Member:

Ms Ellen MacCafferty

As Student Member:

Ms Fiona Baldwin, Mr Patrick Joseph Joyce, Ms Kate Driscoll, Mr Daryl Hendley Rooney, Mr Brendan Mc Evoy, Ms Eleanor Neil, Mr Andrew Pringle, Ms Maria Kane, Ms Susan Curley Meyer, Mr Curtis Ross,Alex Teplitz

The number of Fellows, Members, and Associateson the roll at 31 December 2019 was distributed as follows:

Hon. Life Fellows

 

3

 

Life Fellows

 

10

 

Fellows

 

Retired Fellows

 

8

 

13

 

Life Members

 

24

 

Members

 

186

 

Retired Members

 

186

 

Family Members

 

23

 

Students

 

33

 

Institutions

 

 

111

 

 

 

TOTAL

 

597

                       

 

PROCEEDINGS

 

The Annual General Meeting of the Society was held in the Helen Roe Theatre on Thursday 24 January 2019. The President Dr Conor Lucey was in the Chair and the attendance numbered approximatelyfifty.

 

The minutes of the Annual General Meeting of 25 January 2018 were read, approved and signed. Five Members, and one Family Member who had been recommended by Council, were approved.

 

The President announced that the following members of Council were retiring by rotation: Two Vice-Presidents: Prof Muiris O’Sullivan, Vice-President for Leinster, Ms Sarah McCutcheon, Vice-President for Munster, and three Ordinary Members of Council: Dr Myles Campbell, Dr Bernadette Cunningham and Ms Philippa Barry (acting JHGS since October 2018) were also retiring. The other Officers and Members of Council declared their willingness to continue in office.

 

The rules governing the election of Officers and Members of Council having been complied with, Officers and Members of Council were declared elected.

 

The Annual Report of the Council, which had been circulated to members, was accepted on the proposal of Dr Brian Dornan, Hon. Treasurerand seconded by Ms Liz Allman, Member.

 

On the proposal of the Treasurer it was agreed to appoint Fitzgerald and Associates as Auditors for the Society for y/e/ 31st December 2018.

 

A lecture entitled ‘Improving the Atlantic World: Transatlantic Tourists and Their Landscape Designs, Comparisons and Routes’was delivered by Prof. Finola O’Kane-Crimmins, UCD.

21 February 2019:A General Meeting of the Society was held in the Helen Roe Theatre at 7.30pm. The President, Dr Conor Lucey was in the Chair and the attendance numbered approximately 100. One Members,TwoRetired Members and oneStudent Member were elected.

 

An illustrated lecture entitled: ‘The Hidden Passage Tombs of Brú Na Bóinne: Recent Discoveries at Dowth Hall, Co. Meath’ was given by Dr Clíodhna Ní Lionáin, Devenish Nutrition and UCD.

 

21 March 2019: A General Meeting of the Society was held in the Helen Roe Theatre at 7.30pm. Mr Conleth Manning, past President was in the Chair and the attendance numbered approximately 80. Two Membersand oneFamily Memberwere elected.

 

An illustrated lecture entitled: ‘The European Dimension: Dublin in the 11thcentury’ was given by Dr Dagmar Ó Riain-Raedel, RSAI Fellow.

 

25 April 2019: A General Meeting of the Society was held in the Helen Roe Theatre at 7.30pm. Dr Conor Lucey, President was in the Chair and the attendance numbered approximately 50. Two Members, two Retired Membersand one Student Member were elected.

 

An illustrated lecture entitled: ‘Charlie McGuinness of Derry and the Robbery of the Bank in Ardara, Conty Donegal, 1921’ was given by Dr Breandán Mac Suibhne, Centenary University.

 

23 May 2019: A General Meeting of the Society was held in the Helen Roe Theatre at 7.30pm. Dr Conor Lucey, President was in the Chair and the attendance numbered approximately 100. Seven Membersand two Student Members were elected.

 

The Helen Roe memorial lecture entitled: Lignum de Vera Cruce: Relics of the True Cross in Medieval Ireland’ was given by Mr Raghnall Ó Floinn, Former Director of NMI.

 

26 September 2019:A General Meeting of the Society was held in the Helen Roe Theatre at 7.30pm. Dr Conor Lucey, President was in the Chair and the attendance numbered approximately 50. Six Members, three Retired Membersand three Student Memberswere elected.

 

An illustrated lecture entitled: ‘‘Irish Literature and the Historiography of 18thcentury Ireland’ was given by Dr. Vincent Morley, Historian.

 

24 October 2019: A General Meeting of the Society was held in the Helen Roe Theatre at 7.30pm. Dr Conor Lucey, President was in the Chair and the attendance numbered approximately 80. One Student Memberswas elected.

 

The Frank Mitchell Memorial lecture entitled: ‘The condition and protection of ancient monuments in the Irish farmed landscape’ was delivered by Prof. Jim McAdam, QUB, RSAI Vice-President for Ulster.

 

28 November 2019:A General Meeting of the Society was held in the Helen Roe Theatre at 7.30pm. Dr Conor Lucey, President was in the Chair and the attendance numbered approximately 50. One Member,one Retired Member and three Student Memberswere elected.

 

The November lecture entitled: ‘The afterlife of St Oliver Plunkett’ was delivered by Dr Paul Smith, RSAI Member.

 

12 December 2019: A General Meetingof the Society was held in the Helen Roe Theatre at 7.30pm. Dr Ann Lynch, Vice-President for Leinster was in the Chair and the attendance numbered approximately 40. Dr Lynch declared the vacancies on Council: Two Vice-Presidents: Prof Jim McAdam, Vice-President for Ulster, Dr Miriam Clyne, Vice-President for Connachtwere retiring by rotation. Three Ordinary members: One Ordinary Member of Council: Mr Ed O’Donovan was retiring by rotation; Dr Andrew Tierney and Mr Seamus Taaffe resigned from Council. One Members was elected.

 

An illustrated lecture entitled: ‘The Butlers of Ireland and the House of Ormond’ was delivered by Mr John Kirwin, Archivist and Historian.

 

EXCURSIONS

Spring Excursion 23 March: The excursion was led by past President, Mr Con Manning. Firstly, we visited Townley Hall, where we received a warm welcome from our tour guide Brendan Kiernan and his team. After a great lunch in the Monasterboice Inn, we made our way to meet Dr Geraldine Stout at the breath-taking surroundings of Knowth. 55 members participated.

 

Explorer’s Excursion 5-7 July:Ms Philippa Barry, Joint Honorary Secretary led the Excursion to West Cork. The group stayed at the Eccles Hotel in Glengarriff. The itinerary was as follows:

5 July: Ormond Castle, Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary.

6 July: various sites and monuments on the Sheep’s Head Peninsula, including Kilcrohane, where we made use of a beautiful loop walk with its many archaeological sites. In the afternoon, thanks to the assistance of Madeline Hutchins and the local manager, Liz Cronin, we visited the Ardnagashel Estate. Our Vice President for Ulster, Professor Jim McAdam, explained the history of the estate, its woods, the neighbouring estate of Tragarriff and the history of the families connected to the area.

7 July: Our first stop was the remarkable stone circle at Kealkil, following which we moved on to Carrignass Castle. From Kealkil, we drove all the way out to Three Castle Head on the Mizen peninsula, one of the absolute highlights of the trip, with its magnificent views of the Irish coastline.40 members attended.

 

Autumn Excursion28 September:An excursion to sites in county Kilkenny was led by Mr Con Manning, Council member and past president.Firstly, we visited Woodstock Gardens, located just outside the picturesque village of Inistioge and overlooking the River Nore Valley.
Archivist and historian John Kirwan, native of Inistioge, joined us on the day and shared many fascinating stories about the estate and family histories associated with the place. After lunch in the newly restored tea rooms in the Victorian conservatory, we set out to explore the historic village of Inistioge. 38 members attended.

MONDAY TALKS

February: ‘Let’s party: the RSAI in 63 Merrion Square’,Ms Aideen Ireland, RSAI Life Member and Past President
March: ‘The Early Medieval Sculptural Heritage of Northern Ireland’, Ms Meghan Henvey, University of York

April: ‘Castles in Communities, the Ballintober Project: a dynamic and exciting approach to exploring cultural heritage within a research context in north Roscommon’, Dr Niall Brady, Archaeological Diving Company Ltd and Honorary Editor, JRSAI.

May:‘Garranes: an early medieval royal site in county Cork?’,Professor William O’Brien, University College Cork

September: ‘‘Undimmed by the shadow of Rome’? Ireland in a European world (100 BC – AD 500)’, Dr Alexandra Guglielmi, UCD

October: ‘‘For Greatness Resembling a Mountain’: recent archaeological research in Glendalough’, Prof Graeme Warren, UCD
November: ‘Surviving the 17thcentury?: The Kennedy’s of Mt Kennedy, Ms Therese Hicks, RSAI Member.

 

SPRING OUTING

23 February: A visit to the Freemasons’ Hall, Dublin 2.

 

WINTER OUTING

19 October: A visit to 19 Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin 2.

Talks 2020

Lectures and talks take place at 7.30pm in the Helen Roe Theatre, which is in the basement of Society House, 63 Merrion Square, unless otherwise indicated. All are welcome to attend.

3 February 2020
The nineteenth-century suburbs of Monkstown and Glasthule; the impact of estate management on their design and formation
Dr Laura Johnstone, UCD

2 March 2020
Embodying the past: commemorating history through the arts
Dr Kelly Fitzgerald (RSAI), Ms Valerie Connor (Curator), Ms Louise Lowe (ANU Productions), Dr Brenda Malone (NMI)

6 April 2020
Crafting connections: domestic building in Dublin in the eighteenth century
Dr Melanie Hayes, Irish Research Council Laureate Project Fellow, CRAFTVALUE

11 May 2020
Grandeur and Decline: Henrietta Street and the making of Dublin’s Tenements 1800-1900
Dr Timothy Murtagh, TCD

7 September 2020
Panel discussion on National Monument Acts
with Ms Maeve Sikora (NMI), Mr Michael McDonagh (Chief Archaeologist, NMS), Mr Sean Kirwan (NMS), Ms Philippa Barry (Archaeologist, RSAI Joint Honorary General Secretary)

5 October 2020
From molecules to monuments: seeking the passage tomb people
Dr Jessica Smyth, UCD

2 November 2020
The lost Church of St Peter and the “Duiblinn”
Mr Paul Duffy, IAC Archaeology

Lectures 2020

Lectures and talks take place at 7.30pm in the Helen Roe Theatre, which is in the basement of Society House, 63 Merrion Square, unless otherwise indicated. All are welcome to attend.

 

23 January 2020
Rags, riches and recycling: material and visual culture of the Dublin Society 1731-1781
Dr Claudia Kinmonth, RIA

20 February 2020
Archaeological excavations at South Main Street, Cork: Hiberno-Norse to Beamish brewery
Dr Maurice F. Hurley, Archaeologist

26 March 2020
The annual Próinséas Ní Chatháin Lecture
Cnuasaigh de laoithe fiannaíochta i lámhscríbhinní iarchlasaiceacha na Gaeilge
Dr Síle Ní Mhurchú, UCC

23 April 2020
Saluting Ireland’s Antarctic explorers
Mr Michael Smith. author, polar historian & journalist

21 May 2020  Annual Helen Roe Lecture
Early Irish sculpture and the art of the high crosses
Prof. Roger Stalley, Fellow Emeritus, TCD

24 September 2020
Remembering Henry Joy
Prof. Jim Smyth, University of Notre Dame

22 October 2020 Annual Frank Mitchell Lecture
Forty years on: ‘The Irish Landscape’ revisited
Dr John Feehan, UCD

26 November 2020
Social life in Pre-Reformation Dublin, 1450–1540
Dr Peadar Slattery, Historian, RSAI Member

10 December 2020
Investigating ancient foodways through environmental archaeology
Dr Meriel McClatchie, UCD