The term of appointment of the Chair of the Historic Monuments Council (HMC), Prof Gabriel Cooney, has been extended from 1 February 2017 until 31 July 2017.
The following HMC Members have also had their terms of appointment extended for the same period:
- Mr Malachy Conway
- Mr Bill Darby
- Miss Kate Laverty
- Dr Suzanne Lyle
- Dr Philip Macdonald
- Mr John McGillan
- Ms Anne-Marie McStocker
- Mr Stephen Russell
- Mrs Sarah Witchell
Notes to editors:
- The Historic Monuments Council (HMC) was first established in 1971 under the provisions of the Historic Monuments (Northern Ireland) Act 1971. Its current authority is derived from the Historic Monuments and Archaeological Objects (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 (the Order). Its roots rest in the Ancient Monuments Advisory Council 1926-1970. It is a statutory advisory council which provides advice to the Department of Communities on the exercise of its powers under the Historic Monuments and Archaeological Objects (NI) Order 1995. This includes the conservation and preservation of monuments in state care, scheduling of monuments, maritime archaeology, industrial and defence heritage and the identification of Areas of Significant Archaeological Interest in the context of Development Plans.
- The Chair and Members of HMC are not paid, but are entitled to an allowance for travelling and other expenses, including a subsistence allowance, payable in line with current Civil Service rates.
- The appointments have been made in accordance with the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland Code of Practice.
- All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland requires political activity of appointees to be published.
- Biographical details:
Prof Gabriel Cooney
Professor Cooney is Professor of Celtic Archaeology in the School of Archaeology, University College Dublin. His specialist area of archaeological research is the Neolithic period. He served as Head of School from 2008-11 and 2014-16. He is a member of the Royal Irish Academy and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London. He served two terms (2005-15) as a member of the Heritage Council. He is a member of ICOMOS Ireland and an Expert Member of the International Committee on Archaeological Heritage Management, ICOMOS. Professor Cooney is actively engaged in research and in the management, protection and presentation of the historic environment and brings a range of leadership skills and experience to the Historic Monuments Council. He has not undertaken any political activity in the last 5 years and holds no other public appointments.
Mr Malachy Conway
Mr Conway is an archaeologist with over 27 years professional experience and is a member of the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland. He is a Religious Archaeologist with the National Trust, Northern Ireland region and his interests cover prehistoric archaeology, historic and designed landscapes, industrial archaeology, heritage management and conservation. He is also a HMC representative on the Joint Committee for Industrial Heritage. He has not undertaken any political activity in the last 5 years and holds no other public appointments.
Mr William Darby
Mr Darby is a former chairman of the Joint Committee for Industrial Heritage, which is a joint committee of HMC and HBC. He has previously served on the Historic Buildings Council. He has extensive experience as a Chartered Mechanical Engineer working both in the UK and USA and has public sector experience at a senior level within the former Department of the Environment, particularly the Planning Service and Water Service. He is a retired member of the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management and of the British Institute of Management. He has not undertaken any political activity in the last 5 years and holds no other public appointments.
Miss Kate Laverty
Miss Laverty currently runs a community centre. She is an active member of the Ulster Archaeological Society, Group for Education in Museums, The Visitors Studies Group, The Museums and Galleries Heritage Group, Irish Museums Association and the Museum Computers Group and brings this experience to the Council. She also voluntarily delivers courses to local historical groups. She has not undertaken any political activity in the last 5 years and holds no other public appointments.
Dr Suzanne Lyle
Dr Lyle is an Art Historian and is Head of Visual Arts at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. As part of her role she is curator of the Arts Council NI collections. She brings a range of knowledge and skills in the fields of medieval art and history, collection management and display, and experience of broader cultural heritage matters. She has been a part of several committees including the Ethics Committee of the Museums Association and the Culture Committee of the UK National Commission for UNESCO. She is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. She has not undertaken any political activity in the last 5 years and holds no other public appointments.
Dr Philip Macdonald
Dr MacDonald is a trainee accountant. He was formerly the Principal Director in the Centre for Archaeological Fieldwork, Queen’s University Belfast. He has directed archaeological excavations at a number of sites in Northern Ireland and has an expert knowledge of historic landscapes. He is also a published author. He has not undertaken any political activity in the last 5 years and holds no other public appointments.
Ms Anne-Marie McStocker
Ms McStocker is a post-primary teacher of English, Drama and History with a background in, and a strong commitment to, community relations work. She enjoys visiting historic sites and trails and promotes local history, current affairs and positive, engaged citizenship to her students. She has a real belief in the value of meaningful engagement with communities, especially rural communities, young people, landowners and farmers in order to better protect and preserve our collective assets. She has not undertaken any political activity in the last 5 years and holds no other public appointments.
Mr John McGillan
Mr McGillan is a retired Project Manager with the Efficiency Services Department in the N.I. Housing Executive. He has been working as a part-time local tour guide and holds a National Certificate in Marine & Countryside Guiding (National Tourism Certification Board). He also works in a voluntary capacity for Accord Marriage Care Service. He has a wide knowledge of historic monuments and an understanding of our physical landscape. He has not undertaken any political activity in the last 5 years and holds no other public appointments.
Mr Stephen Russell
Mr Russell has spent most of his working life in the construction industry and property development. He is passionate about Irish History, our built environment and the archaeology that shapes our landscape. He brings an understanding of the development and construction industries and the planning process to the Council. Mr Russell was appointed to the Office of Justice of the Peace (J.P.) and became a J.P in 1999. He has not undertaken any political activity in the last 5 years and holds no other public appointments.
Mrs Sarah Witchell
Mrs Witchell is a qualified solicitor, and is currently a self-employed legal consultant and an expert on land law and conveyancing, having worked for many years in private practice, and brings these skills and experience to the Council. She is also a member of the Council of the Law Society of NI and a Board member of Habinteg Housing Association. She previously led a project on Land Law reform for the NI Law Commission and has worked at the Law Society of NI in a management position. She has not undertaken any political activity in the last 5 years and holds no other public appointments.
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