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UCD archaeologist elected to Council of Royal Archaeological Institute

Posted 15 May, 2024

The (opens in a new window)Royal Archaeological Institute has elected Dr Rena Maguire to its Council, the first time the 180-year-old UK society has named an Irish woman to its governing body.

The academic from the UCD School of Archaeology was elevated as an Ordinary Member of the Council in May after she was nominated by fellow members of the Institute (RAI). 

Expressing her honour at receiving the recognition, Dr Maguire said for her it meant that she had an opportunity to represent “this island and its wealth of archaeology and incredible archaeologists to the best of my ability”.

Founded in 1844 under the patronage of the British Royal Family, the Institute interests span all aspects of the archaeological, architectural and landscape history of the British Isles and Ireland.

It was established to champion archaeology and related disciplines by studying, protecting, and engaging the public with new understandings about aspects of the human past relevant to the United Kingdom, from prehistory to the 20th Century.

According to Dr Maguire, one of the last people connected to Ireland to sit on the RAI Council was the 4th Baron of Malahide, John Talbot during the early 19th century, the golden age of antiquarians.

An Anglo-Irish politician and amateur archaeologist, Talbot served as President of the Institute for some 30 years.

One of the RAI's principal activities is the publication of the Archaeological Journal, an annual peer-reviewed journal containing reports of archaeological and architectural survey and fieldwork on sites and monuments of all periods, and syntheses and overviews of similar work throughout the British Isles and Ireland.

It also hosts lectures and seminars, and both sponsors and participates in field trips to archaeological sites and landscapes, as well as giving grants annually for archaeological research and excavation.

A programme of monthly lectures is held from October to May at the premises of the Society of Antiquaries of London at Burlington House.

Membership to the RAI is open to all who are interested in the history, archaeology, and the history of architecture of Great Britain and Ireland.

By: David Kearns, Digital Journalist / Media Officer, UCD University Relations

To contact the UCD News & Content Team, email: newsdesk@ucd.ie