Latest IAI News

Recent Industrial Action in Private Sector Archaeology: An Open Invitation to attend Mediation

Friday 6th July 2018

Given the recent industrial relations, which have thrown the Irish archaeological sector into the spotlight, the Board of the IAI would like to issue the following statement:

The aim of the IAI, through the representation of our members, is to advance and strengthen the profession of archaeology in Ireland and membership is open to professional archaeologists working in both Ireland and Northern Ireland. The IAI represents members working in the public sector, the private (or ‘commercial’) sector, as well as museums and academia. We support the rights of Irish archaeologists, both as employees and employers, to a stable and sustainable employment environment.

As construction projects gain pace once again, there is an accelerating demand for suitably trained, qualified and experienced archaeologists to undertake necessary mitigatory works. In order to keep these individuals, and their knowledge, in the sector, appropriate remuneration and working conditions are a necessity. This has long been a concern to our members and was formally assessed by a Working Group for the Review of Pay Rates (WGRPR), commissioned by the IAI in March 2014. For all archaeologists, recognition (financial and otherwise) of their qualifications and their professional work is of key importance.

In order to achieve this, it is important for our small profession to unite to address these issues and for all parties to show willingness to engage in meaningful negotiations about employment conditions. The IAI is not a union and cannot enforce any sectoral pay rates for our members. Given our diverse professional membership and our cross-border agenda, the IAI has long maintained a neutrality on the issue of pay and remuneration, which varies across the public and private sector and between national boundaries.

Archaeologists working in the public and academic sectors have a long tradition of trade union recognition and representation; we believe that the commercial sector should be no different. The Board of the IAI is willing to facilitate discussions and act as a mediator between the interested parties. As ever, if any Member of the IAI has any concerns regarding this area, we would invite them to raise these with the Board.

The Board would like to acknowledge the commercial sector employers and the UNITE trade union who have engaged in the negotiation of these rights to date. We hope that their ongoing dialogue will be fruitful and bring Archaeology to equivalence with other areas of the construction sector. Ultimately, these actions provide for a greater recognition of Archaeology as a true profession.

On behalf of the IAI Board

 Dr James Bonsall, Chairperson, Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland

Cian Hogan, Public Relations Officer, Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland


Respect your Follow Archaeologists

Over the last few weeks the Board of the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland have noticed that that less-than-respectable comments have been made between parties, principally in the private (commercial) sector, on several social media fora.

The Board would like to remind its Members that by joining the Institute, and remaining as a Member, they made a contract with the Institute and a commitment to professionalism within the sector. This does not just cover their career work, but also their engagement with archaeology in other areas. If any Member(s) would like to bring any issue of maltreatment on such fora to the Board, please contact us at: iaiarchaeology[at]

For those not among the Membership of the Institute, professional archaeologists are representatives of and for Irish archaeology; and that as such, any and all of our comments will be taken to reflect the sector.

The Board would like to remind all professional archaeologists working on the island of Ireland that discussion (or even argument), whether in agreement or disagreement, can and should be carried out in a respectful, professional manner.


Career opportunity

A position for Curatorial E – Archaeologist, Historic Environment Division, Northern Ireland Civil Service has been advertised. Closing date is Friday 30th November 2018. Full details (click to download pdf) – Job... read more

Impending strike action

The IAI is aware of impending strike action by the Archaeology Branch of the UNITE trade union as part of an ongoing industrial dispute with IAC Ltd. The IAI Board urges all parties to make use of the State’s industrial relations apparatus in order to resolve their differences and avoid further industrial action. The recent agreement between UNITE and Rubicon Heritage Services Ltd at the Workplace Relations Commission demonstrates that discussions can lead to positive outcomes for employers and employees. The IAI hopes that a similar accord can be reached in relation to the current... read more

Dig: the value of archaeology for society and the economy

IAI are proud to be partners in the forthcoming conference – Dig: the value of archaeology for society and the economy, which takes place between Kilkenny and Dublin from 5-9th of November 2018. A range of excellent speakers and topical/informative workshops takes place during the conference, all as part of a celebration of the European Year of Cultural Heritage. Book your place early to avoid disappointment, this is one of the highlights of 2018 for all in the archaeological profession. Full details and bookings... read more

Dr. Eileen Reilly (RIP) – Friend, Colleague and former Vice-Chair

It is with a heavy heart that we learned of the tragic passing of our dear friend Dr Eileen Reilly MIAI. Eileen was Vice-Chair of the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland from 2013 through to 2015. Eileen was an environmental archaeologist and one of few who specialised in archaeoentomology – the analysis of insect remains in archaeological soils. A graduate of Archaeology and Geography at University College Dublin in 1992, Eileen completed an MSc in Environmental Archaeology and Palaeoeconomy at Sheffield University in 1995. Eileen worked on a number of research and commercial excavation projects as an archaeoentomologist between 1995-2002, including The Lisheen Mine Archaeological Project, Temple Bar West and Corlea Bog, and participated in the INTAR 3 research project in Novgorod, Russia. Eileen joined the Department of Botany at Trinity College Dublin, to carry out her PhD research examining insect biodiversity and woodland history change due to natural and human-driven influences. After completing her PhD in 2008, Eileen continued to enjoy working in both the research and commercial archaeological sectors, including high profile projects such as the multi-period wetland complex at Edercloon and the Early Medieval monastic site of Skellig Michael, as well as the EPA-funded project Extreme Weather, Climate and Natural Disasters in Ireland project, and the Discovery Programme’s Environmental Pilot Project. Between 2011-2013, Eileen worked with the National Museum by analysing samples from the iconic Viking Age Fishamble Street site, one of the very few archaeoentomological studies of a major urban settlement in Europe, which fuelled her post-doctoral research project at UCD Archaeology, ‘Dirt, Dwellings and Culture: Reconstructing living conditions in early medieval Ireland and Northwestern... read more

Board vacancies

The IAI is currently seeking expressions of interest from Members to serve on the Board of the Institute. The current vacancies are available:   Honorary Secretary Treasurer Ordinary Board Member   Any Full Member (MIAI) in good standing is eligible to serve on the Board. Please forward any expressions of interest by Friday 3rd August by emailing iaiarchaeology[@] or post to 63, Merrion Square, Dublin 2 to arrive before close of business on Friday 3rd August 2018.   Regards, IAI... read more

CPD workshop of post medieval pottery 13 October 2018

IAI is delighted to offer a CPD practical workshop of post-medieval pottery titled Pottery Identification (i) – post medieval pottery and associated material on Saturday 13th October 2018 in IAI office (Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland) 63 Merrion Square, Dublin 2. The trainers are Rosanne Meenan (Independent ceramic expert) and Frank Myles (Archaeology and Built Heritage). Places should be reserved in advance and people interested in attending should return the registration form by email to iaiarchaeology[at] Course outline – Post-medieval pottery course outline Registration – Registration Form –... read more

CPD workshop on Experimental Archaeology Saturday 21 July

IAI is delighted to offer an experimental archaeology CPD workshop delivered by UCD Centre for Experimental Archaeology and Material Culture, University College Dublin. The workshop titled Early medieval iron smelting workshop for archaeologists will take place on Saturday 21 July 2018 in the Centre for Experimental Archaeology and Material Culture within the grounds of UCD. The trainers are Dr. Brendan O’Neill and Prof. Aidan O’Sullivan. This event will focus on early medieval technologies, allowing attendees to actively participate in an iron smelt. This workshop is part of a series designed to engage with professionals, researchers and interested parties at all levels. The event is open to all. Places must be reserved in advance by emailed the completed registration form below to iaiarchaeology[at] Registration Form – 21.7.18 Course outline and schedule... read more

IAI Newsletter – open call for articles by 6 July

Dear Reader, As the new editor of the IAI Newsletter I’d like to put out a call for contributions for the summer edition of the Newsletter. I hope to follow on from the great work of the outgoing editor Charles Mount and also put my own stamp on the Newsletter. I’m looking for contributions of 100–1000 words, with up to 3 photos if needed. I would really love to share and showcase new excavations, research, state-funded projects, community-led projects, discoveries, news items etc etc from the whole island of Ireland – North and South. I also want to include a feature on specialisms and how they contribute to our better understanding of Irish Archaeology in 2018. So, if you specialise in animal bone or charcoal or prehistoric pottery or pollen etc etc please send me in • a synopsis on what you do, • what information you can gather from the sample/artefact/object, • current and past examples of important discoveries within your field, • how we as field archaeologists or research archaeologists can use this source of information to its best capacity. Finally, I’d like to add some fun features so we as members can get to know each other better. I was thinking of a “20 Questions” and a “Day In The Life” section. So, if you’d like to put your name forward for them please get in touch! The deadline for contributions has been extended to Friday 6th July. Please feel free to email me with any queries about possible contributions at and I’ll get back to you ASAP. I can’t promise that every contribution will make... read more

CPD event 12 May 2018

The next IAI CPD will take place on Saturday 12th May 2018 with Dr. Conor Brady at Skerries Mills, Skerries with an introduction to fieldwalking techniques. Full programme and registration forms in Members section. Non members are welcome and can register by emailing ... read more