Press Releases


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

Statement in solidarity with the people of Ukraine

Statement in solidarity with the people of Ukraine The Chairperson and Board of the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland (IAI) are appalled and deeply concerned by the ongoing military incursion by Russian forces on the territory of Ukraine, which is an unprovoked act of aggression towards the people of Ukraine. As the representative organisation for professional archaeologists working on the island of Ireland, we understand that the most valuable and irreplaceable resource a country has is its people. Whilst we may be geographically removed from what is going on in eastern Europe, we must do everything we can to help and support the people of Ukraine, they are our colleagues, friends and family, and they are in real and immediate danger. This unprovoked attack by President Putin and the forces of the Russian Federation should not be allowed to stand and we call on our government to take a decisive stance with our European partners to bring this conflict to an end and to support the humanitarian effort to help the Ukrainian people. As a member of the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA), the IAI fully endorses the statement issued by the EAA and applauds their list of helpful resources ( Furthermore, we wish to echo the voices of our colleagues across Europe in their condemnation of the destruction of Ukraine’s rich cultural heritage by the Russian Federation. This is occurring as a means to demoralise and destroy Ukraine’s cultural identity; shared cultural heritage has the power to unite us all and its destruction, coupled with the environmental atrocities that are being committed, is an affront to us all.... read more

Strategic Alliance between Professional Institutes in Archaeology

On 22 November 2016, the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland (IAI) and the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding setting out the basis for cooperation between the two institutes. CIfA is the leading professional body representing archaeologists working in the UK and overseas. The IAI is the primary all-island professional organisation representing archaeologists working in Ireland and Northern Ireland. The IAI aims to advance and strengthen the profession of archaeology on the island of Ireland, creating a vibrant and sustainable archaeological profession that actively contributes to the protection of our archaeological resource, which in turn contributes to the social and economic wellbeing of the entire community. CIfA promotes high professional standards and strong ethics in archaeological practice, to maximise the benefits that archaeologists bring to society. It is the authoritative and effective voice for archaeologists, bringing recognition and respect to the profession.   Pictured at the signing- Peter Hinton, CIfA Chief Executive (Left), Iain Greenway, (Back), Michael MacDonagh, IAI Chair (Right) The agreement recognises a shared commitment to the promotion of professionalism in archaeology, and a duty to foster collaboration and to deploy the resources of the two organisations efficiently and effectively. It sets out some areas of immediate and longer-term joint working.   IAI Chair, Michael MacDonagh said of the agreement: ‘This document marks the beginning of a strategic partnership between two organisations which have a common purpose. We will be sharing some of the communications and benefits we provide our memberships, and we have committed to an exploration of the potential to align Standards documents, and to permit read-across between each institute’s accreditation... read more