Dr Kieran Denis O’Conor
Kieran O’Conor is a graduate of University College, Dublin (UCD) and has a PhD from University College Cardiff, Wales. He worked during much of the 1990s for the Archaeological Survey Branch of the National Monuments Service ( Dúchas – The Heritage Service) in Counties Roscommon, Sligo, Longford, Westmeath and Wexford. In 1996 he excavated Carlow Castle as part of his work for the latter institution. He has taken part in excavations and field surveys in England, Wales, mainland Greece and Crete. He was appointed a research fellow at the Discovery Programme in 1997 and was then made director of Medieval Rural Settlement project there in early 1999.
Dr O’Conor joined the staff of NUI, Galway in September 2000. His research interests include castles, medieval rural settlements, high medieval Gaelic Ireland and medieval landscapes. He is a member of the expert advisory group on Irish battlefields and was appointed to it by the Minister of Environment, Heritage and Local Government in 2007. Dr O’Conor is English language editor of the International peer-reviewed journal Chateau Gaillard. He was appointed a Council member of the Heritage Council by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in January 2012. Dr O’Conor has been very successful in linking his research to heritage tourism initiatives in County Roscommon.
Nuala Nolan is a former Galway City Councillor for the Galway City East Ward, replacing Cllr Derek Nolan, Labour Party, 2011 when he was elected to Dail Eireann. Nuala lives in Bowling Green, but is originally from College Road, Galway City.
Her first full time job was working for Mrs Gilmore, Eyre Square in one of her Betting Offices and then in the cash desk in McDonogh’s Hardware in Merchants Road. While being a member of “Mary’s Followers of the Cross in the 1970ies and 80ies she has dug drains, saved hay and milked cows in Roundstone, helped with building an extension, made ornaments from shell craft and fished off Inis Oirr.
When she left the group in 1991 she mucked out stables in the Kill Equestrian Centre in Kildare for 6 months and then returned to Galway.. She remembers the great advice of Kevin Jacobsen RIP founder of the Followers “If you are out of a job, your job is looking for a job, you should spend 8 hours a day looking.”
Nuala then signed up to a Back to Work Course with Fas. From there she found employment at Royal Tara China as a hand painter and decorator and there Assistant Shop Stewart. In 2001 she worked as a Medical Operative at Boston Scientific.
Nuala joined the Labour Party in 2004 and held the posts of Secretary and the chair of the Galway West Constituency Labour Party in her time with the Party. Her passion to understand more about politics and to broaden her knowledge came to the fore on retirement. Nuala completed a Diploma in Community Practice in 2016, and went on to get a degree in Public and Social Policy from NUIG in 2021. This Degree covered mixture of law, sociology, and politics, this broadened her understanding of how budgets and policy decisions were made.
Nuala likes to travel, her preferment would be to visit cities of historical significance. Her two favourite cities are Copenhagen and Istanbul. Her hobbies are Art, Family History, and Singing. She is a member of the Augustinian Choir and the Galway Choral and the Western Family History Association.
She is involved in the Bowling Green Residents Association and extremely passionate that Galway City should be a Liveable city for all age groups and families, not just the 18-30 single aged groups.
She is on the Council of the Mechanics Institute. She is a member also of the Galway City Trades Council, having represented it on a Strategic Planning Policy Committee. Her love for art inspired her to co-organise with Derek Spillane a Cross Political Party 1916 Commemoration Art exhibition in the Connacht Tribune Print Works in 2016, which ran for two weeks. Artist from all over Ireland showcased their art, and Robert Ballagh loaned a print for the show.
Nuala thinks Galway is a great place to live and feel much of its history is hidden under the present City Centre yet to be discovered.
Madeline Napier holds a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Chico, in Anthropology with a minor in Comparative Religions, and a master’s in Landscape Archaeology from NUIG. She first came to Ireland when she was seventeen on a school choir trip, where she fell in love with Irish archaeology. Soon after medieval churches became her life’s passion and are the focus of her current research. While still early in her career, Madeline is excited to see where the future will take her as she discovers Ireland’s medieval past.
Gerard worked with a semi-state organisation as a building services engineer for over 40 years. In the last 15 years his emphasis has been mainly on renewable energy for domestic, commercial, industrial and community buildings. Gerard is semi-retired at the moment and has continued carrying out some engineering work, mostly on a voluntary basis. He is a Board member of the Galway Civic Trust and acting treasurer, an EI chartered engineer and holder of a BComm (UCG) and MSc Mechanical Engineering (Brunel University, London).
Gerard has worked with communities throughout the Gaeltacht on renewable energy projects over the last fifteen years, provided mentorship to graduate engineers from NUIG, GMIT, SIT and LIT. He has worked extensively with communities on SEAI grant applications. Gerard is a past member of the Galway Cathedral Gospel Choir and the Tribe Tones choir, he helped to establish a new community choir in September 2021 with a main emphasis on mental wellness.
Brendan has over 30 years hands on experience in all things creative from opera to corporate events, he has excellent visualization skills and the ability to realize even the largest scale project.
Ulf Strohmayer is a native of Freiburg, Germany, and has lived and worked in Germany, Sweden, France and Wales, and has obtained his PhD in Pennsylvania before settling in the West of Ireland some 20 years ago. An urban geographer by training and inclination, Ulf is equally passionate about the historical development of cities as he is engaged in practical solutions to contemporary urban problems. He teaches at NUI, Galway where he is the Established Professor of Geography.
Declan is an IT professional who returned to third level education as a mature student, achieving a degree in IT and Archaeology from the National University of Ireland, Galway. He is currently completing research in Landscape Archaeology at NUIG. Declan has a special interest in vernacular farm architecture and the streetscapes of Irish towns. His technical career began as an engineer with the US Navy in San Diego. He traveled extensively before returning to Ireland and finally settling down in Galway.