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Society Structure


The Council

The Council is the governing body of the Society. Its role is to uphold the Foundation objectives of the Society and monitor progress on achieving these. It provides leadership and strategic direction and oversees management of the Society’s activities and resources. It has a duty to ensure that the Society conducts its affairs in an ethical, legal and responsible manner and it reports to the Members on stewardship and performance.

The membership of the Council consists of the Honorary Officers (the President and the Vice-President), the Honorary Members of the Council (Past-Presidents) and 36 elected Council Members.

On election new Members of the Council are appointed by the Council to serve on one of the five Standing Committees or the Membership Committee.

There are three Sections of the Council:

  • Agricultural Section – usually comprising appointed Members of the Committee of Agriculture and Rural Affairs and the Equestrian Committee;
  • Section for Science and its Industrial Applications – usually comprising appointed Members of the Committee of Science and Technology and the Committee of Enterprise;
  • Section for the General Purposes of the Society – usually comprising appointed Members of the Committee of Arts and the Membership Committee of Council.

Each Section has twelve elected members.

The Council normally meets five times a year. Meetings are chaired by the President.

The current members of the Council are:

Ms Bernie Brennan

Professor J. Owen Lewis

Agriculture Section

Mrs Patricia Byrne

Dr Michael Carey

Mr John Crowley

Mr John Dardis

Mrs Jane Darragh

Mr Tom Kirley

Mrs Gillian Kyle

Professor Cathal O'Donoghue

Comdt John Ledingham

Mrs Faith Ponsonby

Mr Dermot A. Power

Ms Olga Scully

Section for Science and its Industrial Applications

Dr Sheila Donegan

Mr Daniel Fitzgibbon

Mrs Ingrid Hook

Mr Christopher Hone

Mrs Sheila Horkan

Mr Hilary Hough

Mr James McGing

Professor Ronan McNulty

Mr Eoin McVey

Dr Charles Mollan

Professor Chris Nicholas

Mr John Whelan


General Purposes Section

Mr Peter Cavan

Mr Seamus Crimmins

Dr Philip Dodd

Mr David Dodd

Mr Patrick Downes

Mr Ian Fox

Mr Stevan Griffiths

Ms Alison Hackett

Mrs Bernardine Hurley

Mr Emmet Kane

Mr Noel Kelly

Mr Emmet Kane

Mr Dermot Kelly

Mr Noel Kelly


Honorary Members of the Council

Mr Liam Connellan

Professor Dervilla Donnelly

Mr Matthew Dempsey

Mr Michael D. Jacob

Mr Martin Alphonsus (Fonsie) Mealy

Dr Austin Mescal

Col. William A. Ringrose

Dr Tony Scott


The Board of Management oversees the day-to-day administration of the Society on behalf of the Council.

The Foundation Board focuses on developing the philanthropic RDS work programme on behalf of the Council.

Long Serving Officers: Throughout its 280 year history, the Society has been extremely fortunate in attracting volunteers to help it pursue its foundation aims of advancing Agriculture, Sciences, Arts and Enterprise in order to improve the welfare of the country. Any officers who have served more than 12 years continuous service are awarded a Long Service badge at a ceremony at the Stated General Meeting in December each year.

For further information, please contact:

Cliona Deegan
Dublin 4
Tel: +353 (0) 1 240 7221
Fax: +353 (0) 1 660 4014

Email: registrar@rds.ie


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