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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:

Professor J. Owen Lewis 

Mr John Dardis

Agriculture Section
Mrs Patricia Byrne
Dr Michael Carey
Mr John Crowley
Lt Col Tom Freyne
Mrs Flor Madden
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 James McGing
Professor Ronan McNulty
Mr Eoin McVey
Dr Charles Mollan
Mr Tony O'Brien*
Mrs Catherine Adley

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
Mrs Bernardine Hurley
Mr Emmet Kane
Mr Gaby Smyth
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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