ITMA Appoints New Director / Stiúrthóir Nua Ceaptha ar TCDÉ

The Board of the Irish Traditional Music Archive (ITMA) is delighted to announce the appointment of Liam O’Connor as the next Director of ITMA. He will take up office in late August. The current Director Grace Toland, who announced that she was stepping down this year, is to stay with the organisation in a new role. 

Liam New Director
Liam O'Connor, Director Designate

ITMA Chairman Brian Montague said:  

“We are delighted to announce the appointment of Liam O’Connor to lead ITMA in this important stage of its development. Liam, a teacher by profession, is well known in traditional music circles, and beyond, as one of the leading fiddle players of his generation. His work on the collection and preservation of music is also highly regarded including extensive research on the collector P.W. Joyce, which was the subject of his Master’s thesis.  

“Liam knows ITMA intimately having served on the Board, and more recently working with ITMA on the audiovisual recording of P.W. Joyce material for PORT.  

“He has served on the Board of The Folklore of Ireland Society and is a past Chairman of the TG4 Gradam Ceoil Selection Panel.” 

Notes to Editors 

About Liam O’Connor 

As a respected musician, collector, researcher and teacher, Liam O’Connor’s music activities, qualifications and experience seamlessly align with the values, culture and ethos of ITMA.  

Liam has gained considerable insight into the internal and external workings of the ITMA having used the Archive for over twenty years in a variety of roles: from transition year work experience as a teenager, to unearthing rare tunes such as The Loom sourced from the collections.  

To date Liam's work with ITMA has included: 

  • serving on the ITMA Board; 
  • research on Irish language songs recorded 1928–1931, in the RIA Doegen Collection; 
  • applying for, and delivering on, Arts Council funded projects such as the innovative P.W. Joyce PORT Project (;
  • publicly representing the ITMA with archival partner TG4 at Gradam Ceoil 2019.  
  • Liam has acted as an influential voice for ITMA on various projects and is committed to leading the organisation and staff in the next important stage of the organisation's development. 

Dúirt Liam:  

"Is onóir pearsanta domsa ár bhfoireann sa Taisce Cheol Dúchais Éireann a stiúrú agus muid ag obair go dian le chéile. 

“I am truly honoured to be given this opportunity to be Director of ITMA. I have been a user of ITMA for over 20 years and now have an opportunity to lead a team in shaping its future. I am very determined to deliver on the exciting opportunities ahead for ITMA. 

“While working collectively on various short-term projects with the experienced ITMA staff we have achieved great outcomes to date. Now I look forward to developing successful long-term relationships with the staff, the Board, key-stakeholders and our users."  

About ITMA 

The Irish Traditional Music Archive is a national public archive and resource centre for the traditional song, instrumental music and dance of Ireland. ITMA is funded mainly by the Arts Council/ An Chomhairle Ealaíon and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, and is housed in State-owned premises at 73 Merrion Square, Dublin. It holds for open public access the largest collection in existence of the materials of Irish traditional music and of information on the music, and actively makes selections from its holdings freely available online. 

Liam O’Connor’s appointment is the outcome of a planned succession and recruitment process that has been managed by the Board of ITMA; the process included public advertisement (February 2019), a written application process, shortlisting, first-stage interviews & presentations, and second-stage interviews that included an assessment of practical high level management tasks. 

For further information, contact ITMA, 73 Merrion Square, Dublin 2, tel. +353-(0)1-661 9699, email [email protected] 


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