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Our Staff Team

Meet your team:

Leo Morahan

Leo Morahan
Director of Field Work

Leo is a graduate of the National University of Ireland at Galway.   He also has a Diploma in Local Studies from Maynooth University.  He has  worked as a lecturer at GMIT Castlebar teaching a module, entitled ‘Introduction to Archaeology’.

Leo is an experienced archaeologist and has worked on numerous archaeological surveys and excavations throughout Ireland.

He has published several articles in the Journal of the Galway Archaeological & Historical Society and local journals in County Mayo

Dr. Carla Ferreira

Dr. Carla Ferreira

I graduated with a PhD in Archaeology and Palaeoecology from Queen’s University Belfast. I have a keen interest in past vegetation and climate dynamics, and in landscape evolution. I am interested in upland cultural land-use, tracing the origins of present-day landscapes and defining sustainable economic practices by analysing long-term vegetation evolution. I particularly enjoy the interdisciplinary and multi-proxy approaches that my research awards me. I have participated in multiple palaeoenvironmental and archaeological research projects in Portugal, Scotland and Ireland.

Dr. Theresa McDonald MIAI

Dr. Theresa McDonald


Theresa founded the Achill Archaeological Field School in 1991, the first of its kind in Ireland, with an emphasis on in-depth training and state of the art archaeological research. The School is a fully accredited Field School of the National University of Ireland, Galway. It has been at the forefront of historical archaeology in Ireland with its pioneering project on the ‘Deserted Village’ of Slievemore.

Theresa studied archaeology and anthropology at the Institute of Archaeology (UCL) in London where she received a BSc. in 1984.  She completed her MA in landscape archaeology at the National University of Ireland, Galway in 1988 and in 2014 was awarded a PhD by NUI Galway for her doctoral thesis entitled: Transhumance (booleying) practice in the Civil Parish of Achill. She has written three books on the Archaeology, history and folklore of Achill and in 2016 published a Guide Book to archaeological sites in Achill, Achillbeg and the Corraun peninsula. She has published several papers on the archaeology, history and folklore of Achill Island.  She is regarded as the foremost expert on the archaeology and history of the Achill Island. She is a Duchas licensed archaeologist and has worked on many excavations in both Ireland and Britain. She organizes and guides tours to historical and archaeological sites on Achill and Achillbeg Island.

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Dolores Kilbane-McNamara

Dolores Kilbane-McNamara


Dolores, as Field School co-ordinator, provides support and direction in a number of areas to assist in the Field School management and operation. Dolores deals with all matters relating to the Field School student application process. Dolores is a core member of the Field School team. Dolores qualified with a Level 5 ECDL in computer technology and has extensive administrative experience.

Gerard Mangan


Gerard Mangan has a Diploma in Archaeology from the National University of Ireland at Galway. He is an experienced Tour Guide and has an in-depth knowledge of the heritage of Achill Island. He is extremely knowledgable about the numerous archaeological sites on Achill, Achillbeg and Corraun as well as those in North and South Mayo. He is a former Chairman and Secretary of Achill Historical and Archaeological Society and continues to be a valued member of the Committee.

Nick Brannon

Nick Brannon


Nick is a former Director of Built Heritage at the Environment and Heritage Service in Belfast. He now works as a freelance consultant on archaeological and built environment issues. Nick is a specialist in medieval and post-medieval ceramics. Nick has worked with the Achill Archaeological Field School since 2003 and holds workshops on ceramics for students taking the accredited courses. Nick is also President of the Medieval Archaeology Group in the U.K. He has recently completed a series of archaeology programmes for the BBC in Northern Ireland.