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.
In 2009 she was a co-founder of the Achill Historical and Archaeological Society (AHAS), which holds monthly meetings at the Archaeology Centre in Dooagh and elsewhere on Achill.
She is currently working on a major publication on the archaeology and history of Slievemore Deserted Village.
Blauvelt, D. Rathbone, S. McDonald, T. forthcoming. Excavations at the ‘Pony Graveyard’ Dooagh Beach, Achill Island, Co. Mayo. Journal of Irish Archaeology XXVI.
McDonald, T. forthcoming. What’s in a Name: Transhumance practice in Ireland. In A. Horning, R. O Baoill and T. Collins (eds.), Interpreting Ireland’s Historical Archaeology. Dublin. Four Courts Press.
McDonald, T. 2016. The ‘Ups and Downs’ of Booleying in the Civil Parish of Achill. In M. O’Connell, F. Kelly and J. McAdam (eds.) Cattle in ancient and modern Ireland: farming practices, environment and economy. Newcastle Upon Tyne. Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
McDonald, T. 2016. A Guide to archaeological and historical sites on Achill, Achillbeg and the Corraun peninsula. Tullamore. I.A.S. Publications.
McDonald, T. & Rathbone, S. 2015 Excavating the Cromlech Tumulus; the story so far [http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/04/2015/excavating-the-cromlech-tumulus-on-slievemore-the-story-so-far]
MacDonald, T. & Rathbone, S. 2014 The Cromlech Tumulus at Keel East Townland, [http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/02/2014/cromlech-tumulus-keel-east-townland]
McDonald, T. 2010. The Back of Beyond: booleying at Annagh on Achill Island. In A grand Gallimaufry: collected in honour of Nick Maxwell. Dublin. Wordwell.
McDonald, T. & Rathbone, S. 2009 Achill Island: Irish Archaeology from the Neolithic to the Great Famine. Current Archaeology 235. London W4.
McDonald, T. 2006. Achill Island – archaeology – history – folklore. IAS Publications, Tullamore, Co. Offaly.
McDonald, T. 2006. Continuity and Change on Achill Island. Archaeology Ireland. Wordwell, Dublin.
McDonald, T. 1998. The Deserted Village, Slievemore, Achill Island, County Mayo, Ireland. International Journal of Historical Archaeology, Plenum Press – New York and London.
McDonald, T. 1998. The Deserted Village, Slievemore, Achill Island. Cathair Na Mart (Journal of the Westport Historical Society. Clew Bay Heritage Centre, Westport, Co Mayo.
McDonald, T. 1998 Folklore Associated with Slievemore Deserted Village
McDonald, T. 1997 Achill Island -Archaeology-History-Folklore. Tullamore.
McDonald, T. 1992. Achill 5000 B.C. to 1900 AD. Tullamore. IAS Publications.
McDonald, T. 1989. Achill Island. Archaeology Ireland. Dublin. Wordwell.
McDonald, T. & Halpin, E. 1992. Survey of the Prehistoric and Historic Landscape of Slievemore. Interim Report submitted to National Monuments and National Museum of Ireland
McDonald, T. 1993- 2003. Survey of the Prehistoric and Historic Landscape of Slievemore. Interim Report submitted to National Monuments and National Museum of Ireland
McDonald, T. & Horning, A.J. 2004. Survey of the Prehistoric and Historic Landscape of Slievemore. Interim Report submitted to National Monuments and National Museum of Ireland
McDonald, T. & Rathbone, S. 2008 Excavations at House 23, Slievemore, Achill Island, License 08E0578. Unpublished Excavation Report, Achill Archaeological Field School
McDonald, T. & Rathbone, S. 2010 Excavations at Annagh, Slievemore, Achill Island, License 09E0219. Unpublished Excavation Report, Achill Archaeological Field School
Theresa has given lectures on the Archaeology of Achill and transhumance practice on the island in Achill, Mayo, Sligo, Galway, Dublin and Clare and in Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and the United States of America.
Theresa is a member of –
- Achill Historical & Archaeology Society (AHAS).
- Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland (IAI).
- Irish Post-Medieval Archaeology Group (IPMAG).
- Group for the study of Irish Historic Settlement (GSIHS)
- Westport Historical Society
- Tullamore and District Historical & Archaeological Society (TADAS)