Dr Stephen Mandal EurGeol MIAI PGeo

Stephen (Steve) is co-founder of Cultural Tourism Ireland (2010).

Steve is passionate about the outdoor classroom and active, tactile learning, and has dedicated his career to bringing the Irish landscape, archaeology and history to life for all, from early school children to university students to culturally curious retirees. Aside from CTI, Steve is also the co-founder and CEO of the Irish Archaeology Field School (2005), the Irish Heritage School (2016), Dig it Kids (2011) and CRDS Ltd (1997). He co-founded two highly acclaimed community-based research and education projects, the Digging the Lost Town of Carrig Project and the Blackfriary Community Heritage and Archaeology Project and has presented academic and public talks on the projects in Ireland and internationally, including to the Smithsonian Museum and the Archaeological Institute of America.

Since 2015, Steve has served as an international guest speaker for the Archaeological Institute of America’s lecture program. In 2018, Steve was appointed to the Cultural Heritage Advisory Panel for the Dublin City Council Culture Company. In 2019 Steve was appointed to the executive board of the Discovery Programme, the state centre for archaeology and innovation in Ireland. Also in 2019, Steve was appointed as a Research Associate of the Smithsonian Museum.

Steve served as Vice-Chairperson of the Royal Irish Academy Committee for Archaeology from 2009 to 2014.  From 2012 to 2015 Steve was the External Examiner in Applied Archaeology at Sligo Institute of Technology. In 2013, Steve was appointed to a European Commission DG Enterprise Project to review cultural heritage tourism across the European Union. He served as financial advisor to the WAC-6 (2009).

Steve has co-authored two books, The Irish Stone Axe Project: Monograph I (1998, with Prof Gabriel Cooney) and Carrick, County Wexford: Ireland’s first Anglo-Norman Stronghold (2019, with Dr Denis Shine, Dr Michael Potterton and Catherine McLoughlin) and has contributed to a dozen more. He has also authored numerous academic papers in subjects as diverse as geology, archaeology, geoarchaeology, community heritage and the heritage economy.

Steve is an expert guide and travel planner and have led several special interest tours of Ireland’s archaeological heritage. He is a Heritage in Schools Expert and teach in-school archaeology education programmes. He also run hands-on educational camps, workshops and events for children and educators with Lisanne.

Steve spent two years as a post-doctoral research fellow in the Archaeology Department, University College Dublin, during which time he also undertook a research fellowship in Bologna, Italy. He is a professional member of the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland, the Institute of Geologists of Ireland, and the European Federation of Professional Geologists.

Lisanne O’Loughlin BSc

Lisanne is the programme director of Cultural Tourism Ireland. Her role is to lead the development of cultural tourism products and services.   She has been planning and delivering of high quality special interest tailored tours in Ireland since 2011. Lisanne is an Irish heritage expert with a lifelong love of Irish history. Lisanne is a powerful storyteller, and focuses these skills on the vivid tales from Irish Mythology. Lisanne’s background in Management and has worked in Ireland for over 23 years, and before that in Africa for 14 years. She holds an Advanced Diploma in Management and also in Development Management, and a variety of technical certificates including teacher training in IT.

Lisanne compassionate nature has led her to study and to practice (part-time) as a psychotherapist for the over 12 years. She holds BSc in Counselling and Psychotherapy and has numerous post-graduate qualifications in this area.

In 2011 she co-founded Dig it Kids, a company whose mission is to bring archaeology to life for kids by creating a fun, interactive, hands-on learning environment.

Lisanne enjoys to the full the variety of challenges and service experiences that her roles bring her.