Cultural Tourism Ireland has two directors:
Dr Stephen Mandal EurGeol MIAI PGeo – CEO
Stephen Mandal is co-founder and CEO of Cultural Tourism Ireland. He is also co-founder and CEO of CRDS Ltd (1997), the Irish Archaeology Field School (2005) and Dig it Kids (2011). Prior to this, Stephen spent two years as a post-doctoral research fellow in the Archaeology Department, University College Dublin, during which time he also undertook a three-month research fellowship in Cineca, Bologna, Italy. Stephen’s main research interest is the use of stone in archaeological contexts, and he is the geologist for the Irish Stone Axe Project, co-authoring with Prof Gabriel Cooney the Project Monograph in 1998. He has contributed geology and geoarchaeology chapters to several books and authored numerous academic papers. He lectures at degree and post-graduate level in University College Dublin and Portobello College and was recently selected as a lecturer for the 2015/2016 National Lecture Programme of the Archaeological Institute of America. Stephen served as financial advisor to the World Archaeological Congress (WAC-6) in 2009 in Dublin. From 2012 to 2015 he was appointed External Examiner for the Applied Archaeology Faculty at the Sligo Institute of Technology. In 2013, Stephen was appointed to a European Commission DG Enterprise Project to review cultural heritage tourism across the European Union. In 2015, he was appointed international guest speaker for the Archaeological Institute of America’s lecture program.
Steve is co-founder of the Blackfriary Community Heritage and Archaeology Project, and has presented academic and public talks on the project in Ireland and across the USA, including to the Smithsonian (Washington DC) and the Archaeological Institute of America (Boston). Steve is an expert guide and travel planner with Cultural Tourism Ireland and has led several special interest tours of Ireland’s archaeological heritage. He is a Heritage in Schools Expert and teaches in-school archaeology education programmes. He also runs hands-on educational camps, workshops and events for children and educators.
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. Stephen served as Vice-Chairperson of the Royal Irish Academy Committee for Archaeology from 2009 to 2014.
Lisanne O’Loughlin BSc – Director
Lisanne O’Loughlin is a qualified tour guide and tour planner, with a broad range of interests in Irish history with a particular interest in Irish mythology. Lisanne is a gifted story teller, and her very popular renditions of Irish mythology and folklore offer a treasured insight into Ireland’s medieval culture.
Lisanne co-founded Cultural Tourism Ireland and Dig it Kids in 2013, and has a flair for bringing archaeology and history to life for all ages. She has had a lifelong interest in history, and has over 12 years’ experience working directly with Irish Archaeologists. Lisanne holds an honors BSc in Psychotherapy from Middlesex University, Teacher Training Diplomas, an Advanced Diploma in Development Management, and a Professional Certificate in Management.