The field school is directed by Dr Rory Sherlock, a specialist in the archaeology and architecture of medieval Ireland, who can draw upon twenty years of experience on archaeological excavations in order to provide the best tuition for his field-school students. Rory completed his BA and MA in University College Cork in the 1990s and then worked in commercial archaeology and cultural resources management for some years before returning to academia to undertake doctoral research in NUI Galway under the supervision of Dr Kieran O'Conor. During his time in commercial archaeology, he directed a broad range of projects on motorway schemes, housing developments, urban regeneration projects and harbour dredging schemes and so he has accumulated extensive experience of prehistoric and historic archaeology across Ireland and further afield. His doctoral research was focussed upon the social environments created within late medieval tower houses and these small castles, and late medieval Irish architecture in general, have been at the centre of his research programme for many years.
He has taught archaeology and architectural history to university students at undergraduate and graduate levels, has delivered papers at important conferences in Ireland, Britain, Europe and North America and has published his work in various regional, national and international journals. He particularly enjoys field-based, small-group teaching and worked briefly at the Caherconnell Field School before being appointed Director of Fieldwork at the Achill Archaeological Field School in 2012. He founded the Galway Archaeological Field School in late 2013 and plans to develop it into an important research centre for the study of the archaeology and architecture of medieval Ireland.
Rory is a member of the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland, a former member of the Council of the Society for Medieval Archaeology, a former member of the Scientific Council of Europa Nostra and a regular attendee at both the Towers and Chateau Gaillard conferences, two of the most important European conferences dedicated to medieval fortifications and residences. More information on Rory's publications, including some PDF downloads, can be found on his academia.edu page.