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Corporate Information

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Information on our Governance structure, the National Library of Ireland strategy and our corporate policies and reports can be found below.

The Board is collectively responsible for leading and directing the NLI.

Chairperson: Eoin McVey
Deputy Chairperson: Prof Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh

Dr Marie Bourke
Prof Maeve Conrick
John Grenham
Lisa Grimm
Lorelei Harris
Dr Conor Kostick
Jennifer Taaffe
Prof Kalpana Shankar
Caitriona Sharkey

Approved Board minutes:




    Image of board members 2023

    John Cox, University of Galway Librarian; Caitriona Sharkey, board member; John Grenham, board member; Dr Audrey Whitty, Director of the National Library of Ireland; Eoin McVey, chair of the board; Dr Marie Bourke, board member; Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, deputy chair and President of the University of Galway.

    The Committees assist and advise the Board

    Readers Advisory Committee: assists and advises the Board on NLI services. 

    Chairperson: Lorelei Harris

    Lian Bell
    Harry Hughes
    Liam O’Brien
    Prof Mary O’Dowd
    Dr Audrey Whitty

    Committee on Genealogy and Heraldry: assists and advises the Board on the NLI functions, genealogy and heraldry.

    Chairperson: John Grenham

    Catriona Crowe
    Lisa Grimm
    Tony Hennessy
    Dr Conor Kostick
    Nicola Morris
    Dr Rachel Murphy
    Prof Kalpana Shankar

    Dr Audrey Whitty, Director 
    Colette O’Flaherty, Chief Herald of Ireland


    Audit and Risk Committee: assist and advise the Board on the NLI’s risk, control, governance and associated assurances. 

    Chairperson: Prof Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh

    Prof Maeve Conrick
    Prof Philip O'Regan
    Catriona Sharkey

    You can contact the Committees by emailing boardandcommittees@nli.ie

    The Director is the Chief Executive Officer who manages the NLI overall. 

    Current Director: Dr Audrey Whitty

    Previous Directors:
    Dr Sandra Collins 2015-2022
    Fiona Ross 2010-2014
    Aongus Ó hAonghusa 2003-2009
    Brendan O Donoghue 1997-2003
    Seán Cromien 1997
    Dr Patricia Donlon 1989-1997
    Michael Hewson 1982-1988
    Alf MacLochlainn 1976-1982
    Dr Patrick Henchy 1967-1976
    Dr Richard J. Hayes 1940-1967
    Dr Richard Irvine Best 1924-1940
    Dr Robert Lloyd Praeger 1920-1924
    Thomas W. Lyster 1895-1920
    William Archer 1878-1895

    The Leadership Team includes the Director and each head of the NLI’s departments.

    The Leadership Team’s purpose is to successfully develop and drive the implementation of the NLI strategy, founded on the team’s expertise, showing leadership through collective decision making and shared responsibility.

    Director: Dr Audrey Whitty
    Email: awhitty@nli.ie
    Telephone: 01 60 30 267

    Head of Communications and Development: Liz Coffey
    Email: ecoffey@nli.ie
    Telephone: 01 60 30 250

    Head of Digital Collections: Eoghan Ó Carragáin
    Email: eocarragain@nli.ie
    Telephone: 01 60 30 219

    Head of Estates: Brian O'Donnell
    Email: bodonnell@nli.ie
    Telephone: 01 60 30 240

    Acting Head of Exhibitions, Learning and Programming: Sara Smyth
    Email: ssmyth@nli.ie
    Telephone: 01 60 30 205

    Head of Finance and Chief Risk Officer: Kathleen Ruane
    Email: kruane@nli.ie
    Telephone: 01 60 30 266

    Head of Human Resources: Katy Lumsden
    Email: klumsden@nli.ie
    Telephone: 01 60 30 310

    Head of Published Collections: Eoin McCarney
    Email: emccarney@nli.ie
    Telephone: 01 60 30 223

    Head of Service Delivery: Sandra McDermott
    Email: smcdermott@nli.ie
    Telephone: 01 60 30 227

    Keeper of Special Collections and Chief Herald of Ireland: Colette O'Flaherty
    Email: coflaherty@nli.ie
    Telephone: 01 60 30 230

    NLI Organisational Chart

    The National Library of Ireland’s strategy outlines our mission, vision and values and our strategic objectives for the period 2022-2026.

    NLI Strategy 2022-2026 (PDF 2.9MB)

    The FOI Act 2014 provides that every person has the following legal rights: 

    • the right to access official records held by Government Departments and all public bodies that conform to the provisions of Section 6 of the Act; 
    • the right to have personal information held on them corrected or updated where such information is incomplete, incorrect or misleading; and 
    • the right to be given reasons for decisions taken by public bodies that affect them. 

    These rights mean that from a certain date (21 April, 1998 in respect of the National Library),  people can seek access to personal information held on them no matter when the information was created, and to other records created after 21 April, 1998. 


    How does FOI work? 

    The Act requires public bodies to respond to requests from the public for information they hold. In most cases, public bodies must give their decision on a request within 4 weeks of receiving it. 


    How can I make a FOI Request to the National Library of Ireland? 

    You should send a request either, in writing or by email, to:

    Freedom of Information, 
    National Library of Ireland,
    4 Kildare Street,
    Dublin 2
    Tel: +353 (1) 6030265 
    Email: foi@nli.ie 

    Your request should include the following: 

    • A statement that the request is being made under the FOI Act; 
    • As much information as possible about the records being sought; 
    • In what format you wish to receive any records released (e.g. photocopies) 

    A response will be given no later than four weeks upon receipt of Request. 


    Can I get access to any information that I seek? 

    The following records come within the scope of the FOI Acts: 

    • all records relating to personal information held by the National Library irrespective of when they were created 
    • all other records created from the commencement of the FOI Act (21 April 1998) 
    • any records necessary to the understanding of a current record even if created prior to 21 April 1998 
    • personnel records of serving staff created from 21st April, 1995 and those created prior to that date where being used or proposed to be used in a way which adversely affects or may affect the person involved. 

    However, in order to allow business to be properly conducted, it will sometimes be necessary to exempt from release certain types of information in some circumstances. These are set out in the Act. Among the key exemptions are records relating to: 

    • confidential and commercially sensitive information, 
    • personal information (other than information relating to the person making the request). 

    Requests may also be refused if they are deemed too voluminous or unclear but the National Library is obliged to assist the requester in trying to overcome this. 


    Is there a charge for getting information under the FOI Act? 

    There is no charge for submitting a request. In respect of non-personal requests, other charges may be applied for the time spent finding records and for any reproduction costs incurred by the National Library in providing you with the material requested (search, retrieval and copying charges).

    Where the cost of search, retrieval and copying is less than €101, no fee is charged.  Where the cost of search, retrieval and copying is greater than €500 but less than €700, a maximum charge of €500 applies.  Where the cost of search, retrieval and copying is greater than €700, the body can refuse to process the request.

    Details of actual charges relating to your request will be notified to you in writing.  Payment should be made by way of Electronic Funds Transfer or cheque or postal order made payable to the National Library of Ireland. Please contact the foi@nli.ie for bank details.  A list of relevant fees is set out below: 

    List of Fees 

    • There is no charge for submitting a request 
    • Search and Retrieval – €20 per hour (for requests that exceed the €100 minimum in terms of search, retrieval and copying), subject to the ceilings mentioned above. 
    • €0.04 per sheet for a photocopy 
    • Internal review fee €30 (€10 for medical card holders) 
    • Appeal to the Information Commissioner €50 (€15 for medical card holders) 


    1. There is no charge if the records concerned contain only personal information relating to the applicant, unless there are a significant number of records. 
    2. If you are claiming a reduced application fee, the request must be accompanied by the Medical Card registration number, issuing Health Board name and your consent to the verification of these details with that Health Board. 
    3. A full list of fees is available on request. 


    What if I am not satisfied with the decision on my FOI request? 

    You may appeal any decision issued by the National Library by writing to the Freedom of Information Unit, National Library of Ireland, Dublin 2, seeking an Internal Review of the matter. A fee of €30 (€10 for medical card holders) may apply for such an appeal. There is no fee for internal review applications concerning only personal information relating to oneself or in relation to a decision to impose a fee or deposit. 

    You should make your appeal within four weeks from the date of response (although late appeals may be permitted in certain circumstances).The appeal will involve a complete reconsideration of the matter by a more senior member of staff of the Library and a decision will be communicated to you within three weeks. 


    What if I am not satisfied with the decision on internal review? 

    You may appeal the decision within six months by writing to the Office of the Information Commissioner. If you make an appeal the Information Commissioner will fully investigate and consider the matter and issue a fresh decision.

    All appeals should be addressed to: 

    The Information Commissioner,
    18 Lower Leeson Street,
    Dublin 2
    Tel: +353 (1) 639 5689
    Locall: 1890 22 30 30
    Fax: +353 (1) 639 5674
    Email: info@oic.ie 

    A fee of €50 (€15 for medical card holders) may apply for such an application. Again, there is no fee for appeals to the Office of the Information Commissioner concerning only personal information relating to oneself or in relation to a decision to impose a fee or deposit. 


    Can I get help in making a request? 

    Yes. If you require any help the staff in the FOI Unit will be happy to assist you in the formulation of your request.


    Do I need to make a FOI request to get information from the National Library of Ireland? 

    The National Library of Ireland routinely makes information available to the public through information leaflets, publications etc. This will continue. FOI provides an additional source of information by facilitating access to records not made routinely available. 


    Where can I get more information on FOI? 

    Further information on FOI is available from: 

    The Information Commissioner,
    18 Lower Leeson Street,
    Dublin 2
    Tel:  +353 (1) 639 5689
    Locall: 1890 253 238
    Fax: +353 (1) 639 5674 
    Email: info@oic.gov.ie 

    The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform,
    Central Policy Unit,
    Floor 3,
    7-9 Merrion Row,
    Dublin 2 
    Tel: +353 (1) 631 8258
    Fax: +353 (1) 604 5750
    Email: cpu@per.gov.ie 

    More comprehensive information on Freedom of Information, including the text of the Freedom of Information Act 2014 is available at www.foi.gov.ie.


    Further information

    Physical visits to the NLI 




    Visitors                              41,150[1]

    Researcher Visits      4,392[2]



    Visitors                              178,215[1]

    Researcher Visits      12,045[2]



    Visitors                               32,683

    Researcher Visits      3,246


    Unique online visits to the NLI website and Registers.nli.ie

    2023 Q1           Visits           1,691,22[3]

    2022 Q1-Q4 Visits           1,263,116[3]


    2021 Q1-Q4 Visits:           1,536,298




    1. Figures include MoLI visits. Higher than 2021 due to COVID-19 closures and restricted opening and services in 2021.

    2. Higher than 2021 as the Reading Rooms have been open without interruption since May 2021, opening hours have increased and there is no limit on the numbers who can access the reading room.

    3. Change of ‘cookie notice’ implementation, leading to a significant number of visits not being tracked where users reject all non-essential cookies.