Profile Summary – Dr. Ronan O’ Flaherty

Dr. Ronan O’Flaherty is the lead consultant with Crane Bag Consulting, a specialist heritage consultancy providing strategic planning, interpretative design and project management to heritage sites and business-heritage interests in Ireland.


  • 1989 University College Dublin: BA (Archaeology/Spanish);
  • 1993 University College Dublin: MA (Archaeology)
  • 2000 Institute of Public Administration: Project Management
  • 2003 University College Dublin: PhD (Archaeology)

Career History:

  • 2014- Principal Crane Bag Consulting; contracted also to lead Environment/Natural Heritage measures for Department of Agriculture
  • 2007-2014 Principal Crane Bag Consulting
  • 2004-2007 Head of Forest Service
  • 1998-2004 Head of Market Supports & Capital Investment, Department of Agriculture
  • 1996-1998 CEO Discovery Programme (Centre for Archaeology and Innovation Ireland)

Project History:

  • Background in public service, holding senior positions in the Department of Agriculture (rural development) and in the Forest Service (afforestation, native woodland, recreational forestry)
  • Former CEO of The Discovery Programme – the state-funded centre for archaeology and innovation. Responsible for co-ordinating design, management and publication of pure research programmes.
  • Established a dedicated heritage consultancy, Crane Bag Consulting, in 2007 specialising in strategic planning of heritage-based development, as well as conceptual and interpretative planning.

Completed Projects Include:

  • Interpretative Design and project management for the €1.5m redevelopment of the Irish National Heritage Park, Ferrycarrig, Co. Wexford.
  • Historical consultant for RTE’s four-part series on Ireland’s Ancient East – Creedon’s Epic East (summer 2016)
  • Development of Interpretative Plan for redesign of National 1798 Rebellion Centre in Enniscorthy and project-management of delivery of new Rebellion Experience (with Mirador Media)
  • Feasibility Study and interpretative design for historic Loftus Hall, Hook Head.
  • A lead consultant on the establishment of the Wexford Heritage Trail, bringing together over 30 heritage sites and community groups to apply standards, act and market collectively.
  • Feasibility Study for development of heritage assets of Horetown House Hotel, and identification of new business directions.
  • Feasibility Study, concepts and design for redevelopment of Knocklong Historic Railway, Limerick including new community park
  • Foundation planning for UCD’s new Experimental Archaeology Centre in Belfield, Dublin.
  • Technical adviser and contributor to RTE for their award-winning mini-series Secrets of the Irish Landscape, and for the accompanying book
  • Concepts, feasibility and business modelling for Mount Congreve House and Gardens, Waterford
  • Concept and delivery of ‘The Woodstown Dirham’ – select corporate gift for Transport Infrastructure Ireland commemorating discovery of the Woodstown Viking settlement.
  • Concepts and branding for new Visitor Attraction in St Peters, Wexford.
  • Concepts, feasibility and interpretative design for Shannon Heritage for redevelopment of Craggaunowen Living History Park, Co. Clare
  • Creation of new immersive Wexford’s Rising experience in the Athenaeum, Enniscorthy (with Mirador Media).
  • Interpretative design for new visitor experience at St Canice’s Cathedral, Kilkenny (with Mirador Media)
  • Design of new guided walking tour of Duncannon Fort, Co. Wexford (with Mirador Media)
  • Tourism Destination Report for North Wexford for Wexford County Council (with Ennis & Co and Yvonne Byrne Consultancy).
  • Design and feasibilities for multi-million euro tourism destination development in Clonmel (Tipperary County Council).
  • Creation of new Norman experience in Granard (with Mirador Media)

Current Projects Include:

  • Concepts and design of two new visitor experiences for Hook Lighthouse (Shipwreck and Majesty of Land & Sea), with Ennis & Co, Mirador and C.J. Falconer.
  • Feasibility study for White tailed Eagle experience, Mountshannon, Clare (with Alan Lauder Consulting)
  • Development Plan for Kilmore Quay (with Ennis & Co and Yvonne Byrne Consultancy)
  • Concepts and design for new Origins (GAA) experience in Thurles (with Mirador Media)
  • Design of Downstairs at Wells visitor experience, Wells House.
  • Consultancy for €2m Ireland-Wales Interreg bid focusing on cultural tourism

Voluntary Contributions Include:

  • Chair of the Project Board for the three year multi-disciplinary Vinegar Hill Battlefield Project (launched Feb 2014).
  • Working with Golden Eagle Trust on major reintroduction programme for the Crane in North Shannon basin (crane extinct in Ireland since medieval times)
  • Advised on the Heritage Council funded study of the halberdier ‘wall-painting’ in Enniscorthy Castle, and for restoration works at Clonmines medieval deserted town.
  • Member of the team that successfully bid to host the 2015 International Experimental Archaeology Conference here in Ireland (Dublin and Wexford).
  • Co-ordination and chairing of the highly successful recent seminar “Gaelic Capital to Norman Stronghold – Ferns and the Transformation of Ireland” (Ferns Castle: 12-13 March 2016)
  • Voluntary Director of Board of the Irish National Heritage Park.

Professional And Other:

  • Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland
  • EXARC (International representative body for open-air museums/specialists)
  • Irish Management Consultants Association
  • Appointed a Director of the Irish National Heritage Park in December 2013.
  • External Examiner for Carlow IT’s degree courses in Culture and Heritage and in Irish History.
  • Visiting lecturer for UCD’s Communicating Heritage course