Irish National Committee of The Blue Shield


The Irish committee was reconstituted in 2010 under the chairmanship of Dr Michael Ryan, then Director of the Chester Beatty Library, and met on five occsions. The original objectives (in sequential order) of the INCBS were to:

  • Compile and agree articles of association and apply to the International Blue Shield Committee for sanction;
  • To engage in advocacy to have the Republic of Ireland ratify the Hague Convention;
  • To create awareness of Blue Shield within Ireland;
  • To engage with the defence forces, NGOs and other bodies serving at home and abroad to raise the level of awareness of the importance of protecting the cultural heritage.

The Irish National Committee of Blue Shield are delighted to welcome two new members to the Irish national committee, Jessica Baldwin and Hugh Maguire. Both Jessica and Hugh are representing International Council of Museums (ICOM

The current committee comprises of:

  • ICA – Zoë Reid (Chair) and Daniel Ayiotis
  • ICOMOS Ireland – Helena Bergin and Fergus McCormick
  • IFLA – Elizabethanne Boran (Secretary)
  • ICOM Ireland – Jessica Baldwin and Hugh Maguire
  • CPP/ World Heritage Expert- Patrizia La Piscopia

The committee is now focusing on the continued promotion of Blue Shield, through public events introducing Blue Shield to the public and the wider heritage audience and specific training events. During 2020 keys aims are

  • 17th August to mark two years since the ratification by Ireland of the 1954 Hague convention.
  • A dedicated INCBS website.
  • A short training course held outside of Dublin.

For further details and updates please check

Organisation of the Committee

The INCBS will conduct its business as an autonomous body but in accordance with the principles of The International Committee of the Blue Shield. The INCBS will conduct its business in the following manner:

Members will serve a maximum of four years and be eligible for reappointment for a further term of four years.

Of the two nominees of each body, for the first term one will be nominated for two years only to ensure a cycle of regular rotation of membership as well as continuity from committee to committee. Those nominated to a short term of membership of the INCBS will be eligible on completion of their two year term for nomination for a subsequent four year term. (6 years in total)

The INCBS will meet as often as necessary but in any event not less often than twice a year, one of which meetings will be designated the Annual General Meeting at which elections will take place and the rules of the organisation approved or amended as required.

The INCBS shall elect the following officers: chairman, secretary and treasurer to serve a four year term. Officers may serve for a maximum of two terms.

The INCBS will agree to its own rules to govern its business in accordance with the conventions of the International Committee of the Blue Shield.

The INCBS will conduct its business and financial affairs in accordance with the highest standards and shall provide an annual report to the nominating bodies.

The committee can co-opt additional individuals with appropriate expertise.

Blue Shield Objectives

The cultural equivalent of the Red Cross, the Blue Shield aims to protect cultural and heritage sites from attack in times of armed conflict or civil disturbance, and from natural disasters. It also aims to promote awareness of the importance of preserving heritage sites and their contents in peacetime and during conflict. The basis for the Blue Shield is the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property and its additional first and second protocols.

Nominating Bodies to National Blue Shield Committees

Nominating bodies to the International Committee of the Blue Shield and to National Blue Shield Committees are:

  • ICA (The International Council of Archives)
  • ICOM (The International Council of Museums)
  • ICOMOS (The International Council on Monuments and Sites)
  • IFLA (The International Federation of Library Associations)
  • CCAAA (The Co-ordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives Associations) 

Former UK & Ireland Blue Shield

The UKIRB (UK & Ireland Blue Shield) Committee was inaugurated on 13th March 2001. The UKIRB was located within the National Preservation Office based at the British Library. Over time it became clear that it would be more appropriate to have a separate Irish Blue Shield grouping given the fact that the UKIRB Committee operated within two separate jurisdictions with quite distinct differences in terms of international engagement.