New Chairperson for Irish Traditional Music Archive

Brian Montague

New Chairperson for Irish Traditional Music Archive

Belfast fiddle-player and businessman Brian Montague succeeds Dermot McLaughlin.

The Irish Traditional Music Archive has announced Brian Montague as its new chairperson. Montague succeeds Dermot McLaughlin, who has stepped down from the board after nine years.

Belfast native Montague, who is a fiddle-player, has served on the board of ITMA since 2014. Now living in Dublin, his business interests cross a range of sectors and he is the owner of the Winding Stair Group of Restaurants. Montague also serves as chairperson of The Complex, an arts and theatre organisation based in Smithfield.

Commenting on his new role, he said:

I am delighted to be taking up the role of chairperson of ITMA at such an exciting point in its development. As the national archive and resource centre for the traditional arts of Ireland, ITMA continues to be a prolific collector, while the ongoing process of digitisation provides a unique opportunity to expand access to a 24/7 global resource.

We look forward to strengthening and deepening our links with the broader arts community and advocating to ensure that this collection of national significance is supported, shared and has the capacity to grow and be preserved for future generations. I would like to thank Dermot McLaughlin as outgoing chairperson for his extraordinary contribution to ITMA.

Departing chair Dermot McLaughlin said:

ITMA has become part of the critical infrastructure for music not just in Ireland but internationally. The organisation has embraced technology since it began life in 1987 as a direct initiative of An Chomhairle Ealaíon/The Arts Council. As a veteran ‘digital native’ organisation it has built up expertise, authority and credibility at the intersections of music, research, technology and creativity.

ITMA grew out of the community of traditional music, and it now helps to sustain and support this community by making sure that source materials are always available to feed the dynamic process of transmission that underpins our living tradition of music. I am delighted to have had the opportunity to contribute to the work of ITMA at significant developmental moments, and I have to say that working with colleagues on the board, and with the director and staff has been stimulating and exciting at all times.

My colleague, successor, and fellow fiddle-player Brian Montague brings a wealth of experience and insight to the role of chairperson of ITMA and I wish him, the board, staff, and all of ITMA’s supporters every success in the years ahead. 

The other board members are Dr Siobhán Ní Laoire, Tom Sherlock, Clodach McGrory, Dermot Diamond, Aoife Ní Bhriain and Nuala O’Connor.

The Irish Traditional Music Archive is the largest collection of its kind in the world. For more on ITMA’s work, visit

Published on 1 March 2018


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