Bat Conservation Ireland is a company limited by guarantee and with charitable tax exemption status. We are governed by a Revenue-approved Memorandum and Articles of Association. We compliant with the Governance Code for Charities and reported to the Charities Regulator, as required for the first time in 2021.
Bat Conservation Ireland was founded in 2004 and is composed of a diverse mix of conservationists, researchers and others with who are committed to wildlife conservation in Ireland. We particularly seek to address the potential conflicts that sometimes arise between humans and bats in dwelling houses.
BCIreland does not carry out bat surveys for developers or landowners. If you require the services of a consultant bat worker, we recommend that you search the directory of Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CIEEM). However, please note that the CIEEM list of consultant bat workers is not exhaustive.
Bat Conservation Ireland does not comment on individual planning applications.
Bat Conservation Ireland aims to promote the conservation of bats in Ireland. We do this through:
- disseminating educational materials, giving talks and leading bat walks, running detector workshops and bi-annual conferences, and regularly updating the website www.batconservationireland.org which provides information about bats, downloadable reports and acts as a portal to sources of bat information.
- carrying out nationwide surveys (e.g. BATLAS 2010) and monitoring of bats (e.g. the All-Ireland Daubenton’s Waterways Survey, Car-based Bat Monitoring Scheme, Brown Long-eared Bat Roost Monitoring Scheme), all of which involve local involvement of volunteers
- actively promoting bat conservation by being represented on the Environmental Pillar and as a member of the Irish Environmental Network (IEN)
- offering extensive support and training to members of the public to survey their local bat populations
- acting as an umbrella group for the local bat groups. Active bat groups are found in Clare, Cork, Dublin, Galway, Waterford, the Midlands and Kildare
- providing a central repository for bat records and data sharing with appropriate agencies.
The Governing Council of Bat Conservation Ireland works to ensure the Bat Conservation Ireland complies with its legal obligations and requirements, as well as providing policy direction and guidance. The committee includes nine individuals interested in the work of Bat Conservation Ireland. Council members and Company Directors are appointed at the AGM. Council members contribute their time voluntarily. If you are interested in becoming more involved with Bat Conservation Ireland, please contact us.
Co-Chair: John Curtin
John has served on the Council of Bat Conservation Ireland since 2017. He is the former Company Secretary and was elected as Co-Chair and Company Director of the organisation at the EGM in February 2023.
John runs his own environmental consultancy company Eire Ecology and holds a first class honours degree in Environmental Science from NUI Galway. Having worked as a consultant ecologist since 2010, John has gained a high skillset over several disciplines. An experienced field worker; with knowledge in botanical & habitat identification, ornithological surveys & monitoring and mammal surveys. John has also acted as lead bat ecologist for several large scale wind farm projects. In addition to this, he has prepared numerous stage 1 and 2 Natura Impact Statements and Environmental Impact Statements.
Co-Chair: Dr. Caroline Shiel
Caroline is one of the founding members of Bat Conservation Ireland and has sat on the Council since its inception. She served as the Vice-Chair of the organisation for a number of years and was elected as Co-Chair at the EGM in February 2023. She is currently one of the Company Directors of Bat Conservation Ireland.
Since childhood, Caroline has had a huge passion for wildlife. She grew up in Ballycarney, on the banks of the River Slaney in Co. Wexford where she first encountered bats, otters and owls while night fishing for sea trout.
Caroline studied zoology at University College Galway (now NUIG). Her fourth year research project (10 months) was “An investigation of the diet of four species of Irish bat by faecal analysis”. She was awarded a first class honours degree in 1989. She went on to complete a Ph.D. on Leisler’s bat in 1998 – “Diet, foraging and activity at the roost of Leisler’s bat (Nyctalus leisleri) with special reference to nursery colonies in south Co, Wexford, Ireland”. Much of the fieldwork was conducted using radio-telemetry. Her supervisor was the renowned Irish mammologist Professor James Fairley.
She has been working as an independent consulting ecologist (specialising in bats) since 1998. With her husband, she also set up and runs an antiquarian book business “Owl Books” with specialises in Irish history and Irish natural history.
Caroline also has a passion for horses and is currently Secretary of Tir Conaill Riding Club.
Treasurer: Dr. Chris Peppiatt
Chris’ first degree was in Botany. He has been working as a consultant ecologist for twelve years and on bats for the last eleven. He has done work on bats at the sites of a number of proposed developments, as well as work on bats in bridges and old buildings. Chris likes to take part in Bat Conservation Ireland voluntary surveys (such as the Car-based Bat Monitoring project, All-Ireland Daubenton’s Bat Waterways Survey and Brown Long-eared Bat Roost Monitoring) and is also involved in recording schemes for wintering and breeding birds, flora and a number of other groups such as dragonflies, butterflies, moths, grasshoppers, fish and other mammals. Chris is a Company Director of Bat Conservation Ireland.
Company Secretary: Brian Keeley
Brian Keeley was a founder member of the Dublin Bat Group in 1989 and has been based in Meath since 2001. He was also a founder-member of Bat Conservation Ireland. He works as a self-employed consultant mammalogist and has particular expertise in bats. He has a keen interest in Irish wildlife conservation and, together with his wife, Donna, manages his 43 acre farm for wildlife. They are both active with the Bailieborough branch of the Irish Wildlife Trust and have established a network of IWT nature reserves in the North Meath, Cavan and Monaghan area on farms volunteered by the owners for this purpose. Bats have been one of the groups of species that have benefited from measures upon the farm including pond creation, tree planting and bat and roost box erection. Planting for birds and insects have also been a great success. Brian has been evaluating the use of different bat boxes and building features on the farm for bat roosting purposes. To date, three species have availed of the roost options while other species have been noted feeding and commuting through the farm but not yet known to roost here.
Brian has been keeping a check on the use of some bat boxes in winter and has found that even then bat boxes may be of use to bats. Brian is the former Chair of Bat Conservation Ireland and is currently a Company Director.
Additional Council Members for 2023:
- Eimear Barrett (Co-opted)
- Dr. Emma Boston
- Anna Collins
- Jason Guile (Co-opted)
- Tanya Slattery