The Board of Trustees
The Library is a public self-governing charitable trust. Registered Charity No. CHY 5879.
Established under the terms of the will of Sir Alfred Chester Beatty, which was granted probate in 1969, the collection is vested in the Trustees who own and operate the Library.
The Board of Trustees consists of a maximum of twelve members, one each of whom is appointed by the President and Taoiseach and three by the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs. The Director of the National Library serves as a Trustee ex officio. All other Trustees are co-opted. The Trustees elect the Chair.
Since 1997 the Trustees of the Library are appointed or co-opted to serve five-year terms and may serve a maximum of 2 consecutive 5 year terms. Trustees do not receive any remuneration, aside from modest receipted expenses incurred, while carrying out their duties. All expenses are paid in accordance with the guidelines and rules set down by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.
The Trustees of the Library are currently:
Chair: Dr Thomas P. Hardiman (appointed 1991, elected Chair 1998)
Mr Eamonn Ceannt (appointed 2013) Ministerial appointee
Sir Marc Cochrane (appointed 1988)
Dr Sandra Collins (appointed 2015) Ex officio
Dr Catherine Day (appointed 2015)
Mr Dermot Desmond (appointed 1991)
Dr Declan Downey (appointed 2012) Ministerial appointee
Professor Kathleen James-Chakraborty (appointed 2010, re-appointed 2015)
Professor Brian McGing (appointed 2013) Taoiseach appointee
Professor Roger Stalley (appointed 1993) Presidential appointee
Although an independent body, the Library receives most of its income from the generous support of the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and must make up any shortfall through earnings and donations.
By agreement with government and with the consent of the High Court, the Library sold its premises in Shrewsbury Road, Dublin in 1999 and moved to take up a leasehold on the Clock Tower Building at Dublin Castle in that year.