About AOP

The Armagh Observatory was established in 1790 by Archbishop Richard Robinson.  It is the oldest scientific institution in Northern Ireland and the longest continuously operating astronomical research institute in the United Kingdom and Ireland. 

The Armagh Planetarium was founded in 1968 by Dr Eric Lindsay, the seventh Director of the Armagh Observatory.  It is the oldest operating Planetarium in the UK and Ireland, celebrating 50 years in operation on 1 May 2018 as the public face of space and astronomy in Northern Ireland.  

 Armagh Observatory and Planetarium is sited in a heritage environment with a rich scientific history at the forefront of astronomy.  Now unified as a single organisation, the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium (AOP) delivers internationally-recognised research in astronomy and related sciences and vibrant educational and outreach programmes for all ages.  

Our Corporate Plan 2018-2021 sets out a three year strategy to achieve stability for the organisation and provide a firm foundation for the future, upon which a greater ambition can be realised. 

Our Staff 


Senior Management Team 

Professor Michael Burton, Chief Executive and Director  

Dr Marc Sarzi, Head of Research 

Carol Corvan, Head of Corporate Services 

Leonard Knox, Head of Finance and Income Generation 

Sinead Mackle, Education and Outreach Manager 


Corporate Team 

Lynne Brown, Corporate Manager 

Aileen McKee, Executive Officer 

Shane Kelly, Estates and Meteorological Officer 

Anne Bittle, Executive Officer 

Lisa O'Neill, Corporate Support

Ceara Ryan, Accountant 

Victoria McMahon, Finance and Administrative Officer 

Ciaran Magee, ICT Manager 

Nathan Leeman, ICT Technician

Adam Crawford, ICT Placement Student


Education Team 

Martina Glass, Operations Manager

Heather Alexander, Senior Education Officer

Helen McLoughlin, Senior Education Officer

Ria Mee, Education Officer

Nick Parke, Education Officer

Anna Taylor, Education Officer

Courtney Allison, Education Officer

Dympna McNally, Receptionist 


Research Team

Astronomers, Postdoctoral Fellows and PhD Students