David Sweetman, the former chief archaeologist of the Office of Public Works (OPW) and Dúchas, has died at the age of 85.
Mr Sweetman, of Roestown, Drumree, County Meath, died “peacefully at home, surrounded by his loving family”, his obituary said.
During his time with the OPW, Mr. Sweetman was responsible for the restorative interpretation of Trim Castle and also served as general editor of numerous archaeological inventories.
In over 30 years in public service he worked on a wide range of archaeological projects including Newgrange and many important excavations at medieval sites.
He was an internationally recognized authority on Irish medieval buildings and structures, with particular expertise on tower houses.
Mr. Sweetman entered private practice after retiring from the OPW in 2003. There he worked on many church sites and buildings, castles and tower houses, specializing in medieval buildings.
He has been published in numerous academic journals, including the Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. His books include Irish Castles and Fortified Houses (1995) and The Medieval Castles of Ireland (1999).
He also contributed to many other publications on medieval architecture. In 2007 he was honored in a special publication recognizing his contribution to archaeology: From Ringforts to Fortified Houses.
He was also a member of the Royal Irish Academy and was once vice-president there.
Mr. Sweetman will rest at his home on Tuesday from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. A Celebration of Life Service will be held at Dardistown Crematorium on Wednesday at 10 a.m.