The Armagh Observatory has proven its ability to carry out advanced research projects, to attract external income and staff into Northern Ireland, and to play an influential role in international astronomy, public understanding of science, and education. In recent years, as shown in Table 1, the Observatory has regularly attracted external funds totalling more than 50% of the DCAL grant-in-aid (more than 100% when the cost of external facilities used by Observatory staff is included), and has maintained a high level of research activity and an exceptionally high public profile. For a group that currently comprises only 5 Research Astronomers, the frequency with which members of staff appear in or are quoted in newspapers and other media is probably second to none. The Observatory is a successful research institute, with a scientific heritage extending more than 210 years and an image that reflects well both its own objectives and those of its core funding agency, the DCAL.
With sufficient resources to carry out its work, the Observatory is in a strong position to play an influential role in both UK and international astronomy for years to come. It is well positioned to present a good impression of Armagh City and District Council and of Northern Ireland on the world stage, and to contribute significantly to the goals of both the DCAL and other Northern Ireland government departments.