Neil Murray and Graham McLaren from the National Theatre of Scotland are to replace Fiach MacConghail as Directors at the Abbey Theatre when he steps down next year.

The pair will work alongside MacConghail from July 2016, prior to his departure the following December.

The role of director began with MacConghail’s appointment in 2005, when the theatre producer and former artistic adviser became the Abbey’s first Director/CEO after a long line of Artistic Directors.

He is credited with over-seeing a return to financial health for Ireland's National Theatre which had endured a turbulent period around its centenary celebrations.

Neil Murray is currently Executive Producer at the National Theatre of Scotland and Graham McLaren is Associate Director and the two will work together as a joint leadership team.

In a statement they said they were looking forward to living and working in Ireland "and building on the great work that Fiach Mac Conghail and the Abbey Theatre team has been doing".

The newly-announced directors praised Ireland's "enviable pool of talent across all spheres of theatre making and the wider arts, who deserve a place on the Abbey Theatre's stages." 

Chairman of the Abbey Theatre, Dr Bryan McMahon said their combined strengths will see the Abbey Theatre embark on exciting new journeys with artists and audiences.