Lenny Abrahamson was born in Dublin and in his twenties won a scholarship to study for a PhD in Philosophy in Stanford University. He failed to complete this however and returned to Ireland to take up filmmaking, initially directing commercials, filming a popular series of adverts for Carlsberg. Abrahamson's first film was Adam and Paul, a black comedy that featured a pair of heroin addicts as they made their way around Dublin in search of a fix. The follow up film to this was 2007's Garage, starring Pat Short as a lonely petrol station attendant in rural Ireland. Both films won the IFTA award for best film. Also in 2007, RTE screened Abrahamson's four-part TV mini-series Prosperity, which was written in collaboration with Mark O'Halloran, the co-writer of Adam and Paul and Garage. Like these two films, Prosperity focused on people on the fringes of Irish society, with each one-hour episode focusing on a specific character, including an alcoholic, a single mother, and an asylum seeker. In 2012 Abrahamson won his third IFTA for best film with What Richard Did, the most successful Irish film of 2012. Abrahamson is currently producing Frank, a film about eccentric musician Frank Sidebottom. The film stars Michael Fassbender, Domhnall Gleeson and Maggie Gyllenhall. In 2013 it was announced that he was to adapt Emma Donoghue's best-selling novel Room.
Anne has been the Executive Director of Ageing Well Network, an independent network of senior policy makers and managers from government departments and agencies, private sector companies, NGOs and academics from 2006 to end 2013. Its objective was to engage a wide range of senior decision makers in developing and implementing new approaches to population ageing and improving the quality of life of older adults. Prior to that she ran her own management consultancy practice for 12 years, working with public, private and voluntary organisations developing their strategic plans and implementing change programmes. Clients ranged from MNCs such as Siemens Aviva, Waterfored Crystal to Irish companies such as Kingspan, Building Societies as well to NGOs like SVP. During that period she worked with the Arts Council, supporting the development of two Arts Plans and facilitating the development of strategies for different art forms. Non Executive board positions currently include SEAI (Sustainable Energy Agency Ireland) and the Fabulous Beast Dance Company. Previous board positions included An Post, Chair of Simon Community Ireland, ICC Bank, APSO.
John Fanning is a specialist in advertising, branding, marketing and communication and currently lectures on these areas at UCD’s Smurfit School of Business. He was Managing Director of McConnell’s Advertising for more than 30 years, is the author of The Importance of Being Branded: An Irish Perspective (Liffey Press, 2006) and many articles in the press. He has a long-standing commitment to the arts, and has served on the boards of the Abbey Theatre and Rough Magic Theatre Company. He has recently completed a PhD in the English Department in UCD on the cultural connections between Thomas Kinsella, Sean Ó Riada and T.K. Whitaker in the 1950s and 1960s.
Currently Deputy CEO of ESB, Brid Horan oversees ESB’s strategy development, corporate communications and compliance, as well as NIE Networks, providing electricity network services for Northern Ireland. She also has overall responsibility for ESB’s sponsorship and related activities. In recent years, as Executive Director she led the transformation of ESB’s retail businesses from a regulated model to a fully competitive and newly branded business, Electric Ireland. Before joining ESB in 1997 as Group Pensions Manager, Brid headed KPMG Pension & Actuarial Consulting. An Actuary and a Chartered Director, Brid was a Commissioner of the National Pensions Reserve Fund from 2001 to 2009 and a Board member of IDA Ireland from 1996 to 2006. She is also currently a Non Executive Director FBD Holdings plc, the Chair of Investment Committee of Novus Modus, ESB’s cleantech investment fund, and a Director of Chamber Choir Ireland.
Orlaith McBride is the Director of the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon. Prior to this appointment, she worked in the arts across a broad range of arts organisations including Local Authorities, arts-in-education, youth arts and theatre. She worked for many years in South Dublin County Council developing and co-ordinating arts projects and programmes before becoming Arts Officer at the National Youth Council of Ireland where she developed the first National Strategy for Young People and the Arts. She was Director of NAYD, the development organisation for youth theatre in Ireland from 2003-2011. She produced the National Youth Theatre at the Peacock Theatre from 2007-2011. She served as a member of the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon from 2003-2011, was a member of Dublin City Council Strategic Policy Committee (Arts and Youth) from 2004-2009 and was a member of the Special Committee on the Arts and Education. She was President of the National Youth Council of Ireland, 2010-2011 and is a member of the Governing Authority of Dublin City University.
Aibhlín McCrann was reappointed Deputy Chairman of the Arts Council in October 2011 and has been an Arts Council member since February 2006. A graduate of University College Dublin, she is a director of Communiqué International, one of Ireland’s leading communications consultancies where she specialises in facilitation and stakeholder engagement with a wide range of organisations in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. She has a long standing association with both classical and traditional music as a solo harper and ensemble musician, with extensive radio, television and recording experience. As a former director of the internationally acclaimed Festival for Irish harp, An Chúirt Chruitireachta, and secretary of Cairde na Cruite (Friends of the Harp) for more than twenty years, she has successfully worked to integrate and promote the Irish harp in mainstream Irish traditional music. A fluent Irish speaker, she has written, performed, and lectured extensively on the Irish harp in Ireland, Europe and the US. She served on the board of the Irish Traditional Music Archive 2002-2005.
Michael McLoone is Chairman of the Prison Service Implementation Body, a former member of board of Enterprise Ireland, and Chairman of Donegal airport. He spent 44 years in the public service including 25 years with the North Western Health Board. He is a former Manager of Donegal County Council; former CEO of Beaumont Hospital; former board member of the Health Service Executive; former Chairman of the Irish Blood Transfusion Service. He began his career in health administration as Personnel Officer at Midland Health Board and Programme Manager at NW Health Board.
Sir Brian McMaster
Sir Brian was born in Hitchin in Hertfordshire. He read law at the University of Bristol and Comparative Law at the University of Strasbourg. In 1968 Sir Brian joined EMI Records as a member of their International Classical Division. In 1973 he went to English National Opera as Controller of Opera Planning and three years later joined Welsh National Opera as Managing Director, where he remained until 1991. During the period 1984-89 he was also Artistic Director of Vancouver Opera. Sir Brian was Director of the Edinburgh International Festival from 1991 to 2006. He is a Governor of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. In July 2007, the Secretary of State for Culture in the UK, asked Sir Brian to undertake a review to report on:
- how artistic excellence can encourage wider and deeper engagement with the arts by audiences
- how to establish a light touch and non-bureaucratic method to judge the quality of the arts in the future.
The McMaster Review resulted in the report Supporting Excellence in the Arts - from Measurement to Judgment, which was published in January 2008.
Shane Molloy is currently Chair of the Children's Medical and Research Foundation and a member of the Council of the National Children's Research Centre, Our Lady's Children’s Hospital, Crumlin. He is also on the board of TASC. He was formerly Chair of the European Movement Ireland and a member of its North-South committee. He has served on the boards of Community Dialogue, Belfast and the Alzheimer Society of Ireland. Previously, he was chair of Unilever Ireland and Senior Vice President, Unilever Home and Personal Care, Europe. Other involvements included membership of the National Executive of IBEC (Irish Business and Employers Confederation) and of the Joint North-South IBEC-CBI Council.
John O'Kane is one of two Arts Directors at the Arts Council, with responsibility for the performing artforms (music, opera, theatre, dance, circus, street arts and spectacle), multi disciplinary venues and festivals, and Local Authority Arts Services. Prior to joining the Arts Council in 2003, he was CEO of Music Network which is itself in receipt of Arts Council funding. He previously worked as a professional orchestral musician, including positions in the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Ulster Orchestra. In addition, he founded and ran the contemporary music ensemble Sequenza.
Monica Spencer is a freelance producer, festival organiser and performance related facilitator based in Limerick. She has extensive experience of arts management and delivery including roles as Executive Director of Daghdha Dance Company, Artistic Director of Everyman Palace Cork and a number of administrative and curatorial roles in the former Belltable Arts Centre. She was also an actor and founder member of Island Theatre Company in the 1980s. She has a strong commitment to capacity building through engagement with the arts and recently completed programmes with Adapt Services Limerick and with Céim ar Chéim, the youth probation service in Moyross where she is also an active member of the local community arts group. She was a founder member of Limerick’s Hip Hop festival, Make a Move and is active in Creative Communities Limerick, a network of artists and community groups with an interest in developing arts and arts infrastructure for communities in the city. She is Secretary of PLAN, the Limerick artists’ network and was an active contributor to The Limerick Arts Encounter programme in 2013. Currently, she is working on a number of projects for Limerick 2014, City of Culture and is undertaking a Masters in Festive Arts at the Irish World Academy in the University of Limerick.
Terence O'Rourke (Independent Chair)
Terence O'Rourke was appointed Chairman of Enterprise Ireland in August 2013 and was previously Managing Partner of KPMG Ireland until his retirement from the firm in April 2013. He is also a director of Hibernia REIT plc, and joined the board of the Irish Times Limited in May 2013. Terence joined KPMG Ireland in 1975, became an audit partner in 1988 and was elected Managing Partner in 2006. He was also a member of KPMG’s Global Board, Global Executive Team and EMA Board, from 2007 to 2013. Terence is a Fellow, and was President in 2004/05, of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland. He is currently Chairman of Enactus Ireland, a member of the Council of the Irish Management Institute, the Governing Authority of Dublin City University, the boards of the Dublin Theatre Festival, the Institute of International & European Affairs, the Chartered Accountants Regulatory Board and the WXN Ireland Advisory Board. Terence graduated from University College Dublin with a BA in Economics and History.