17 December 2008: Arts Council director welcomes new Arts Council members

The Director of the Arts Council, Mary Cloake, today welcomed Pat Moylan as chairperson of the Arts Council, as well as new Council members.

"I am delighted to welcome Pat Moylan as the new chairperson of the Arts Council, and my staff and I are looking forward to working closely with her in the weeks and months ahead," said Ms Cloake.

"The arts are part of us all; they define us as a society and our artists shape our future. In these straitened economic times, the new Council will be working harder than ever to promote the value of the arts, and ensure that people right across the country experience the best of the arts," Ms Cloake added.

Along with Ms Moylan, the members announced today by the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Martin Cullen TD, are: Louise Donlon; Paul Johnson; Fiona Kearney; Sheelagh O’Neill; Orlaith McBride; and Caroline Senior.

Ms Moylan and the new members of the Council join the six current members: Maurice Foley, deputy chairperson; John Crumlish; Philip King; Aibhlín McCrann; Alan Stanford; and Colm Tóibín.

Ms Cloake also paid tribute to the outgoing members: "On behalf of all staff who worked with the outgoing Chair, Olive Braiden, and Council members, I would like to express my thanks to them for five years of hard work and commitment" said Ms Cloake.


Pat Moylan, Chairperson

Pat Moylan was Artistic Director of Andrews Lane Theatre for 18 years where she created a vibrant arts venue, nurturing new writing and fostering the development of new talent in acting, directing and design. The theatre presented hundreds of highly acclaimed productions. Many of these moved on to even greater success in larger theatres in Ireland and overseas.  As an independent  producer,  Pat  founded  Lane  Productions  and  has a list of productions  to her name including Twelve Angry Men, Stones in His Pockets, I  Keano, Alone it Stands, the award winning Tom Crean - Antarctic Explorer and  many  more.  Pat  has  also  brought  many  Irish  productions  to the international stage, the most successful being Stones in His Pockets, which played  for  4 years in London’s West End and on Broadway. She is a regular collaborator with West End Producers in UK productions and is highly respected with an extensive range of contacts in the British theatre world.

In film, Pat Moylan has produced the multi-award winning short film The Breakfast  and  the  successful  feature film Borstal Boy, both directed by Peter Sheridan. In 2008, she was nominated for an Irish Times Theatre Award for her contribution to the Arts.

Louise Donlon

Louise Donlon is the Director of the Dunamaise Arts Centre in Portlaoise. A native of Moydow, County Longford, she holds a BA in Music and History, a Diploma in Arts Administration and a Masters in Public Administration. Louise taught music in Castlebar before pursuing her arts administration studies at UCD.  In the early 1990s she worked at the City Arts Centre in Dublin  and  at  the  Arts  Council  followed by three years in Limerick as administrator  of  Island  Theatre Company. In 1996, she moved to Galway to take up the position of general manager with Druid Theatre Company. In early 1999 she was appointed manager of the Dunamaise Arts Centre, a new multi-disciplinary   arts   centre,   comprising a 240-seat theatre and exhibition space.  The Dunamaise is now regarded as one of the premier regional arts venues.  Louise is a founder member of Nasc, a network of regional theatres established to promote touring of high quality work to the regions.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Chief Executive of Dance Ireland, the national resource for professional dance.  Since his appointment in June 2006, Paul has led the membership organisation through a major development period and under his tenure, Dance Ireland has tripled its operating budget and has raised the profile of dance artists nationally and internationally. Paul oversaw the opening of Ireland’s first purpose built dance rehearsal venue, DanceHouse in Dublin 1. A dance artist with over 21 years experience as a performer, choreographer and teacher, Paul has worked on a range of dance, theatre and film projects with among others, Daghdha Dance, Dublin Contemporary Dance Theatre and Druid Theatre Company. He was Dance Artist in Residence for Aberdeen (1989-1990) and Choreographer in Residence at Project Arts Centre (1998-2001).  He was also special projects coordinator to the International Dance Festival Ireland.  Paul is the author of Fine Lines on Shifting Ground:  Reflections on a Choreographic Process (Project Press: 2000). Paul worked as Artists’ Services Manager at the Arts Council (2003-2006) and was Registrar to Aosdána, the affiliation of creative artists in Ireland.  He holds a BA in Communication Studies and an MA in Communication and Cultural Studies from Dublin City University.

Fiona Kearney

Fiona  Kearney  has  been  the  inaugural  Director  of the Lewis Glucksman Gallery  at  University  College,  Cork  (UCC)  since 2003. Fiona began her curatorial  career  as  Programme  Co-ordinator  at  the National Sculpture Factory,  Cork  and  went on to direct the visual arts programme of Triskel Arts  Centre.  She was appointed as visual arts officer at UCC in 1999 and was part of the design team for the Lewis Glucksman Gallery. She is a graduate in French and Philosophy from UCC, and holds an M.Phil in Text and Image studies from Trinity College, Dublin.  Fiona has received several awards  including  the  designation of college scholar by UCC, the NUI Prix d'Honneur  from  the  French  Government, a UCC President’s for Research on Innovative  Forms  of  Teaching, and a Fulbright Scholarship. In June 2006, she was awarded the Jerome Hynes Fellowship by the Arts Council.  From 1996-2001, she was Lecturer in Philosophy of Art at the Crawford College of Art and Design. From 1999 - 2001, she was involved in setting up History of Art as an academic discipline at UCC and currently guest lectures on 19th Century, Modern and Contemporary Art.   In July 2008, she was the Irish commissioner for the European Night at the Rencontres d’Arles International Photography Festival.  She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, a member   of   AICA   (International   Association   Art Critics) and IKT (International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art).

Orlaith McBride (re-appointment)

A  native  of  Ardara,  County  Donegal,  Orlaith  McBride is a graduate of Trinity  College,  Dublin  and  holds post-graduates in Arts Administration from   University  College,  Dublin  and  in  Drama-in-Education  from  the University  of  Ulster.  Orlaith has spent many years working in the arts within the areas of local authorities, community arts, youth theatre and drama-in-education. She held the post of Arts Officer in the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) for four years, co-ordinating the National Youth Arts  Programme where she developed 'Arts in their Lives' a policy on young people  and  the  arts in Ireland as well as developing the first strategic plan for the development of youth arts in the NYCI. In  2003,  Orlaith  was  appointed Director of the National Association for Youth  Drama  (NAYD)  -  the  development  organisation for youth drama and theatre in Ireland. She is also the producer of the National Youth Theatre, which performs annually at the Peacock Theatre. She is a Board member of the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) and sits on the Strategic Policy Committee in Dublin City Council for culture and youth. She is also a member of the Governing Authority of Dublin City University (DCU).  She was  appointed  to  the  Special  Committee  on  Arts  and Education by the Minister  for  Arts, Sport and Tourism in 2006.  She was first appointed to the Arts Council in 2003.

Sheelagh O’Neill

Sheelagh O’Neill is a keen supporter of the arts.  Along with an interest in the performing arts, she and her husband collect Irish art.  She also has a special interest in cultural tourism having worked for much of her career in the travel and tourism industries.   Sheelagh is a history graduate from Trinity College, Dublin and also holds a Diploma in Marketing from the former College of Marketing and Design, Parnell Square, Dublin. Sheelagh began her working life at Kilkenny Design based in Dublin and Kilkenny and went on to work with Abbey Tours.   She also worked for the former Bord Fáilte in Sydney and in the corporate marketing group of American Express. She is a founder and trustee of an African aids charity.

Caroline Senior

Caroline Senior is Artistic Director of Garter Lane Arts Centre, Waterford, a position she has held since 1999. She has played an active role in the development of Waterford New Music Week, the John Roberts Waterford Festival and sprOg, the pre-Spraoi festival for children. Most recently she project managed the €1.5 million redevelopment of the Garter Lane Theatre with funding provided through the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism’s capital arts programme and Waterford City Council. Originally from Dublin, she graduated from Trinity College with a Degree in Music Education in 1990 and subsequently taught in Alexandra College and the Kilkenny School of Music.  Between 1998 and 2003, she performed annually in the Professional Training Workshops at Carnegie Hall, established by the late Robert Shaw. She was previously Project Manager at the Association of Irish Choirs and a voluntary member of the Board of Amnesty International (Irish section) and projects coordinator of their arts events. She is currently a Board Member of the Ireland Newfoundland Partnership.

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Yelemba dance troupe from the Ivory Coast - Clonmel Junction Festival.

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