Our Story

Board of Directors

The Festival is governed by a voluntary, non-executive Board of Directors, made up of 8-10 members.

Helen Meany (appointed 2008; Chairperson since 2011)

Arts Journalist, Critic, Consultant
Helen Meany is a journalist, critic and arts consultant. She was the Arts Council’s Literature Adviser from 2011-18. Previously she was Editor of Irish Theatre Magazine, Curator of Critical Voices, and arts journalist and commissioning editor with The Irish Times. She has a Master’s in Cultural Leadership from City University of London (2011) and, most recently, a Diploma in Business and Personal Coaching. She sits on the board of the Douglas Hyde Gallery, Trinity College Dublin.

Brian Brady (appointed 2013; Vice Chairperson since Nov 2018)

Head of Theatre Programme of Trinity Laban
Brian Brady is Head of Theatre Programme of Trinity Laban, the UK’s first conservatoire for music and dance. Originally from Ireland, he is a graduate of The Samuel Beckett Centre for Drama and Theatre Studies at Trinity College, Dublin. Since 2000, Brian has worked as a freelance theatre artist, directing Opera and Theatre in the UK and Europe. He is a former Associate Director of The Abbey and Peacock Theatres, Ireland’s National Theatre.

Gemma Duke (appointed 2017)

Executive Officer, System Funding - HEA
Gemma Duke currently works in System Funding in the Higher Education Authority. Before joining the HEA, Gemma worked as the Development Manager at the National College of Art & Design, having previously performed roles in PR, marketing and development in Ireland and abroad, with the Dublin Theatre Festival, the Abbey Theatre and Sydney Festival. Gemma has a Masters in Strategic Management & Planning from the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School.

Lisa FitzGerald (appointed 2015)

Head of Human Resources
Lisa FitzGerald is currently the Head of Human Resources for an international broadcaster and has held similar HR roles at NCAD, UCD, the BBC and the Museum of London. She previously gained significant experience in dance administration with companies including Mark Morris Dance Group, Akram Khan Dance, Richard Alston Dance Company as well as related roles at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, City Centre Theatre (NY) and Rambert School of Ballet & Contemporary Dance.

Lisa McLoughlin (appointed 2017)

Lecturer and Researcher in Dance at University of Limerick
Trained at London’s Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance, Lisa has performed extensively as a freelance dancer around the world. She is an award-winning choreographer and a passionate advocate and teacher of dance. She is currently lead artist and creator of The Autonomy Project, a multi-genre arts projects combining the work of over 100 young people, artists and academics. Lisa is a lecturer and researcher in dance at the Irish World Academy, University of Limerick. She holds a first-class honours MA in Dance, combining dance and psychology, and is currently undertaking an Arts Practice PhD.

Síona Meghen (appointed 2015)

Entrepreneur & Business Consultant
Síona Meghen was Commercial Director of Certus, a financial services outsourcing firm, which she co-founded in 2010. Prior to this, Síona held a number of senior positions in Bank of Scotland (Ireland), KBC Bank and the National Treasury Management Agency. She trained as a Chartered Accountant with Arthur Andersen and spent 8 years with the firm, working predominantly in the Business Consulting division. Síona holds a Masters Degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Queen’s University Belfast and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland and a Qualified Financial Adviser. Síona is also on the Board of Women’s Aid.

Jerry O'Connell (appointed 2015)

Financial Management
Originally from County Kerry, Jerry returned to Ireland in 2014 after 25 years working abroad in the International Financial Services sector. Jerry held senior finance management roles for various financial institutions in Sydney, Frankfurt and London. A qualified Certified accountant and Life & Business Coach , Jerry also holds an MSC in Financial Services from University College Dublin. Jerry has served on the boards of various charities in the UK specialising in Financial Management and Corporate Governance. He also trained as a Latin American and ballroom dancer at Pineapple studios in London. Jerry is currently working with the Irish Red Cross in Dublin and is in the final year of an MBA at the National College of Ireland.

Anna Walsh (appointed 2018)

Executive Director of Theatre Forum
As Executive Director of Theatre Forum, Anna works closely with the organisation’s team, board and over 280 members to plan, produce and deliver training, as well as an annual programme of events. Her background is in strategic communications and advertising, having worked with multinational and indigenous companies, internationally and locally. Anna holds an M.A. Cultural Policy and Arts Management awarded by UCD, an M.Phil. Irish Art History and an M.Sc. (Management) Organisational Behaviour, both awarded by Trinity College, Dublin. She was an Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards judge in 2015 and chaired the judges’ panel in 2016.

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