Board of Directors
Cathal Goan (Chair)
Cathal Goan is an independent media consultant. From 2011-2013 he was a lecturer in Irish Studies at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. Previously, from 2003 until 2011, Cathal was Director General of RTÉ, the Irish national public service media organisation.
An experienced media executive, he began his career at RTÉ in 1979, and roles included Editor of the Irish Language Programmes TV, first Director of the Irish language television channel Teilifís na Gaeilge (TG4) and Director of Television at RTÉ.
Cathal’s former board memberships include the Institute of Public Administration, Ireland (2004 – 2010), Chairman of Irish Traditional Music Archive (1996-2008), Secretary of Folklore of Ireland Society (2002-2006), the Irish Film Institute (2005-2010) and the National Concert Hall of Ireland (2005-2010). He is Honorary Adjunct Professor, School of Irish, Celtic Studies, Irish Folklore and Linguistics, University College Dublin and is currently also Chairman of COMHAR, the Irish language journal and the National Folklore Foundation.
Appointed to Druid Board of Directors: May 2012
Eugene Downes is the Director of Kilkenny Arts Festival, Ireland’s oldest multidisciplinary festival, which this year marked its 42nd edition. From 2007 – 2012, he served as founding CEO of Culture Ireland, the national body for the promotion and advancement of Irish arts worldwide, and led Imagine Ireland, a yearlong celebration of Irish arts in America, with more than 1,200 artists and 500 events across 43 US States.
From 2000 – 2007, Eugene acted as International Arts Adviser to the President and Government of Ireland, curating and producing events across Europe, Asia and South America for more than twenty State Visits, and writing a new international cultural strategy for the Government in 2003 – 2004. On 1 May 2004, he acted as Master of Ceremonies for the formal EU enlargement ceremony in Dublin welcoming ten new Member States to the Union in the presence of the European Heads of State and Government. Previous experience includes the Irish Foreign Service, a spell as Cultural Attaché in Russia and as a music and opera broadcaster on RTÉ Lyric fm.
Eugene is also a Board member of the International Society for the Performing Arts (co-chairing its Annual Congress in 2012), the American-Irish Historical Society in New York, the Irish Cultural Centre in Paris, Theatre Forum and the Irish Landmark Trust. He has previously served on the Boards of the Abbey Theatre, the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Irish Theatre Institute and Rough Magic.
Appointed to Druid Board of Directors: October 2012
Bernadette Murtagh (Secretary)
Bernadette Murtagh qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1999 and as a Tax Consultant in 2002. Having graduated from University College Dublin with a Commerce degree, she joined Duignan Carthy O’Neill, a medium sized practice in Dublin, where she completed her training.
In 2002, she formed Murtagh & Co., Chartered Accountants and Registered Auditors, which is based in Galway city.
She is currently treasurer of the Western Society of Chartered Accountants.
Appointed as Secretary to the Board: July 2013
Bride has previously worked as Director of Communications with Irish national broadcaster RTÉ, and as Special Advisor to Mary Robinson.
Bride was the Director of Communications with RTÉ from 2001 – 2009, having previously worked as Special Advisor to Mary Robinson for an eight-year period, during her time as President of Ireland and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
A graduate in Science from University College Dublin and Computer Practice from Trinity College Dublin, with over twenty years experience in education and educational research at both second and third levels, Bride previously worked as a teacher, educational researcher and school principal. She also worked in the private sector as a communications consultant in the spheres of new technologies and the arts.
Bride was an activist in a teacher trade union and various NGOs in the environmental field.
Appointed to Druid Board of Directors: October 2013
Liz McConnell is a native of Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo. Educated at NUI Galway, she graduated with a BA (English and Philosophy) and completed an MA degree on the works of Irish writer George Moore, before training as a librarian at Trinity College Dublin and UCD.
She has over 20 years’ experience in educational development and fundraising, having served as Assistant Director of Development at Trinity Foundation and Deputy Director of Galway University Foundation.
Since 2003, she has been Director of Public Affairs at NUI Galway, during a period of exponential growth and development, which has seen the University steadily increase its position in global rankings.
Appointed to Druid Board of Directors: January 2015
Nigel Redden is the Director of the Lincoln Center Festival in New York City and, simultaneously, the General Director of the Spoleto Festival U.S.A. in Charleston, South Carolina. Redden was Executive Director of The Santa Fe Opera between 1993 and 1995. During that time, in 1994, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts hired Redden to conceive a new annual international performing arts festival to be launched in July of 1996 at Lincoln Center. Between 1996 ans 2017, he brought some of the world’s foremost musical, dance and theater artists to the Lincoln Center Festival, along with indigenous music and theater traditions from the far corners of the world.
After graduating cum laude with a degree in Art History from Yale University, Nigel began his career assisting at several festivals in the New York area and in Italy before taking up the position of Director, Performing Arts at the Walker Art Center in 1976. He went on in 1981 to serve as the Director of Dance Programming at the National Endowment for the Arts until 1986 when he took up the post of General Manager at Spoleto Festival U.S.A. Prior to being asked to consult on the Lincoln Center Festival in 1994, he has been Artistic Consultant to several festivals including the New York International Festival of the Arts in New York (1991-1992), the American Music Theater Festival in Philadelphia (1992-1994), and the Tennessee Bicentennial Festival (1994-1996).
Appointed to Druid Board of Directors: February 2016
Anne Anderson was a member of the Irish diplomatic service from 1972 to 2017. She served as Ireland’s Ambassador to the United States (2013 to 2017), to the United Nations, New York (2009 to 2013), to France (2005 to 2009), to the European Union (2001 to 2005), and to the United Nations, Geneva (1995 to 2001).
Her extensive multilateral experience includes chairing the UN Commission on Human Rights (1999 to 2000) and the WTO Trade Policy Review Body; in New York, she oversaw a Review of the UN Peacebuilding machinery and co-facilitaed work on Review of the UN Millennium Development Goals. During her EU assignment, she led the Brussels team for Ireland’s EU Presidency in 2004.
Her bilateral assignments as Ambassador in France and the US, focusing on economic and political issues, included a strong cultural component. She was an ex officio member of the Board of the Irish College in Paris, and in 2016 helped to lead the 1916 centenary celebrations in the U.S. - including a three week festival at the Kennedy Center, DC, the largest festival of Irish culture ever held outside Ireland.
Born in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary in 1952, Anne holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from University College Dublin (History and Political Science) and a Diploma in Legal Studies from Kings Inns, Dublin. Her numerous awards include Honorary Doctorates from the National University of Ireland (Doctor of Laws) and from Fordham University, New York (Doctor of Humane Letters).
Appointed to Druid Board of Directors: November 2017.
Helen Ryan has a Bachelor of Engineering from NUI Galway, a Masters in Project Management from UL, and has completed a Senior Executive Programme at Stanford University. Helen has received an honorary Doctorate from NUIG and is a fellow of the Institute of Engineers of Ireland and a member of the Irish Academy of Engineers.
Helen currently holds a number of Board positions including Enterprise Ireland, Dia Nia Technologies and Galway University Foundation, and acts as a strategic advisor to a number of indigenous companies.
Helen was the Chief Executive Officer of Creganna Medical, ranked among the world’s top 10 medical device outsource providers, from 2005 to 2013. During Helen’s time as CEO the company grew five-fold to become the largest indigenous medical device company. The expansion included three company acquisitions, a strategic joint venture in Asia, and the raising of significant debt and equity financing.
Prior to joining Creganna Medical in 2003, Helen worked with Medtronic and Covidien in Product Development and Research and Development roles.
Appointed to Druid Board of Directors: December 2017.