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
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
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.
Padraic Ferry is from Mountbellew, Co. Galway and graduated from University College Galway with a Law and Politics Degree. Padraic qualified as a Solicitor in 1989 and spent his early years working in Galway. Upon moving to Dublin, he founded his own firm Ferrys Solicitors where he remains as joint managing partner.
While in Galway he chaired the boards of both The Galway Arts Festival and Macnas Theatre Company. In Dublin he has served on a number of boards and has co-founded Ranelagh Arts Festival .
Appointed to Druid Board of Directors: May 2018.
Cilian Fennell grew up in Connemara and graduated from NUIG in 1988 with a BSc Hons in Marine Zoology. After a career at sea, he joined RTE and was appointed Producer of the Late Late Show with Gay Byrne. He then served as Head of Programmes in TG4 before co-founding his own communications company, Stillwater Communications. He is a strategic advisor to a host of national and international organisations and spends much of the year in San Francisco working with technology companies. In 2016 he created and produced the award-winning Centenary show on RTE, which was one of highlights of the 100th anniversary of the Rising.
Appointed to the Druid Board of Directors: May 2018