Our Team

Our Board of Directors

Sheila Nunan (Chairperson)

Deirdre Kenny

Richard McBride

Kim Mawhinney

Stephen Sexton

Lorelei Harris

Jimmy Fay

Siobhán Ní Éanaigh


Sheila Nunan

Chairperson of the Board of Directors.

Appointed 5 September 2022.

Sheila Nunan has extensive leadership experience in civil society organisations. Sheila was President of ICTU and General Secretary of INTO, the largest teaching union on the island of Ireland representing members North and South between 2009-2019. She was a member of the negotiating team on all national Public Service Pay Agreements between 2010-2019. She serves on the Governing Body of Maynooth University, the National College of Ireland, Early Childhood Ireland and the Institute of International and European Affairs. Sheila is also a Director and Chair of Comhar Linn INTO Credit Union. As a former teacher and Principal, she worked on intercultural projects, Traveller education projects, was a member of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA), and the DES Task Force of Gender Equality in Higher Education. Sheila is a graduate of UCD and St. Patrick's College Drumcondra.

Deirdre Kenny

Chairperson Audit and Risk Committee
Appointed 06/2019

Originally from Dublin and a graduate of UCD, Deirdre came to Northern Ireland in 1973 to work as a Careers Officer working in secondary level schools across NI but retired as a Senior Civil Servant having served as Director of Health Development, Director of Corporate Services and Director of Road Safety and Vehicle Regulation across several NI departments. She has worked in areas as diverse as public health, tourism, north/south issues, economic development, employment schemes for young people and the long term unemployed, personnel/ human resources, road safety and emergency planning.

She is currently a member of the Board of Libraries NI.

Deirdre has a strong interest in the arts having been involved in amateur drama for many years.  She is currently involved with a Belfast based group of creative writers and through her past work with the Belfast Picture Borrowing Group, provided support to local artists.  Since retiring she has become an enthusiastic (if indifferent) water colourist.

Richard McBride

Appointed 06/2017. Reappointed for a second five year term 4 June 2022.

Richard McBride was born and brought up in Derry~Londonderry.  He read law at Trinity College Dublin and obtained his master’s degree from University College London.  He is currently researching for a PhD in Irish legal history at Queen’s University Belfast and has been a member of the Irish Legal History Society since 1990.  He has practised as a solicitor in England and Wales since 1995, specialising in real estate finance and general finance.  He is also admitted to practise in Ireland and Northern Ireland.  His work has taken him to private practise and in-house roles in Belfast, Dublin, Frankfurt and London and he is now an independent legal consultant   He has a keen interest in opera and is a member of the Board of Northern Ireland Opera. 

Kim Mawhinney

Member of the House and Collections Committee
Appointed 06/2018

Kim is Head of Art at the National Museums NI and she is currently a Director on the Board of Craft NI.  Throughout her career Kim has curated, juried and selected exhibitions, lectured and written about the history and development of museums and art curation, and the accessibility of art collections. 

Stephen Sexton

Appointed 06/2019

Stephen Sexton lives in Belfast where he teaches at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, at Queen's University, Belfast. A first book will be published by Penguin in 2019. His pamphlet, Oils, published by The Emma Press in 2014, was the Poetry Book Society’s Winter Pamphlet Choice. Poems have been published in Granta, Poetry London, and Best British Poetry 2015. He was the winner of the 2016 National Poetry Competition and the recipient of an ACES award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. He received an Eric Gregory Award in 2018. 

Lorelei Harris

Member of the Editorial Subgroup (strategy and policies) and search committee
Appointed 10/2021

Originally from South Africa, Lorelei Harris is an independent cultural producer and consultant who has lived in Ireland since 1979. She has previously worked as Head of Arts and Cultural Strategy for RTÉ and as Editor of Arts, Features and Drama for RTÉ Radio 1. In addition to creating and commissioning numerous ground breaking formats and series, she initiated and headed up RTÉ Road to the Rising (2015) and RTÉ Reflecting the Rising (2016), both large scale public events commemorating the Easter Rising.

Lorelei has had a long association with the European Broadcasting Union, serving as Chair of the Radio Features Committee and as a member of the Culture Group. She is also an internationally and nationally awarded documentary and feature maker. Lorelei is currently on the Board of Kilkenny Arts Festival and a member of the Content Committee of the Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI). She is also a member of the judging panel of the Irish Times Theatre Awards (2020).

Siobhán Ní Éanaigh 

Appointed 06/2022

A Dubliner, Siobhán studied architecture at UCD (IRL), UVA (USA), RMIT(AUS). A skilled architect and design thinker with decades of professional experience in Ireland and mainland Europe including with the IBA Berlin’84/87.  A founding partner / director (recently retired) of McGarry Ní Éanaigh Architects with strengths of high quality public sector architecture - the practice work being nominated for the 2010 OECD Compendium of Exemplary Educational Facilities, its design for Smithfield Public Space winning the inaugural joint CCCB European Prize for Urban Public Space, in 2017 an international UIA Medal for Coláiste Ailigh and the RIAI Architecture Award for Education / Learning in 2014, 2015, 2021, 2022. A previous Board Member of An Chomhairle Éalaíon / The Arts Council of Ireland, she has been awarded an EU Research Fellowship and a PhD in Architecture and Design. A national / international competition jury member, she has taught / lectured / examined in schools of architecture at home and abroad. 

Jimmy Fay

Appointed 06/2022

Jimmy Fay is the Executive Producer and Artistic Director of the Lyric Theatre, Belfast. He set up his own production company, Bedrock Productions in 1993 of which he was Artistic Director until 2013. The mission for Bedrock was to produce work unfamiliar to Irish audiences from international and local playwrights. Among the many productions Bedrock produced were Irish premiers of Blasted by Sarah Kane, Faraway and The Skriker by Caryl Churchill, Quay West and Roberto Zucco by Bernard Marie Koltes, Deep Space by Alex Johnston, wideboy gospel by Ken Harmon and Shooting Gallery by Des Bishop and Arthur Riordan.Through Bedrock he co-founded the Dublin Fringe Festival and was the first director of the festival.

Jimmy is a former acting Literary Manager of the Abbey Theatre.

 As a Freelance Theatre Director Jimmy has worked with Bickerstaffe Theatre Company; Theatre Royal, Plymouth; Bush Theatre, London; Landmark Productions, Dublin; Waterford Youth Drama; National Youth Drama, Ireland; Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh; Tinderbox Theatre, Belfast; Arambe Productions; Lyric Theatre, Belfast; Abbey Theatre, Dublin; Olympia Theatre, Gaiety Theatre, Project Arts Centre, Dublin; New Theatre, Dublin; Smock Alley, Dublin; Atlantic Theatre, New York; Arad State Theatre and the Sibiu Festival, Romania.

He has been nominated for the Best Director Irish Times several times and won it for his production of Saved by Edward Bond at the Peacock Theatre.

Of the many productions Jimmy has directed he is most fond of East by Steven Berkoff, Blasted by Sarah Kane, Faraway by Caryl Churchill, Electroshock, a Theatre of Cruelty Season with Bedrock productions; At Swim Two Birds by Flann O’Brian adapted by Alex Johnston, Saved by Edward Bond, True West by Sam Shepard, Quietly by Owen McCafferty at the Peacock Theatre; Breaking Dad by Paul Howard for Landmark Productions, The School for Scandal by R.B. Sheridan, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui by Bertolt Brecht, The Risen People by James Plunkett at the Abbey; Pentecost by Stewart Parker, Double Cross by Tom Kilroy for the Lyric Theatre.

Committee Members, External

Rita McNamee Audit and Risk Committee Finance Manager, Libraries NI

Orla Tomany Audit and Risk Committee 

Christopher Fitz-Simon House and Collections Committee

Anna Hunter (NI) House and Collections Committee

Our In-House Team

The Tyrone Guthrie Centre provides residential work space for local, national, and international artists. Our in-house team, led by our Resident Director, provide a quiet, efficient, and homely atmosphere that enables our residents to engage fully with our facilities, and to focus on their work.

To contact our in-house team, please see details on the contact tab.

Dr Éimear O'Connor HRHA, HRUA, BA, MBA, PhD, Resident Director and Company Secretary

Éimear is a visual arts curator, visual artist, art historian, visual art collection manager, and published author. She attended UCD as a mature student, where she was awarded her BA in 2004 and her PhD in 2007. She went on to undertake an MBA with DIT Aungier Street, for which she was awarded first class honours in 2016. Éimear is author of 'Sean Keating - Art, Politics, and Building the Irish Nation' (Irish Academic Press, 2013), 'Art, Ireland, and the Irish Diaspora - Dublin to New York - Cultures, Connections, and Controversies (Irish Academic Press 2020, and winner of the inaugural Lawrence J. McCaffrey Award for a book on Irish America, awarded by the American Conference of Irish Studies, 2021), and 'Seán Keating in Context' (Carysfort Press, 2010). She is editor of 'Irish Women Artists - Familiar but Unknown' (Four Courts Press, 2010), and author of several chapters, articles, and catalogue essays on Irish art and artists in Ireland and further afield. She has lectured on Irish art and its complex contexts in various cultural institutions in Ireland and America. Visual art exhibitions and catalogues include 'Seán Keating Contemporary Contexts' (Crawford Art Gallery, Cork, 2012), 'Conflicting Visions in a Turbulent Age' (Crawford Art Gallery, Cork, 2016) and 'Aspects 1 - A Selection from the Waterford Public Art Collection', (Waterford Gallery of Art, 2021). A former member of the Board of Directors of the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Éalaíon and the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Éimear is Uachtarain na hÉireann/President of Ireland's nominee to the Board of Directors of the Chester Beatty Library (appointed July 2022).  Éimear is a trained harpist, although she does not play anymore. She hasn't got time!                                            

Ingrid Adams, Manager; Mary Clerkin, Senior Administrator; Martina Beagan, Finance Officer; Lavina McAdoo, Chef; Teresa Rudden, Housekeeper; Esther Hall, Housekeeper; Maryalice Lynch, Housekeeper; Sylvia Fawcett, Housekeeper; Joan Reilly, Housekeeper; Antoinette Ceelen, Chef (part time); Janice McCaul, Chef (part time), Gerry McFarland, Maintenance (part time).


The Arts Council | Funding the Arts The Arts Council of Northern Ireland Res Artists | Worldwide Network of Artist Residencies Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht National Lottery Office of Public Works

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