The Ark Team & Contact Details

You can contact any member of staff via +353 (0) 1670 7788 Mon-Fri 10am-4pm. After this time, please use their direct dial numbers.

The Ark Team

Aideen Howard, Director of The Ark

Director: Aideen Howard
(01) 670 7788

Avril Ryan

General Manager: Avril Ryan
(01) 899 4091

Sarah O'Dwyer

Development & Events Manager: Sarah O'Dwyer
(01) 899 4094

Maria Fleming

Theatre Programmer: Maria Fleming
(01) 899 4095

Aisling O'Gorman

Music Programmer: Aisling O'Gorman
(01) 899 4097

Aideen Lynch

Visual Arts Coordinator: Aideen Lynch
(01) 899 4098

Avril Ryan

Finance Officer: Mary Reade
(01) 899 4093

Avril Ryan

Marketing Manager: Al Russell
(01) 899 4099

Avril Ryan

Production Manager: Mark Rooney
(01) 899 4092

Avril Ryan

Assistant Production Manager: Franco Bistoni
(01) 670 7788


Project Coordinator: Duffy Mooney-Sheppard
(01) 670 7788

Ashling Vieira

Acting Visitor Services Manager: Ashling Vieira
(01) 670 7788

The Board

Catherine Byrne. (Chair)
Re-Appointed 14/1/15.
Catherine is currently Chair of DICE (development/ intercultural education in initial teacher education project). Her previous positions include: Senior Programme advisor The Atlantic Philanthropies (2009 - 2012); Executive Director, the LIFT Project, a leadership initiative for females in Trades Unions  (2006-2008); Deputy General Secretary INTO (2001-2006); Board member Abbey Theatre (2006-2012); Board member Focus theatre (2009); and Board member Oxfam 2005-2012. Catherine started her career as a primary teacher, was a senior negotiator for the INTO for many years, was equal opportunities officer for the European Trade Union Confederation based in Brussels and in recent years worked for the Atlantic Philanthropies as a senior advisor. She is a qualified mediator and is currently working as a consultant in workplace mediation.

Dr John Coolahan
Re-Appointed 14/1/15.
John is  Professor Emeritus at the National University of Ireland Maynooth.  He has lectured extensively in Ireland and abroad, is author of three books, has published over 120 articles in Irish and international journals, and has edited several educational publications.  Professor Coolahan has had extensive involvement in a public service capacity as an adviser on educational policy in Ireland.  At international level, he has been a consultant on education to the EU Commission, the Council of Europe, the World Bank and the OECD. He was main author, or contributor, to OECD Reviews of Education in nine countries. He was author of the Irish Country Background Reports for the OECD reviews on Teachers Matter (2003) and on Higher Education in Ireland (2004).
Professor Coolahan was a founder member and President of the Educational Studies Association of Ireland and was a former Academic Chairman of the Association for Teacher Education in Europe.  He was a founder Member and Co-chairman of SCOTENS.  He served on the Review Body on Post Primary Education in Northern Ireland (2000/01).  He has recently chaired the National Forum on School Patronage and Pluralism, and is current Chairman of the Arts and Education Charter Group.

Brian Lavery
Appointed 05.09.12.
Brian is Head of EMEA SMB marketing at Twitter. He was previously a commercial manager at Vodafone Ireland, and a management consultant with McKinsey & Co. He spent the early part of his career as a journalist, including six years as the Ireland reporter for the New York Times, and an arts critic for various Irish media. He has an MBA from Columbia Business School in New York and a BA in English Literature from Yale University.

Gerard Smyth
Appointed 05.09.12.
Gerry is a poet, critic and journalist. He worked for over 40 years with The Irish Times, writing on cultural matters and as Managing Editor with responsibility for the paper’s literary and arts coverage. His poetry has appeared widely in publications in Ireland, Britain and the United States, since the late 1960s, as well as in translation. His eighth collection, A Song of Elsewhere ( Dedalus Press ) was published in 2015. He was the 2012 recipient of the O’Shaughnessy Poetry Award from the University of St Thomas in St Paul, Minnesota and is a member of Aosdána . He was co-editor of  If Ever You Go: A Map of Dublin in Poetry and Song, Dublin’s 'One City One Book' in 2014. He is also on the board of Rough Magic Theatre Company and served on the board of Poetry Ireland for nine years and on The Irish Times publications board in the 1990s.

Tomm Moore
Appointed 11.05.16
Tomm is Co- founder and Creative Director of Cartoon Saloon, founded in 1999 by Tomm, Nora Twomey and Paul Young, who met whilst studying animation in Ballyfermot Senior College Dublin. Over the company’s history, Tomm has worked as Director, Art Director, Storyboarder, Animator and Illustrator on a range of projects from commercials to service work for feature films and TV series, as well as a number of short film projects. Tomm has directed 2 universally successful feature films; The Secret Of Kells and the spiritual follow-up, Song of the Sea. Both films were nominated for Academy Awards ®. Tomm also directed the “On Love” segment for The Prophet, a feature animation produced by Salma Hayek based on one of the best-selling books of all times. Currently, Tomm is dividing his time between the development of his latest project Wolf Walkers and pre-production on The Breadwinner, a feature film, based on the bestselling novel by Deborah Ellis. Tomm received the Directors Guild Of Ireland and America Finder’s Series Award in 2008 and European Director of the year at the Cartoon Movie in 2009

Carol Fawsitt
Appointed 08.02.17
Carol is a Solicitor and having established her own niche practice specialising in Employment Law in 1987, she merged her practice with Hayes solicitors in December 2006 becoming a Senior Partner and Head of the Employment Law Department. Carol is currently a Consultant Solicitor. She has combined private practice with appointments to public and private bodies. Carol is a founding member of the Employment Law Association of Ireland (ELAI) and was Chair of the Association from November 2010 to March 2015.  She was also a member of the  Law Society’s Employment and Equality Law Committee. Among other interests she was a Director  of Archways which advanced the Incredible Years Programme and other evidence based programmes to assist children and adolescents with emotional and behavioural difficulties. Carol is currently Chair of AAI - Alcohol Action Ireland –the national charity advocating for measures to reduce the harm caused by alcohol. In 2000 she was appointed by the President of the High Court as a Member of the Disciplinary Tribunal of the High Court for Solicitors and chaired divisions of the Tribunal until 2010. She was Chairman of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal (2004–2007) and a Board Member of ASH Ireland – the lobby group for action on smoking and health (1996-2003) and (2004-2014). She was formerly a Board Member of the Equality Authority and Chairman of the Authority's Legal Committee (1998 - 2007), a Board Member of the National Economic and Social Council (N.E.S.C.) (1995-1997), the former Employment Equality Agency, and Vice-Chairwoman of the National Women's Council of Ireland (1995 -1997) ,in addition to involvements in other bodies earlier in her career. In August 2016 Carol was appointed a Member of the Charity Appeals Tribunal to deal with appeals from the Charity Regulator.

Gerry Jennings
Appointed 08.02.17
Gerry. is an experienced financier and investor. His background is in Banking where he spent over 20 years working in Audit, Corporate, Business, Project and Property finance. He is a co-founder of Jaguar Capital & continues to retain an interest in that business. In 2014 Gerry set-up The Solomon Group to cater for the needs of businesses trying to restructure their Balance sheets and to provide Management Consultancy services and investment capital as needed, to select small and medium sized businesses. Gerry is a Chairman or Director of a number of companies across a broad spectrum of businesses including hospitality, energy, waste, construction, food & distribution.

Picture of The Ark Board at the 2016 AGM
The Ark Board, August 2016
From L-R: Donnchadh Ó Madagáin, Tomm Moore, Marie McLoughlin, Helen O’Donoghue, Catherine Byrne, Gerry Smyth, Dr John Coolahan and Brian Lavery

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