The Ark Team & Contact Details
The Ark Team
Director: Aideen Howard
(01) 670 7788
General Manager: Avril Ryan
(01) 899 4091
Development & Events Manager: Sarah O'Dwyer
(01) 899 4094
Music Programmer: Aisling O'Gorman
(01) 899 4097
Finance Officer: Mary Reade
(01) 899 4093
Marketing Manager: Al Russell
(01) 899 4099
Production Manager: Mark Rooney
(01) 899 4092
Assistant Production Manager: Franco Bistoni
(01) 670 7788
Project Coordinator: Duffy Mooney-Sheppard
(01) 670 7788
Acting Visitor Services Manager: Ashling Vieira
(01) 670 7788
Catherine Byrne. (Chair)
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.
Brian is the European Managing Director for AccuWeather. He was previously a senior marketer at Twitter, 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, a BA in English Literature from Yale University, and a Professional Certificate in Corporate Governance from the Institute of Public Administration. His two daughters are lifelong patrons of the Ark.
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 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 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 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.
Dr Anne Looney
Anne is the Executive Dean of Dublin City University’s new Institute of Education. A former teacher, from 2001 until 2016 she was the CEO of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, the agency responsible for curriculum and assessment for early years, primary and post-primary education in Ireland.In 2016/17 she was the interim CEO at the Higher Education Authority before moving to DCU. She completed her doctoral studies at the Institute of Education in University College London. In 2014/2015 she was Professorial Research Fellow at the Learning Science Institute Australia, based at Australian Catholic University in Brisbane. Her research interests include assessment policy and practice, curriculum, initial teacher education and professional standards for teachers and teaching. She has also published on religious, moral and civic education, and education policy.
Maria has twenty years’ experience as a children’s rights advocate, policy analyst and researcher. Maria is currently a doctoral researcher with the School of Law, National University of Ireland, Galway and is an Irish Research Council Scholar. Her research is exploring, from a human rights perspective, the decision-making mechanisms in child protection cases where a child may be placed in State care. For 14 years from 2001, Maria worked with the Children’s Rights Alliance, an organisation which unites over 100 members working together to make Ireland one of the best places in the world to be a child. As the organisation’s Legal and Policy Director and Deputy Chief Executive, she authored numerous legislative and policy submissions and engaged in advocacy at national, EU and UN level, including working to secure constitutional change and influence the development of Better Outcome: Brighter Futures: the National Policy Framework for Children and Young People (2014) and the Ryan Report Implementation Plan (2009). Maria is currently a Board member of Kid’s Own Publishing Partnership and previously served on the Board of the Irish Refugee Council.
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