Draiocht Board

Sarah Farrell
Declan Gorman

Lilian Harris
Councillor Howard Mahony
Councillor Mary McCamley

Rory O’Byrne
Maureen Penrose

 

 

Draíocht Board - Biographical Information (where available)

Declan Gorman
Director of Draíocht’s Board since 27 August 2014.
Declan Gorman is a freelance playwright, performer and theatre director who has also specialised in arts policy. He has recently led public arts projects funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland (at Killesher, Fermanagh) and the EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation (Creative Spark, Dundalk). From 1997 to 2010 he was Artistic Director of Upstate Theatre Project, Drogheda and was writer-facilitator on several Upstate Community Projects. In 1995-96 he was Coordinator of the Arts Council's year-long Review of Theatre in Ireland. Prior to that he was Theatre Director at Dublin’s City Arts Centre and a co-founder and performer with Co-Motion Theatre Company, Dublin. In the past, he has provided policy advice, reports and papers to several local authorities and arts bodies including Fingal, South Dublin, Meath and Louth County Councils; CREATE, the National Association for Youth Drama, Theatre Forum Ireland and Fatima Groups United. Recent freelance work has included writing and directing two large scale public art drama projects in his native County Monaghan, The Common People and I Love Mullaghmatt, as well as directing the European premiere of The Hijabi Monologues, a co-production of Axis Arts Centre, Dublin; The British Council and The Immigrant Council of Ireland. Declan continues to tour occasionally within Ireland and overseas with his one-man show The Dubliners Dilemma, based on 'Dubliners' by James Joyce. Holder of an M.Phil in Creative Writing from Trinity College, he has published short fiction and journalistic articles and will soon complete work on his first novel, set in a fictional community in North County Dublin.

Lilian Harris
Director of Draíocht’s Board since 07 January 2013.
Lilian grew up on the Strawberry Beds and knew the villages of Castleknock, Blanchardstown and Clonsilla long before they became the Dublin 15 suburbs they are now. Lilian worked in community development with Blanchardstown Area Partnership in the area for many years, working in all aspects of community life. She has a special interest in encouraging older people to become more vocal and more active in their communities. Now retired Lilian is enjoying her interest in photography, art and writing and occasionally delivers courses and facilitates groups as well as loving the role of grandmother to her nine grandchildren.

Councillor Howard Mahony
Director of Draíocht’s Board since November 2019.
“I am a Councillor on Fingal County Council representing the Castleknock Local Electoral Area since 2016. I am currently Chairman of the Blanchardstown-Mulhuddart/Castleknock/Ongar Area Committee, the Economic, Enterprise and Tourism Strategic Policy Committee, the County Heritage Forum and a number of School Boards of Management.   I was a Member of An Garda Siochana attached to the Special Detective Unit in Harcourt Square, Finglas Garda Station and the Garda Band. I am a member of Blanchardstown Brass Band and have been a committed Community Activist for over thirty years”.

Councillor Mary McCamley
Director of Draíocht’s Board since 24 October 2014.
Mary McCamley lives in Mulhuddart and is a Councillor with Fingal County Council for the past 3 years working in the Mulhuddart Ward. A public servant all her working life, she retired from Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown (HSE) in 2012 where she spent many years as the Patient Services Officer where studied for a Degree in Health Management (Bsc) from Trinity. She has a keen interest in the arts having grown up adjacent to the Father Matthew Hall, Church Street, Dublin 7, where her father was Volunteer Stage Manager for nearly 40 years and where hundreds of amateur theatrical performances took place. She has been at one time a member of writing groups and has recently taken up art classes (water colours) - both resulting in abysmal attempts. She works as a Councillor in the community and is chair of the Mulhuddart Community Centre and a Board Member of Huntstown Community Centre and also a Board Member of her local Riversdale Community School. As a member of a political party she takes a great interest in political and social issues.

Rory O’Byrne
Arts Officer, Fingal County Council
Director of Draíocht’s Board since 20 April 1999.
A Fingallian by birth, Rory O’Byrne is a graduate of Dun Laoghaire School of Art and Design and the National College of Art and Design. As a student he was involved in a wide range of arts in the community initiatives in various communities in Dublin City and later in formal education as a secondary school art teacher. Rory was appointed County Arts Officer, for Fingal County Council in January 1994, the first person to hold the post .The function of the arts officer is to promote and develop the art throughout Fingal; this is achieved through a policy based approach, based on publicly consulted strategic arts development plans. Currently Fingal County Council is half way through the life of their current plan (Fingal Arts Plan 2013-2107). The arts office funds and supports two Arts Centres, Draíocht & the Seamus Ennis Arts Centre. There is also funding for Artists-in–Schools programmes, at primary and second level. Support to professional artists is offered through funding and bursary awards, and the arts office is also responsible for commissioning of public artworks through the percent for arts scheme.

Maureen Penrose
Director of Draíocht’s Board since November 2019.
Maureen has lived in Sheepmoor for the past 40 years. She has always been active in the local community in both a voluntary and a paid capacity. She has worked for many years with traveller children. For the past 20 years, up to retirement, Maureen worked in Community Drugs / Addiction Services. She has been involved with many community projects and is currently a Board Member at the Neighbourhood Youth Project, the Dublin 15 Community Drugs Team and the Local Drug and Alcohol Task Force. She is Secretary of the Blanchardstown Family Support Network and the Sheepmoor Community group. She is Chairperson on the Board of Blanchardstown Community Training Centre. Maureen has four adult children, thirteen grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. She is passionate about community, inclusion, the Arts in all their forms, the underdog. She thinks Draiocht is well named. Magic!


Draíocht Company Registration: Draíocht Ltd. Reg no: 266358
Charity No: CHY12696
VAT No: IE 8266358C