Our team comprises category experts, strategic partners and a dedicated and passionate staff of both employees and super-star volunteers.
The work of Irish Heritage Trust staff, supporters, and strategic partners is guided by our management team and voluntary board of trustees. Everything we do is underpinned by our common goal to preserve our heritage and create sustainable benefits for local communities.
Directors of the Irish Heritage Trust
Clare McGrath – Chairperson & Company Secretary
Clare started her career with the Revenue Commissioners and joined the Office of Public Works (OPW) in 1996. During the following seven years, Clare headed various divisions within the OPW and in January 2003, was appointed by the Minister for Finance to be a Commissioner in the OPW, the first woman to be appointed to its Board within its then170-year history. Clare was appointed Chairman of the OPW in September 2009 and remained in that role until her retirement in late 2016.
Anne O’Donoghue – CEO
Anne was appointed CEO in July 2018 and leads a team of over 100 colleagues and 300 volunteers across properties in the Trust’s care at Fota House, Arboretum & Gardens, Cork; The National Famine Museum, Strokestown Park, Roscommon; Johnstown Castle Estate, Museum & Gardens, Wexford; and 11 Parnell Square, Dublin. She is a board member of the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation (ITIC) and the Association of Visitor Experiences and Attractions (AVEA).
Prior to her current role, Anne held many executive and non-executive directorship roles, spanning both the public sector and commercial enterprises, across financial services, media, and renewable energy sectors, as well as in not-for-profits and cultural institutions.
Brigadier General Ger Aherne (Retired)
Ger is a native of Cork City and has lived in Kiltoom, South Roscommon, for many years. He is a retired Defence Forces Brigadier General having held strategic military appointments in Ireland, commanded national and international forces for the UN, EU and NATO on three continents, and was seconded by Ireland to the OSCE in Croatia. He has a B.A. and LL. M. from the University of Galway. He served two terms as an elected member of its Governing Authority and for many years on its Alumni Board.
A former board member of the busines NGO Traidlinks, he is a member of both the Institute for International and European Affairs (IIEA) and the Institute of Directors (IOD). A livelong member of the GAA, he has served on its committees at national, regional, county and club levels.
Caroilin is a Director of the Westward Group, the company that saved Strokestown Park in the late 1970s. She is recognised for her work building connections and international recognition for Strokestown and Roscommon among many universities and institutions across the world and in particular for establishing very successful partnerships with Quinnipiac University, Connecticut; Boston College; and the University of Toronto.
Caroilin is a director of a number of successful property and childcare businesses.
Terri graduated from UCC with a Degree in French & Psychology before moving to Paris for her first role in tourism with what is now Tourism Ireland, igniting her passion for selling Ireland as a destination to international markets and ultimately leading to her setting up her own destination and conference management company.
Recipient of the ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Events Industry’ award in July 2017, she is a former Chair of AIPCO (Association of Irish Professional Conference Organisers) and former President of the ITOA (Irish Tour Operators Association). Terri holds a Diploma in Company Direction and is a member of the Institute of Directors of Ireland.
Avril Doyle was an MEP and leader of the Irish Delegation in Brussels from 1999 – 2009. As a member of the ENVI Committee, she was rapporteur of the European Parliament’s key legislation on climate change – the 2008 Emissions Trading Directive. She was also Vice President of the Delegation for relations with the Gulf States and Yemen as well as being a member of the Delegations for relations with China and with South Africa. Avril is a former Mayor of Wexford, Fine Gael TD, Senator and Minister of State.
She has a BSc. in Biochemistry from UCD; is a former President of the Equestrian Federation of Ireland and is an Associate member of the BVA (British Veterinary Association).
Liam is a native of Waterford and graduated from UCD and Cambridge University. He studied law before qualifying as a solicitor in England and Ireland. Liam has practiced law in Ireland, England, and Switzerland, including a seven-year term as Deputy General Counsel of the Bank for International Settlements, a global organisation that promotes regulatory co-operation. He is currently a partner with Mason Hayes & Curran LLP, a Dublin-based international law firm and co-head of its Financial Regulation practice.
His key skillsets include corporate governance, risk analysis and regulatory compliance and his experience covers the public and private sectors.
Mark is the Head of University Communications & Marketing at Technological University Dublin. He previously spent two decades working in the tourism sector where he was the Director of Central Marketing & Sustainability at Tourism Ireland. He has a strong background in business strategy and consumer marketing and has been selected as one of Ireland’s leading Chief Marketing Officers for several years in a row by Business & Finance magazine.
Mark was previously a board member of the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation and of the European Travel Commission. He is the author of ‘In Fact: An Optimist’s Guide to Ireland at 100’.
Dr. Niamh Ann Kelly
Niamh Ann is Head of Art and Visual Culture at TU Dublin School of Art and Design. She has worked in third level education and research for over two decades with a focus on interdisciplinary work and building sustainable links between research, learning and industry. Originally from Galway, she studied Fine Art Painting and History of Art at National College of Art and Design in Dublin, and later completed a PhD at the School for Cultural Analysis at the University of Amsterdam. At TU Dublin, she manages BA and MA programmes, and supervises post-graduate research on art, museums, and heritage and memorial practices.
She has served on the Board of The Irish Humanities Alliance as a TU Dublin representative for a decade. Her research work is published in a wide range of texts on history, histories of art, memory studies and visual culture.
Tony Larkin retired in 2022 from his post as Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Services with Wexford County Council. Tony has more than 42 years’ experience in Local Government in Ireland and served for over 22 years in the Management Team of Wexford County Council. During that time, he managed at various times the Planning & Economic Development, Housing, Community, Culture, and Transportation functions. Tony has represented the local government sector on National, Regional and Local bodies and has considerable experience of corporate governance and strategic development.
Following study with the Institute of Public Administration Tony was awarded a B.A (Public Administration). He undertook postgraduate studies with the Irish Management Institute and was awarded a MSc. (Mgmt.) in Organisation Behaviour by Trinity College Dublin. He received the Sir Charles Harvey Award for outstanding performance in business management postgraduate studies in 2002.
Eoghan holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) degree from UCC and has extensive experience of working in both the private and public sectors. He spent over 20 years with one of Ireland’s leading Consulting Engineering firms engaged in the design and construction of civil engineering infrastructural projects throughout Ireland. He joined the Commissioners of Irish Lights in 1999 where he held a senior management position as Operations & Property Manager responsible for the management of a critical national infrastructure of marine Aids to Navigation around the coast of Ireland and associated property portfolio, retiring as Acting Director of Coastal Operations in May 2022.
Eoghan is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of Engineers Ireland.
Victoria is an experienced business leader, director and advisor working across various industry sectors. In a career spanning 25 years in the Financial Services Industry, Victoria held several key executive roles, principally with J.P. Morgan. She has extensive experience across a number of disciplines including business strategy, product and client development, and process and business re-engineering. More recently Victoria forayed into working with new start-ups and established businesses in the financial services, hospitality and technology sectors.
Victoria is currently living in New York with regional responsibility for Service Delivery for BNY Mellon.
Mairéad Ní Cheóinín
Mairéad is originally from Cárna, Conamara, Co. Galway. She has worked at senior management level in the international maritime industry in business development, marketing, corporate fundraising, communications and P.R.
She has experience of corporate governance and strategy having served for two terms as a non-executive director with TG4.
Jerry is Chairman and MD at Atlantic IP Services, Ltd. He has over 20 years’ experience developing, acquiring, financing, and licensing leading technologies to the world’s top technology companies. He is also an investor focused on digital technology companies in the U.S. and Ireland, and a vocal advocate for strengthening the rights of patent owners and inventors.
Jerry began his professional career as a lawyer at New York-based Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLC, before moving on to co-found his own law practice, Tashjian & Padian. He earned a BS in economics from Fordham University and a JD from Fordham Law School.
Dr. Christopher Ridgway has been curator at Castle Howard in Yorkshire, England, since 1985. He is Chair of the Yorkshire Country House Partnership and has served on a number of boards in the UK. These include the Attingham Trust, the National Trust for Scotland, the Institute for Historical Research, and the Lord Chancellor’s Forum on Historical Manuscripts.
Christopher lectures and publishes widely on country houses and estates. He is also Adjunct Professor at the Centre for the Study of Historic Irish Houses and Estates at Maynooth University.
Susie Tinsley was a Trustee of the Kensington & Chelsea Foundation (London) from 2012 – 2015, where she was successful in developing community partnerships and raising the Foundation’s profile. She has extensive experience in fundraising for a variety of organisations across charitable and arts sectors in Ireland the UK and USA having supported the work of Ashoka, the Royal Academy of Arts and St. Cuthbert’s Day Centre and the National Museum of Women in the Arts.
Susie also brings a wealth of experience in developing campaigns and high profile events across these sectors. She has a lifelong passion for art, literature and history.
Our Irish Heritage Trust Management Team
John O’Driscoll – General Manager
John joined the Strokestown Park team in 1998 where he had responsibility for the ongoing restoration of the Walled Gardens. He has played a key part in further restoration projects – the Gentleman’s Study/Darkroom, the Family Mausoleum, the Courtyard and Woodlands. John is now working to continue to bring Strokestown Park and the National Famine Museum to life for future generations.
Bryan Murphy – General Manager
Bryan Murphy joined the Irish Heritage Trust team at Fota House in 2019. He has extensive experience in Business Development, Sales & Marketing and Operational roles in the Events, Sport, Logistics and Beverage sectors. Following 10 years as Operations Manager with Munster Rugby, Bryan has focused on Event Management including the Pendulum Summit and The Blackwater Valley Opera Festival.
Matt Wheeler – General Manager
Matt has worked in the museum and heritage sector in UK and Ireland as a Curator and Manager for over 30 years. He came to Johnstown in 2011 to manage the Irish Agricultural Museum and since then has overseen the opening and redevelopment of Johnstown Castle in recent years.