Our team comprises category experts, strategic partners and a dedicated and passionate staff of both employees and super-star volunteers.
The work of all of our staff, supporters and strategic partners is guided by our management team and voluntary board of trustees – 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
Clare is from Ballingarry, Thurles, Co. Tipperary, and graduated from UCD with a Degree in English & Philosophy before qualifying as a barrister from King’s Inns. 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. In January 2003, she 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 then 170-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 has over 30 years’ experience at senior levels in the financial services industry. She has a passion for heritage and culture which is underpinned by her long-term commitment to and support of the wider arts, heritage, and culture community in Ireland.
Over the years Anne has held many executive and non-executive directorship roles, spanning both the public sector and commercial enterprises. As a voluntary Board Member of the Irish Heritage Trust since its inception, she experienced first-hand the Trust’s innovative approach in successfully bringing built heritage to life for the benefit of all. Over eleven years, she served on various sub-committees of the Trust, including the Investment and Finance & Audit Committees.
Anne looks forward to this next phase of the Irish Heritage Trust and delivering its mission of cherishing and improving our heritage, respecting and valuing the participation of all stakeholders, so that its stewardship results in an enduring legacy for future generations.
John Crowe – Company Secretary
John is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Kestrel Capital. He has over 30 years’ experience in the financial services sector.
John has held a number of senior roles in major international corporations during his career including Director of the Personal Financial Services division of KPMG Ireland. He joined Merrill Lynch in 2000 to set up and develop the bank’s Irish Wealth Management business. He was a member of the Executive Leadership Team of Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Ireland and responsible for the successful transition in 2014 of the Wealth Management business to Julius Baer. John is a Director of Orbis International (Ireland).
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.
Mr. Curley brings over thirty-five years of architectural and planning experience to the Board. Over the past few decades, he has served as the practice sector leader for higher education projects at a number of architectural firms. His exceptional communication skills have been critical to facilitating the alignment of diverse user groups and stakeholders, including senior academic administrators, trustees, faculty, students, and community leaders. Mr. Curley specialises in managing the planning, design, and construction process and creating consensus among project participants as the basis for sound decision-making, clear accountability, and the achievement of project goals.
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; was Vice President of the Delegation for relations with the Gulf States and Yemen and 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 with degrees in law before qualifying as a solicitor in England and Ireland. He 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 has over two decades experience in the tourism sector and is currently 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’.
Victoria Mikulecz is a highly experienced business leader, director and advisor working across various industry sectors. During a career spanning 25 years in the Financial Services Industry, most of which was spent working for J.P.Morgan, Victoria held several key executive roles. She has extensive experience across a number of disciplines including setting and driving strategy, business, product and client development, and process and business re-engineering. More recently she has forayed into working with new start-ups as well as established businesses in the financial services, hospitality and technology sectors.
Mairéad Ní Cheóinín
Mairéad is originally from Cárna, Conamara, Co. Galway. She has worked at a senior management level in the international maritime industry in business development, marketing, corporate fundraising, communications and P.R. for over 25 years. She has experience of corporate governance & strategy having served for two terms as a non-executive director with TG4, the independent commissioning Irish language television channel.
Jerry is Chairman and MD at Atlantic IP Services, Ltd. with more than 20 years’ experience developing, acquiring, financing, and licensing leading technologies to many of 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.
Mr Padian 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 including the Attingham Trust, the National Trust for Scotland, the Institute for Historical Research, and the Lord Chancellor’s Forum on Historical Manuscripts. He 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.
Madeleine was Mayor of Clare 2008-09, Fine Gael Group Leader in Clare County Council, Member of Strategic Policy Committee of Clare County Council focusing on Community and Cultural Development Policy. She is also a Member of Clare Vocational Educational Committee, Member of the Management Board of Eiri Corca Baiscinn, as well as a Member of the National Forum for Europe.
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 Management Team
John O’Driscoll – General Manager
The National Famine Museum | Strokestown Park, Roscommon
John O’Driscoll joined the team in Strokestown Park in 1998 where he had responsibility for the ongoing restoration of the Walled Gardens. John has played a key part in further restoration projects in Strokestown Park including the Gentlemans’ Study/ Darkroom, the Family Mausoleum, the Courtyard Project and Woodlands. John is now working with the Irish Heritage Trust to continue to bring Strokestown Park and the National Famine Museum back to life for future generations.
Bryan Murphy – General Manager
Fota House, Arboretum & Gardens, Cork
Bryan Murphy joined the Irish Heritage Trust team at Fota House in September 2019. He has extensive experience in Business Development, Sales & Marketing and Operational roles gained in the Events, Professional Sport, Logistics and Beverage sectors. Since his 10 years as Operations Manager at Munster Rugby, Bryan has concentrated on Event Management including the staging of the Pendulum Summit and most recently, The Blackwater Valley Opera Festival.
Brenda Comerford – General Manager
Johnstown Castle Estate, Museum & Gardens, Wexford
Brenda joined the Irish Heritage Trust in April 2019 and has over twenty years’ experience at heritage attractions of scale at senior management level. She has specialised in developing visitor attractions from design stage through construction and conservation to general management and marketing. Brenda feels privileged to channel her passion for history, natural, built and agricultural heritage into managing the beautiful Johnstown Castle Estate Museum & Gardens and making it accessible and engaging.