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11 February 2013

Press Release: Druid Announce Cathal Goan as New Chairman

Druid has announced that Seamus O’Grady, the company’s long-serving Chair, has stepped down after many years of dedicated service.

At a Board meeting in Galway on Wednesday February 6th, Cathal Goan was nominated as his successor. Mr Goan paid tribute to Mr O’Grady’s leadership of the company saying,

“Druid’s extraordinary success during this time was due in no small part to Seamus’s wisdom and commitment to the company.”

Mr O’Grady remains as a member of the Board.

Mr Goan said he was honored by his election as Chairman and looked forward to working with the Board and all the Druids, in helping “spread Druid’s magic across the world.”

Garry Hynes commented,

“Seamus is a friend, an ally and a champion. He has given Druid support, wise counsel and firm leadership over many years. I look forward to continuing to benefit from his insight.”

Welcoming Cathal Goan she said,

“I look forward to working with him to meet both the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for Druid.”

The company announced that the retirement of two other directors had taken place in 2012, that of Eugene O’Kelly and Breda Ryan. There will be a function held in April in Galway to thank them for their long service to Druid.

Finally it was announced that Eugene Downes was nominated to the Board in November.

A spokeswoman added that the company expected to appoint a further two directors before the end of 2013.


Cathal Goan was born in Belfast and received his University education in University College Dublin where he qualified in Celtic Studies in 1975. He spent two years post-graduate in the Department of Irish Folklore UCD before beginning work as a research officer with The Placenames’ Commission of the Irish Ordnance Survey. He subsequently joined RTÉ, Ireland’s national public service broadcaster, as an archivist before becoming first a radio and then a television producer in Current Affairs. In 1990 he became Editor of all RTÉ’s television output in the Irish language and in 1994 he was chosen as the first Chief Executive of the new Irish language television service which was about to be established in Galway. Teilifís na Gaeilge – TG4 – began broadcasting in October 1996 and has gained widespread recognition for the inventiveness and variety of its commissioned programming. In 2000 he returned to Dublin as Director of Television Programming at RTÉ. In 2003 he was appointed Director General (CEO) of RTÉ, a position that he held until January 2011. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by the University of Ulster in 2006 in recognition of his services to the Irish language and to broadcasting in Ireland. He was appointed Adjunct Professor in the School of Irish Language, Celtic Studies, Irish Folklore and Linguistics in UCD in 2011. He has a life long interest in Irish music with particular reference to the Irish language song tradition.


In 2012 Eugene Downes completed his five-year term as founding Chief Executive of Culture Ireland, the national body for the promotion and advancement of Irish arts worldwide. His tenure included planning and leading Imagine Ireland, a yearlong celebration of Irish arts across the United States in 2011. From 2000-07 he acted as a consultant to the Irish Government on international arts programming and strategy, curating and producing arts events across Europe, Asia and South America. Previous experience included the Irish Foreign Service, a spell as Cultural Attaché in Russia and as a music and opera broadcaster on RTÉ Lyric FM. Eugene has previously served on the Boards of the Abbey Theatre, the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Irish Theatre Institute, the Irish Cultural Centre in Paris and Rough Magic. He is a Board member of the International Society for the Performing Arts and co-chaired its annual Congress in 2012. Eugene is currently working as an independent performing arts producer.

This page was archived on 28/03/2017 and is no longer updated.

The contents of this page may be out of date or incomplete. Go here to browse our current site