Board of Directors

Patrick Lonergan (appointed 2017, elected chairperson 2022)

Patrick Lonergan is Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies at NUI Galway. He has published many books on Irish theatre, including the award-winning Theatre and Globalization: Irish Drama in the Celtic Tiger Era and The Theatre and Films of Martin McDonagh. His most recent books are Theatre & Social Media (November 2015, Palgrave) and Irish Theatre Since 1950 (February 2019, Bloomsbury Methuen Drama). For Methuen Drama, he is co-editor of a series of critical companions about international theatre, including recent books on Sarah Ruhl, Harold Pinter and Brian Friel, as well as on such topics as prison theatre, the American stage musical and the intersection of disability and performance.

He has lectured on Irish theatre in many international locations, including in Japan, Russia, Italy, France, Austria, Germany, Brazil, the United States and Canada. His blog about Irish theatre, Scenes from the Bigger Picture, currently has more than 3,000 subscribers, and he regularly writes about Irish theatre for many publications.

Fiona Monaghan (appointed 2018)

Fiona Monaghan is a tourism professional with over twenty years of industry experience in both the private and public sector. Fiona spent the earlier part of her career in the United States, firstly as Director of Sales for North America with the Jury’s Doyle Hotel Group in Washington DC before joining the Irish Tourist Board in New York in 1999. During her tenure with the Irish Tourist Board (Tourism Ireland), she held roles such as Trade Promotions Manager and Manager of Strategic Planning & Advertising for North America.

Fiona returned to her native Galway in 2007 to take up the role as Head of Operations for the West Region with Fáilte Ireland. She was a member of the development team of the very successful Wild Atlantic Way experience brand and went on to head up the launch and implementation of the Wild Atlantic Way within Fáilte Ireland until the end of 2017. In early 2018, Fiona assumed the role as Head of Product Development for Outdoor Activities in Fáilte Ireland, a new division tasked with the delivery of tourism capital infrastructure nationally to grow Ireland’s reputation and appeal as a world-class activity destination. Fiona holds a B Comm & Diploma in Marketing Practice from NUI Galway, an MBS in Tourism from the Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business UCD and a Diploma in Sports Marketing from New York University School of Continuing & Professional Education.

Valerie Rice (appointed 2019)

Valerie Rice is an experienced commercial, marketing and retail business leader with a strong track record in developing brands and leading change programmes across a broad range of industries, both multi-national and domestic, for over 20 years.

Valerie founded her own company, Valerie Rice & Associates, in 2008, which provides strategic commercial marketing and retail advisory services to blue chip clients both in Ireland and internationally. She works with clients across a range of sectors from agri-food, drinks, banking, healthcare, semi-state, SMEs and media. Prior to starting her business, she was a Board member of Superquinn, with responsibility for Group Marketing & Omni Channel, for Ireland’s leading retailer at the time. During her time with the business, she led the re-launch of the Superquinn brand with “Fresh Thinking” and the re-positioning of the premium retail brand experience across flagship stores nationwide.

Valerie also has extensive experience in the drinks industry having worked with Diageo Ireland as Head of Operations and as part of their Leadership Team and as Head of Retail Marketing for their highly regarded beer and spirits portfolio. She also worked with the spirits business United Distillers as Head of Retail, On Trade and with Gilbey’s of Ireland and Guinness across a range of commercial and marketing management roles.

Valerie has a Degree in Marketing from The Marketing Institute and a Diploma in Languages from Dublin Business School as well as from the Chambre de Commerce, Paris. She was awarded National Graduate Student of The Year by The Marketing Institute.

Mary McGinley (appointed 2019)

Mary has over 20 years’ experience advising Irish and international groups on financial and tax matters. She currently leads the tax group in KPMG’s Galway office. Mary principally advises clients in the life sciences, technology, manufacturing, engineering and pharmaceuticals sectors. She has particular experience in assisting international companies investing in Ireland and Irish groups expanding overseas, funding transactions and advising on successful business acquisitions and disposals.

Mary has a keen interest in education and lectured in Revenue Law in the National University of Ireland, Galway for a number of years. She is currently a member of the Governing Body of Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology.

Originally from Co. Sligo, Mary is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland, an Associate of the Irish Taxation Institute and holds an B. Comm degree from National University of Ireland, Galway.

Simon Nugent (appointed 2019)

Simon is a self-employed public policy consultant and a qualified mediator. He has spent most of his career leading national business representative organisations, including serving five years as CEO of the Chambers of Commerce of Ireland. He is strongly committed to balanced regional development.

From 2011 to 2014 he was Special Adviser to the Minister for Communications. A graduate in political science from Trinity College Dublin, he spent his early career working in public affairs in Brussels.

Simon is a former President of the National Youth Council of Ireland and has served on the Boards of NGOs including the European Movement and GLEN (Gay & Lesbian Equality Network). He is a former member of the National Social and Economic Council and has served on a range of Government advisory committees. A native of Dublin, his second home is Connemara.

Vivian Chambers (appointed 2022)

Viv has over 20 years experience as a qualitative researcher and strategic planner in various research and advertising agencies. This has entailed developing strategies for marquee companies ranging from Three Mobile to Heineken and Coca Cola.

Viv founded Bricolage in 2014 as a leading strategic and cultural understanding agency.

In that time Bricolage have worked on a wide array of projects with a cultural and social remit including work for RTE, The Arts Council and Udaras na Gaeltachta. More recently the agency have completed several studies on the rising influence of Generation Z on culture.

Paul Farrell (appointed 2022)

Paul has over 25 years working in senior roles predominately in the Telecoms and Media sectors across the US, Europe and in Ireland. He joined Virgin Media Ireland in 2016 as Vice President of Commercial with responsibility for both B2B and Consumer divisions. Most recently Paul took on the role of Managing Director of Virgin Media TV in 2020 where he is responsible for the TV business in Ireland.

Prior to joining Virgin Media Ireland, Paul has worked for Lee Enterprises in the US as a Market Analyst for their TV and Newspaper divisions, MCI WorldCom as European Marketing Manager in London. More recently he was Commercial Director with The Irish Times with responsibility for all commercial activity as well as the launch of He then moved into the agency world as MD of Initiative Media before setting up IPG Mediabrands the US Media advertising agency in Ireland.

Paul holds an MBA was made a fellow of the Marketing Institute in 2007, he is a European Board Member of CTAM Europe.