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Friday 21st July 2000 at 5pm 0 Comments

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland today announced the appointment of

Roisin McDonough

as its Chief Executive for the incoming five years, succeeding Brian Ferran who retires in October.

Ms McDonough, a graduate in Economics, Sociology and Politics from Trinity College, Dublin, is currently Chief Executive of the West Belfast Partnership, the urban regeneration agency she has headed for two years. Previously, she has been Director of Brownlow Community Trust (a Craigavon-based anti-poverty programme), a Team Leader in the north of the city with Making Belfast Work and Director of the Training Network for Women.

Ms McDonough, who is currently on holiday abroad, said today: "The arts have always had an important contribution to make to our social, economic and cultural life. The opportunities conferred as a result of the wider change process that is occurring in our society make that contribution even more pertinent and politically significant.

"Artists, arts and cultural groups, community and voluntary groups, youth associations and all those involved in the creative industries – be they active participants or charged with providing support for the arts – have enriched our community and social life immeasurably.

"I am delighted to be able to take up the post of Chief Executive of the Arts Council and add my contribution to the achievements and considerable track record of the Council in its efforts to place the arts where they firmly belong – in the heart of local communities and in everyone’s lives."

Making the announcement, Prof Brian Walker, Chairman of the Arts Council, said: "Ms McDonough will be an outstanding leader for the Arts Council team working for the arts in Northern Ireland. She has a deep commitment to extending the arts to all, to the capacity of the arts to celebrate and explore complex identities and to their ability to transform the economic prospects of a region. I look forward to working with her in pursuing the important objectives of our new strategy."

Ms McDonough has been a member of the Broadcasting Council for Northern Ireland and is a former Chair of the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA). For six years, she has been a member of the Advisory Council of the Ireland Funds. She is a Board Member for Northern Ireland on the New Opportunities Fund and also a non-executive director of the Craigavon and Banbridge Health and Social Services Trust. She is also Chair of the Practice Committee of the Probation Board for Northern Ireland and chair also of the Ulster People’s College and Springvale Village Council.

Ms McDonough returns to Northern Ireland on August 3rd. Further details will follow that date.

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