Board & Governance
Gabrielle Cummins – Chairperson
An honours degree graduate of Media Communications & English from Mary Immaculate, University of Limerick, Gabrielle has been CEO & Programme Director of Ireland’s first regional radio station, the multi award winning Beat 102-103 since 2006. In October 2019, Gabrielle was honoured with an IMRO Outstanding Achievement award for her work on a national radio initiative “Choose Radio”. Gabrielle is hugely passionate about the Arts. She was previously a board member of Waterford Youth Arts, chaired Bowler Hat Theatre company and produced sold out productions including “I Love you, You’re Perfect, Now Change” at Garter Lane Arts Centre and “The Lonesome West” at Theatre Royal Waterford. On stage, Gabrielle has performed with De La Salle Musical Society, Bowler Hat & Spraoi.
Deirdre McSweeney – Secretary
Deirdre McSweeney works in primary education and is principal of Newtown Junior School in Waterford City. Prior to working in the primary education sector, Deirdre qualified as a Solicitor and worked initially in commercial law in A&L Goodbody in Dublin before moving to a general practice, HD Keane Solicitors, in Waterford. She holds a number of qualifications including a MA in Management in Education from Waterford Institute of Technology. Deirdre is especially interested in encouraging younger audiences to engage with the performing arts.
Barbara Drohan is a fellow of Chartered Accountants Ireland and has worked in general practice in Waterford for over twenty years. In 2015 Barbara established Drohan & Knox, Chartered Accountants in partnership with Carina Knox. She brings significant experience to the Theatre Royal having worked on accounts and audits of a wide sector of companies including the charity sector.
Colette has just completed a working career spanning 4 decades in Local Authorities, including 20 years in Waterford City Council. Colette served as Chief Executive in Offaly Council and most recently as Chief Executive as Kilkenny County Council. During her career Colette delivered arts infrastructure, including the renovation of Evans Home as Butler Gallery’s home in Kilkenny City. Colette was a member of the national Arts Recovery Taskforce and has a particular interest in the role arts can play in social inclusion. Colette qualified as a Certified Accountant and holds a MA in Public Management.. Colette is a Director of Transport Infrastructure Ireland and a member of its Audit and Risk Committee and has recently joined the Board of Waterford Hospice Movement CLG.
David Francis Moore
David is an Artistic Director, Producer and Arts Manager with over 17 years’ experience working within the arts and cultural sector. He is currently Programme Director & Executive Producer of Carlow Arts Festival, Chairperson of Theatre Forum Ireland, and a Trustee of Theatre Royal, Waterford. David was Theatre Programme Manager of VISUAL Carlow from 2018-22 were he commissioned, co-commissioned and presented work by some of Irelands leading artists and companies, developed the organisations artist support and development programme and produced ambitious community engagement programmes that sought to embed artists practice on local level, to promote the development of new audiences. From 2019 – 2021 David led on VISUAL’s participation in the Arts & Humanities Entrepreneurship Hub Project, an EU funded project founded to improve the entrepreneurial capacity of Arts & Humanities graduates. His book ‘Our Thriving Tribe; Exploring Entrepreneurship in the Arts’ launched in 2021 and featured contributions from a variety of emerging and established Irish artists, practitioners and arts works. David is the former Chairperson of the Strollers Network, Ireland’s largest consortium of Art Centres, where he led on the development of the network’s new artistic strategy and the design its current artist development programme, PROPEL. He is a former lecturer of Drama and Performance Studies at Carlow College and is the founder and former artistic director of the Collaborative Artists Collective. David holds a BA in Drama & Performance form TU Dublin and an MFA in Art in the Contemporary World from the National College of Art & Design.
Cllr. Joe Kelly
I am a lifelong supporter of the Arts and I am currently a director serving on the board of the Imagine Arts Festival which takes place in Waterford every year. It has a wide and diverse programme of artists and performers every year and is a very successful festival. I previously served on board of Little Red Kettle for a number of years. I am very involved as President of Waterford Council of Trade Unions with the legendary Booze, Blaas, & Banter event hosted every October by WCTU which brings together an eclectic mix of local singers and international story tellers, poets and writers for an ‘early house’ session in our traditional home, Jordan’s Bar on The Quay. I particularly enjoy musical theatre and stage plays that challenge our comfort zones and forces us to rethink our often long held views. Joe says “primarily I want to see all forms of Art thrive in Waterford as I believe the level and types of art available in an area says a lot about the society, life and people of that area”.
Orm is a Solicitor and manager of a family property business. A keen jazz musician, he has a BA in Music and studied jazz improvisation at the Newpark Music Centre, where he was selected to represent Ireland at the International Association of Schools of Jazz event in New York. Orm returned to Waterford in the early 1990s where he co-founded Kenny Shipping and completed a number of business qualifications, culminating in an MBA. Having sold the business to Exel, then one of the top five global logistics companies, Orm managed Exel’s regional office until 2007 when he left to pursue his long-standing interest in law. He trained as a Solicitor with Peter O’Connor & Son and stayed with that firm until leaving private practice in 2017. Orm is Honorary Danish Consul to Waterford and a past President of both Waterford Chamber and Waterford Rotary Club.
Cllr. Seamus Ryan
Cllr. Seamus Ryan is the current Deputy Mayor of Waterford City and County and former Mayor of Waterford City. Seamus holds a BA in Public Administration and a BSc in Library and Information Science. He is currently a Librarian at Waterford Institute of Technology. A former Board member of the Imagine Arts Festival Seamus has a keen interest in all aspects of the arts. He is looking forward to working with the Board of the Theatre Royal.