a few other talks and disscussions

Posted: July 4, 2013 in Uncategorized


Artistic Director and co-founder of Druid Garry Hynes, interviews her longtime collaborator and friend, actor and cofounder of Druid, Marie Mullen. Garry and Marie are two of Ireland’s most celebrated and successful theatre artists, having toured extensively the highways, byways and broadways of the theatre world. The recipients of numerous awards, they both received Tony Awards in 1998 for The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Garry for Direction and Marie for Best Actress. Both received Special Tribute Awards at the Irish Times Theatre Awards for their enormous contribution to Irish theatre, Garry in 2005 and Marie in 2012.

– See more at: http://www.galwayartsfestival.com/firstthought/conversations/marie-mullen-in-conversation-with-garry-hynes_1/#sthash.fqWSo5tR.dpuf



Terri Hooley was born in Belfast. In 1978 he opened a record shop, and later founded the music label Good Vibrations which quickly estblished an impressive portfolio of bands including The Undertones. In spite of bankruptcy, arson, and run-ins with Bob Dylan and John Lennon, the label, the shop and Terri survived a turbulent and colourful career in the music industry. A biopic, Good Vibrations, was released earlier this year.

Terri is joined in conversation by journalist Tony Clayton-Lea.

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– See more at: http://www.galwayartsfestival.com/firstthought/conversations/terri-hooley-in-conversation-with-tony-clayton-lea_1/#sthash.9psr6TGr.dpuf


This discussion focuses on the role and place of creativity in education. Is creativity in education as important as literacy, and should it be treated with the same status? Are we educating with too much emphasis on “the one right answer” – predicated on academic ability? In order for companies and countries to stay competitive do we need to take a hard look at how we’re teaching children – and adults – to think?

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Dr. Patrick Collins: Lecturer in Economic Geography, School of Geography and Archaeology, and the Whitaker Institute, NUI Galway

Patrick graduated with a PhD from the Department of Geography at the University of Hull and has published in areas of regional development, the Information Society, and the impact of telecommunications provision. More recently, Patrick has turned his attention to the Creative Economy, carrying out research and publishing works on the impact of the Creative and Cultural industries to Galway and peripheral regions in Europe.

John Lonergan

Former Governor of Mountjoy Prison.
John Lonergan was Governor of Mountjoy Prison until his retirement in 2010. A native of Bansha, Co. Tipperary, John joined the Irish Prison Service in 1968. He also served as Governor of the high security prison in Portlaoise from November 1988 until May 1992. He is married with two grown-up daughters. John argues that there is a direct link between crime and social and economic deprivation and believes that the biggest challenge facing us today is not the economy but how we are going to create a just, inclusive and cohesive society based on the core values of justice, equality fairness and compassion. His memoir, The Governor: The Life And Time Of The Man Who Ran Mountjoy, was published in 2010.

Prof. Kevin Whelan

University of Notre Dame Centre, Ireland.
Professor Kevin Whelan was named the inaugural Michael Smurfit Director of the Keough-Notre Dame Centre in Ireland in 1998. He has been a visiting professor at New York University, Boston College and Concordia University, Montreal. He has lectured in over a dozen countries and at the Sorbonne, Cambridge, Oxford, Torino, Berkeley, Yale, Dartmouth and Louvain universities. He has written or edited fifteen books and over one hundred articles on Ireland’s history, geography and culture. Since 1999, he has co-directed the annual Irish Seminar, the leading seminar in the field of Irish Studies.

Dorothy Morrissey

Lecturer in Drama Education, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick.
Dorothy Morrissey is a Lecturer in Drama Education at Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick. Prior to her current post, she worked for many years as a primary teacher and curriculum trainer and advisor. Her research interests include reflective practice, creativity and arts education.

Gavin Jennings (Chair)

Gavin Jennings combined working in A&E departments as a doctor with covering politics for the Belfast Newsletter before joining BBC Northern Ireland, first as a newsreader on Radio Ulster and later as a reporter and presenter with Radio Foyle’s Sony award-winning

– See more at: http://www.galwayartsfestival.com/firstthought/discussions/the-one-right-answer_1/#sthash.elMO17uQ.dpuf

The discussion will focus on the challenges facing traditional media and the shape of things to come. As traditional media outlets reshape, redefine and restructure, we ask how journalism is changing and innovating with an ever growing audience across digital spaces. What role citizen journalism and user generated content will play and can newspaper print editions survive?


Maggie O’Kane
Journalist and documentary maker.

Maggie O’Kane is an award-winning Irish journalist and documentary film maker. She has been most associated with The Guardian newspaper where she was a foreign correspondent who filed graphic stories from Sarajevo while it was under siege between 1992 and 1996. She also contributed to the BBC from Bosnia. She has been editorial director of GuardianFilms, the paper’s film unit, since 2004.


John Mulholland
Editor The Observer.
John Mulholland was born in Ranelagh in Dublin and received a degree in Communications in 1983 from Dublin City University. John also studied for an MA in media and communications at California State University, Sacramento. He worked as arts assistant at The Independent from 1987-8, then briefly for London Daily News in the same role. He joined The Guardian as assistant editor of the arts desk in 1990, and became media editor in 1994. In 1998 he left The Guardian to manage the re-launch of Mirror Group Newspapers’Sporting Life, and later rejoined the Guardian Media Group as deputy editor of The Observer in 1998, overseeing the magazines, sport, travel and culture sections. He developed and launched the monthly food, sport and music magazines and led the change of format to Berliner. Mulholland succeeded Roger Alton as editor in January 2008 and re-launched the paper in February 2010.


Mark Little
CEO & Founder of Storyful.
Mark Little is the founder of Storyful – a social media news agency. He leads a team of journalists and technologists working with the biggest news organisations and social networks in the world, including YouTube, ABC News and the New York Times. Mark has more than two decades of experience in journalism. He was an award-winning foreign correspondent at RTÉ. He also presented the current affairs programme, Prime Time, and was the broadcaster’s first Washington Correspondent. Mark has covered some of the biggest stories of our age, including the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and the election of Barack Obama. He has written three books about world affairs, including the number one bestseller ‘Turn Left at Greenland’.


Dave O’Connell (Chair)
Editor & Broadcaster.
Dave O’Connell is Group Editor of the Connacht Tribune, a role he has held for the past six years.
A graduate of journalism at the College of Commerce in Rathmines in 1983, he started as a reporter with the Connacht Tribune tha

– See more at: http://www.galwayartsfestival.com/firstthought/discussions/life-in-the-old-dog-yet/#sthash.nmgTf0vT.dpuf


“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.” Jane Jacobs
Death and Life of Great American Cities.
It is envisaged that public spaces be the inspired centres of civic life; vibrant, active, sustainable places: reflecting the best of who we are. But, do our urban environments shape up to match? This discussion will focus on creativity and the use of public spaces.



Elizabeth Francis
Irish Commissioner, Venice Biennale 2012.
Elizabeth Francis was born in Ireland and studied architecture at University College Dublin, graduating in 1993. Based in Bologna, Italy she has studied and worked in France, Ireland and the UK. In 2010, she founded atelier Francis – curating architectural events and exhibitions – to pursue her interests in architecture, art and research. Prior to this, she was partner in Mario Cucinella Architects (MCA) in Paris and subsequently in Bologna. In 2012, she was appointed as Commissioner for Ireland’s Representation at the Venice Architecture Biennale.


Róisín Heneghan
Architect, Heneghan Peng Architects, Ireland’s entry at the Venice Biennale of Architecture 2012.
Róisín Heneghan is co-founder of heneghan peng architects with Shih-Fu Peng; a design partnership practicing architecture, landscape and urban design. The practice was founded in 1999 and in 2001 was relocated to Dublin. They have designed a range of projects which include large scale urban masterplans, bridges, landscapes and buildings. ‘Shifting Ground’ from heneghan peng was Ireland’s official entry at the Venice Bienalle International Architecture Exhibition in 2012, the most important architectural exhibition in the world.


Rich Gilligan
Photographer who has documented skateboarding activity in public spaces.
Rich Gilligan holds an MFA in photography from the University of Ulster, Belfast and a BA honours degree in documentary photography from the University of Wales, Newport. His work has been exhibited worldwide with recent exhibitions in in Dublin, London, Berlin, Dusseldorf and Los Angeles. He has been documenting homemade skate-parks in public spaces worldwide since 2008. This work titled “DIY” was published as a book in 2012.


Professor Kevin M. Leyden
Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change, NUI Galway.

Kevin M. Leyden is a Professor of Political Science at the National University of Ireland, Galway. He also serves as Co-Director of the Creative, Liveable and Sustainable Communities Cluster of the Whitaker Institute. His current research focuses primarily on the relationship between the urban design, social capital, health, and well-being.

His research has been published in the American Journal of Public Health, Environmental Health Perspectives, Environment International, Urban Affairs Review, Health & Place, the American Journal of Health Promotion, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Proceedings of the Institute of Civil Engineers: Urban Design and Planning, and Policy Studies Journal, among others.

He is currently leading the research workgroup associated with a recently awarded EU/ESF funded COST Transit & Urban Development grant titled “People Friendly Cities in a Data Rich World”. The purpose of the COST action is to promote research and practitioner networks focused upon improving the liveability of cities.


Ali Grehan (Chair)
Dublin City Architect.
Ali Grehan is the Dublin City Architect and, since her appointment in January 2008, has actively promoted the idea of ‘excellence in the ordinary” in the context of the design and delivery of projects in Dublin city. Prior to her appointment as City Architect, Ali worked on housing projects as part of the urban regeneration of Ballymun, and became its chief architect in 2006. In her earlier career she was a Senior Architect with Fingal County Council and, before that, a member of the Light Rail Project Team that designed and delivered Dublin’s first LUAS lines. Ali initiated and led Dublin’s bid for designation as a World Design Capital 2014. You can find her on twitter at @AliGrehan

– See more at: http://www.galwayartsfestival.com/firstthought/discussions/common-ground_1/#sthash.6tuXUO8d.dpuf


In this year of The Gathering, this discussion will focus on creativity and the Diaspora.
The power of the Diaspora is irrefutable. With creativity lauded as being at the core of the Irish psyche, can networks based on ideas, and bound by family and heritage, transcend geography to help shape Ireland’s future?
Can a collaboration of creative talents build a new narrative for Ireland?



Tim O Connor
Chairman of the Gathering and former Irish Consul General NY.
Tim O’Connor runs his own advisory business providing strategic advice and support to companies and organisations. He worked in the Irish Public Service from 1972 to early 2010, most recently as Secretary General to the President. His career also included almost 30 years in the Irish Diplomatic Service, in the Department of Foreign Affairs. A large portion of his career was spent working on the Northern Ireland Peace Process, including the Good Friday Agreement. He has also served terms as Director of the Africa Unit and of the Human Rights Unit in the Department of Foreign Affairs. His foreign postings included the Embassies of Ireland in Bonn and Washington DC and most recently, from 2005-2007, he was Consul General of Ireland in New York, USA. Tim is the holder of Honorary Doctorates from NUI Maynooth, the University of Ulster and Quinnipiac University (Connecticut, USA).


Aidan Connolly
Director of the new Irish Arts Centre, New York.
Aidan Connolly is the Executive Director of the new Irish Arts Centre in New York. The centre is dedicated to projecting a dynamic image of Ireland and Irish America for the 21st century. Its multi-disciplinary programming focuses on performance, exhibition and education. The centre serves as a dynamic platform for top emerging and established artists and cultural creators to reach a New York, US, and global audience, and as a gateway for other institutions to access first-rate Irish and Irish American culture.


Prof. Kevin Whelan (Chair)
University of Notre Dame.
Professor Kevin Whelan was named the inaugural Michael Smurfit Director of the Keough-Notre Dame Centre in Ireland in 1998. He has been a visiting professor at New York University, Boston College and Concordia University, Montreal. He has lectured in over a dozen countries and at the Sorbonne, Cambridge, Oxford, Torino, Berkeley, Yale, Dartmouth and Louvain universities. He has written or edited fifteen books and over one hundred articles on Ireland’s history, geography and culture. Since 1999, he has co-directed the annual Irish Seminar, the leading seminar in the field of Irish Studies.


Prof. Mícheál Ó Súilleabháín
Chair of Music and Founding Director of the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at the University of Limerick, Mícheál Ó Súilleabháín is noted for his development of a uniquely Irish traditional piano style. He has recorded extensively with the Irish Chamber Orchestra and has released some 15 recordings overall. His most recent recordings includeELVER GLEAMS: New and SelectedRecordings (EMI 2010), and the DVD Irish Destiny: music for the historic 1925 silent movie of the same name (Irish Film Institute 2006).

In 2004 he was appointed inaugural Chair of Culture Ireland (the statutory body for promoting Irish arts – including Northern Ireland – worldwide), was reappointed in 2008, and again in 2012. In 2005 he was awarded an Honorary D.Mus. by the National University of Ireland at University College Cork for his contribution to music in Ireland. Other awards include Ollamh na hÉigse (Professor of Arts) in 2005 by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, Boston College Honorary Alumnus Award for contributions to Irish music in the USA (2006), and Gradam Cheoil (Irish language television award for contribution to Irish music) in 2011.

In May 2011, he performed with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland for The Queen’s Concert in the National Convention Centre, Dublin, marking the visit of Queen Elizabeth to Ireland. In December of the same year he performed at the Grand Canal Theatre, at the request of the newly appointed President of Ireland, Dr. Michael D. Higgins. He was in residence for the year 2012 at the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies and the DeBartolo Center for Performing Arts at Notre Dame University where he is writing a new symphonic work for performance in 2014.

– See more at: http://www.galwayartsfestival.com/firstthought/discussions/thicker-than-water_1/#sthash.1c9CjYpx.dpuf



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