The arts helps us to express the inexpressible, and each one of us is proud to play our part in making this happen.
Claire Meaney, together with the Réalta team, has developed significant partnerships with national and international stakeholders to support the advancement of arts and health practice in Ireland. A passionate advocate for the sector, Claire has extensive experience of managing and delivering arts and health programmes in acute hospitals and community healthcare settings. She has been Director of Waterford Healing Arts Trust since 2017, prior to which she had been Assistant Director since 2007. Claire also project managed the national resource website artsandhealth.ie from its inception in 2011 until 2016. Her background is in Fine Art and she holds a Master’s Degree in Arts & Heritage Management.
Maeve joined the team in 2017, having worked in arts management and communications for 20 years – in theatre, dance, music, festival and venue management – and the community and voluntary sector. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Relations from DIT and a Master’s Degree in Arts Management and Cultural Policy from UCD. Maeve’s interest in arts and health began with her MA thesis research into arts in palliative care settings in 2011, the first such research of its kind in Ireland.
Sinead studied Business in Waterford before embarking on a 20 year career with the HSE, working in various departments throughout University Hospital Waterford (UHW), from Procurement to the Laboratory and many more in between. Outside the HSE, Sinead is co-founder and director of Waterford based lighting design company DLight. In her free time she enjoys outdoor activities, cooking and she loves to travel.
Aisling joined the team in 2021 in the new role of Project Co-ordinator, managing our Iontas Arts and Mental Health programme, our exhibitions programme and the UHW Art Collection. Aisling previously worked with the Arts in Health team at Children’s Health Ireland. A graduate of the MA in Cultural Policy and Arts Management at University College Dublin, she is AXELOS Global Best Practice qualified in project management and has a BA in English Literature and Art History.
Project Co-ordinator, artsandhealth.ie
Emma has managed artsandhealth.ie the national resource website for arts and health, on behalf of Waterford Healing Arts since 2017 and came on board as a full-time member of staff in 2022. Emma has worked in the field of arts and health since 2011 with Helium Arts, the national children’s arts and health organisation, with whom she developed an award-winning community film project for teenagers living with health conditions. Emma holds B.Sc. in Communications: Film and Broadcasting and an M.Phil with Distinction in Popular Literature, both from Trinity College Dublin.
Lynn joined the team as Music Co-ordinator in July 2023. Originally from Dublin, Lynn began her career working in theatre in the 1980s and performed in the Abbey, Gate and Project Theatres for several years. In the early 1990s, she moved to Kilkenny and, along with Richard Cook, created the Cat Laughs Comedy Festival, which she produced annually until 2008. Since moving to Waterford Lynn has taken on several roles, including Arts Manager at Christ Church Cathedral and Marketing Manager at the Theatre Royal. Lynn has also worked on large scale projects with Waterford City & County Council including the Waterford Greenway, Winterval Festival and the Waterford Treasures Museums. In her spare time, Lynn plays the ukulele with the Suir Ukulele Strummers and sings with the choir VOCI.
Tom joined the team in May 2022. Having trained at DIT Bolton Street, Tom honed his trade with Harvey Printers in Waterford and, following many years working in the print industry, he has amassed considerable experience in print technology and techniques. Tom’s Dad was also in the trade and he was fortunate to witness the transition from the old systems of metal type and letterpress to digital technology processes. A keen amateur photographer, with an LIPF distinction from the Irish Photographic Federation, Tom is also a respected fine art printer and framer.
Assistant Art Curator
Ann joined the team in 2022 as Assistant Art Curator. She supports Aisling in managing the exhibitions programme and the Art Collection of University Hospital Waterford. Ann holds a BA (Hons) from the West Wales School of Arts, an MFA from Rhode Island School of Design, USA, and a further BA (Hons) from Limerick School of Art & Design. She loves hiking in the Comeragh Mountains and the surrounding countryside, and at the weekends is often found leading groups with a local hiking club.
Assistant Arts Administrator
Ann joined the team in Nov 2021. A native of Waterford City, Ann has worked in administrative roles throughout her career, with companies such as Ernst & Young and Bausch & Lomb, and also in further education. Ann has also trained in a range of complementary therapies, including Reflexology, Reiki and Aromatherapy, and has a keen interest in all forms of healing through different mediums. To relax, she enjoys her three ‘G’s: the Greenway, Gardening and Genealogy.
Patricia Cronin is a member of the audit and risk committees in the Dept of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science. Prior to that Patricia was Head of Governance and Operations at the Dept of the Environment, Climate and Communications. As part of the Management Team, she worked with the Minister to set the strategic direction of the Department, including overseeing the preparation of its Strategy Statement. She also managed shareholder oversight for the state bodies for which the Department is responsible and was the Programme Director for the Eircode project. She retired from the Department in 2021. Her civil service career also included head of HR for the Department and Chair of the network for senior civil servants. Patricia has a Diploma in Corporate Governance from UCD. Date appointed: 14.2.22.
Catherine Drea is a visual artist, photographer and writer. A graduate of NCAD and UCC, Catherine has a Masters in Social Entrepreneurship and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Integrative Psychotherapy. She has worked as a designer, a teacher and a group facilitator. In 1994 she co-founded Framework, a charitable organisation which supported community development and equality projects in Ireland. A campaigner in a number of social movements over the years, she remains a passionate advocate of equality, creativity and the natural world. Date appointed: 2.5.17
Damien McGlynn is the Director of Create, the national development agency for collaborative arts, prior to which he was Ireland Director with Creative Lives (previously Voluntary Arts) in the UK. He has worked in the cultural sector across Ireland and internationally for 15 years, primarily with charitable arts organisations in work involving partnerships with artists, community groups, local government, media and international collaborations. Damien is a Trustee of Engage and a member of the Advisory Group for Dublin City Council Culture Company. A graduate of Fine Art (Sculpture) at the National College of Art & Design, Damien has been a keen photographer since childhood and still likes using film cameras. Date appointed: 25.4.22
Joan Dalton has worked as an Arts Manager and Producer for over 30 years in the US, UK and Ireland. Her work has included projects across many disciplines including photography, film, visual art, sculpture, theatre, textile design, music, literature and architecture. Date appointed: 12.04.16
Mark Breen is a native of Waterford. He has been in the property investment business for the last 30 years. Mark is very active in the community and has been a member of Waterford Rotary for 20 years. He joined the Board in 2017 and enjoys contributing to the work of the organisation. Date appointed: 2.5.17
Olive Gaughan is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries in Ireland and has worked for over thirty years within the financial services sector. She is currently a Director & Head of Actuarial with Mazars, and has expertise in financial reporting, business planning, analysis of financial performance relative to plans, and capital management. She has a deep interest in the arts and is a keen amateur photographer and textile artist. She is a member of Offshoot Photography Society and holds an Associateship Distinction with the Irish Photographic Federation. She is from Dungarvan. Date appointed: 14.2.22
Ryan Keane has a Degree in Law from Maynooth University and a Masters of Law (International Commercial Law) from UCD. He is currently completing a Postgraduate Certificate in Innovation and Enterprise Development at Trinity College Dublin. He is the Bid & Contracts Manager for Vodafone Business in Ireland. Having worked across corporate, commercial and technical fields, in all areas he focuses on delivering on KPI/Targets and identifying process improvements, building businesses cases for and managing change. He holds a strong track record of delivering excellence in commercially challenging and highly regulated environments. Date appointed: 25.4.22
Shirley O’Shea is a native of Waterford and was educated at Sacred Heart of Mary Convent, Ferrybank, and WIT. Shirley has always been very active in the Waterford community and has been involved with many community organisations over the years, most recently with CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young). Shirley joined the Board in 2015 and is currently Chairperson of the organisation’s Fundraising Committee. Date appointed: 6.2.17
Tom Cunningham is a founding Director of GNKA Consulting Ltd., a Construction Cost Consultancy and Project Management Company. A former Mayor of Waterford and also Chair of WHAT and Garter Lane Arts Centre, Tom currently serves on the Governance sub-committee. Date appointed: 2.5.17