Former head of RTÉ takes over as Druid board chair
By Kernan Andrews
The former director general of RTÉ, Cathal Goan, has been appointed as chair of the board of Druid Theatre Company, taking over from the long serving Seamus O’Grady.
Mr O’Grady stepped down recently from the position and at the board meeting on Wednesday February 6, Mr Goan was nominated as his successor. Mr O’Grady will remain as a member of the board.
Druid’s artistic director Garry Hynes paid tribute to the outgoing chair, describing him as a “friend, an ally, and a champion” who has given Druid “support, wise counsel and firm leadership over many years”. Mr Goan said Druid’s “extraordinary success was due in no small part to Seamus’s wisdom and commitment”.
Cathal Goan was born in Belfast and later worked with The Placenames’ Commission of the Irish Ordnance Survey. He subsequently joined RTÉ as an archivist before becoming a current affairs producer in radio and television. In 1990 he became editor of all RTÉ’s as Gaeilge television output and in 1994 became the first chief executive of Teilifís na Gaeilge, now TG4. In 2000 he was made director of television programming at RTÉ and from 2003 to 2011 was RTÉ’s director general.
Mr Goan said he was honoured by his election and looked forward to helping “spread Druid’s magic across the world”.
Also Eugene Downes, the founding chief executive of Culture Ireland, was nominated to the Druid board. The company expects to appoint a further two directors before the end of 2013.
Druid announced the retirement of two other directors - Eugene O’Kelly and Breda Ryan. There will be a function held in April in Galway to acknowledge their long service to the theatre company.