The Right Honourable Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr Des Cahill


Board Members:

helenboyle-150x150Helen Boyle (Chair) Helen Boyle is a barrister-at-law. She has a general practice and is based on the Munster Circuit. She is a graduate of UCC, The University of Edinburgh and the Honourable Society of the King’s Inns. Helen is also a director of the Port of Cork Authority.

tadhg-150x150Tadhg O’Donovan (Deputy Chair)
Tadhg O’Donovan is Managing Director of Ultainia Ltd, a sales and marketing service provider to a number client companies in the Food and Beverage sector in ROI and the UK. Tadhg ran the Douglas Hyde Bar and Restaurant on Douglas St, Cork from 1999 – 2005, prior to that he worked as a marketing executive with Diageo.



ernestcantillon-150x150Ernest Cantillon
Ernest Cantillon owns and operates several local businesses including Electric Bar and Restaurant, Sober Lane and Wotbox, a web design and marketing agency. He likes films, and loves Cork, so it was inevitable he would end up involved with the Cork Film Festival.



daniel-j-coleman-150x150Daniel J Coleman (Company Secretary)
Daniel J. Coleman is a self-employed accountant working with a range of individuals and companies in commercial and the voluntary/charitable sectors. He has been involved in many arts organisations for more than thirty years covering film, theatre, opera, dance, artists, craft workers, traditional boat craft, painters, sculptors, galleries and visual art disciplines. He is a Director of Social Housing Development Limited, a voluntary housing co-operative.


clare-connolly-285x300Claire Connolly
Claire Connolly is Professor of Modern English and Head of the School of English at University College Cork. She is Vice Chair (Ireland) for the International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures, a member of the board of the Munster Literature Centre, and a member of the DUETS steering group.


Rebecca Harte

Rebecca runs Farmgate Cafe in the English Market – a lively spot in the centre of Cork with a wide and democratic footfall. Collaborating with the local arts community has been at the heart of the cafe’s ethos since it opened in the Market in 1993, along with unashamed preference for and promotion of Cork’s finest ingrediants and food products. Prior to her involvelemnt in the cafe, Rebecca studies at TCD, City University London, and QUB.

mb-redfm-headshots-12-e1444832973873-150x143Dave Mac Ardle
RedFM radio presenter & music programmer Dave Mac Ardle is a Dundalk man whose long love affair with life on Leeside began in the 90s during a stint at UCC, where he graduated with an Arts degree in English & Philosophy. A freelance journalist, writing on film and music for various papers and publications, he spent a number of years presenting a music and film TV show for Irish Multichannel and later, during Cork’s reign as European Capital of Culture in 2005, researched and presented on RTE television’s ‘Capital Culture’ programme. That year he also hosted the opening night of the 50th Cork Film Festival. Further festival connections include queuing in the rain in the hope that some seats might become available for sold out closing nights in the mid-90s, to taking the role as jury liaison officer in 2006, as well as annually covering the festival across a range of media.

michael-o-connell-picMichael O’Connell
Michael graduated with a BCL from NUI at UCC in 1970 and qualified as Solicitor in 1972. For over 30 years he has practiced as Litigation Partner with a leading Cork firm, M J Horgan & Sons. Michael then joined Timothy J Hegarty & Son in 2009 as a consultant. He has worked as advocate and advisor to many NGOs in a voluntary and professional capacity such as the Cork Combat Poverty Centre, Cork Anti-Poverty Centre, Cork Family Planning Clinic and various Civil Liberties NGOs. In addition to the Cork Film Festival board, Michael also sits on the Triskel Arts Centre board.

Cllr. Sean Martin

laura-mcgonigle-finalCllr. Laura McGonigle
Cllr . Laura McGonigle was appointed to the board of the Cork Film Festival in September 2016. A City Councillor since 2007, she has a keen interest in the arts, particularly in film. Laura is a serving member of the City Council’s Arts committee. Laura’s background is in financial accounting; however she now works full time in the world of politics.



denis-mcsweeney1-150x150Dennis McSweeney
Denis McSweeney is a retired marketing director of Ford Ireland and holds primary and postgraduate degrees in law from UCC.  He is a member of the board of the Everyman Theatre and of the West Cork Music, Literature and Traditional Music festivals.




chrisolearyCllr. Chris O’Leary
Chris O’Leary is a Sinn Féin Cork City Councillor and former Lord Mayor of Cork. With a background in community development projects, and a councillor since 2002, Chris left the Green Party in 2009, and was an independent councillor prior to joining Sinn Féin in 2010. He was Lord Mayor of Cork from June 2015 to June 2016.