7 December 2022 The Irish Film & Television Network
de Valera announces Film Think Tank
06 Jun 1998 :

Sile de Valera, T.D., Minister for Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands has announced a major review of the Irish Film Industry. As part of this review she has established a Think Tank to formulate a strategic plan for the future of the industry to the next decade.

The Think Tank comprises a strategic group drawn from professional industry sources and relevant Government Departments under an independent chairperson. The group will:-

    (i) carry out an objective evaluation of the effectiveness of existing schemes and incentives to develop the industry;

    (ii) analyse and identify the fundamental issues facing the industry and make recommendations in regard to future measures in support of the film industry; and

    (iii) formulate the strategic plan.

Chairperson of the strategic review group is Ossie Kennedy, Chartered Accountant. The members of the group are:-

Kevin Bonner-Former secretary General of Dept. of Enterprise, Trade and Employment
Dermot Burke-Dept. of Arts, Heritage,Gaeltacht and the Islands
Jane Gogan-Producer and TV3
Michael Hannigan- Director of Cork International Film Festival
James Hickey-Lawyer
Roisin Hogan-National Film and Animation's College, Dun Laoghaire
Pat Keenan-SIPTU
Arthur Lappin-Producer
Louis Marcus-Chairperson, Irish Film Board
Liam Miller-RTE
Rita Meehan-Dept. of Finance
Kevin Moriarty-Ardmore Studios
Padraic O'Ciardha-TnaG
Martha O'Neill-Chairperson, Film Institute of Ireland
Morgan O'Sullivan-Producer

The strategic review group will be supported by a select group of international and national experts, which will be convened as necessary and from which individual or groups of experts may be drawn for advice on particular specialist issues.

On the national side the following bodies will be asked to nominate experts:-

    - The Irish Film Board
    - Film Makers Ireland
    - Screen Training Ireland
    - Screen Commission
    - Forbairt
    - Irish Congress of Trade Unions
    - IBEC
    - Film Institute of Ireland
    - Radio Telefis Eireann
    - TV3
    - The Arts Council
    - Dublin Institute of Technology
    - Media Desk

On the international side two experts, the distinguished French producer Philippe Carcassonne, who is also Chairperson of the French Film Institute, and Nik Powell, the British Film Producer, who is also Chairperson of the European Film Academy, have already accepted to serve. The Minister will discuss her proposals for additional names with the Think Tank.


Kevin Bonner is a director of a number of private sector companies. He was Secretary-General of the Dept. of Enterprise, Trade and Employment from January 1993 to July 1997, and prior to that was Secretary of the Dept. of Labour from July 1990 to 1993. He was also a key figure in the Strategic Management Initiative programme (1993), the most fundamental reform of the Irish public services since the foundation of the State.

Jane Gogan is commissioning editor of TV3. She has worked in the film and television industry as a n independent producer since the early eighties, producing a number of fiction films and documentaries. She is also a founding member of Film Base And Film Makers Ireland.

Michael Hannigan is a member of the Irish Film Board and has worked in film exhibition since 1985. In 1996 he established the Kino, and independent Art House cinema, in Cork. He has also worked as Film Officer with the Triskel Arts Centre, as festival Director of the Cork Film Festival and as Cinemas Director of the Irish Film Centre.

James Hickey is a partner in Matheson Ormsby Prentice solicitors which he joined in October 1992. He heads up their Media and Entertainment Law Department. He has worked as a solicitor in the areas of film and television production as well as music and copyright contracts for over 15 years. He is currently the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Abbey Theatre. He is also Chairman of the Broadcast Subcommittee of Film Makers Ireland and a member of the board of directors of the Dublin Film Festival.

Roisin Hogan is Director of the Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology. She introduced film production courses to the college and developed the first animation courses in the country. Prior to joining the Institute, she worked as a freelance illustrator and designer for RTE and various advertising agencies and spent 10 years with film and animation production company, fisherdoesen Film Studios.

Patrick Keenan is the Branch Secretary of SIPTU's Film and Entertainment Branch which represents film technicians across a wide range of disciplines. He is currently a member of the National Training Committee for Film and Television and was also a member of the Governments Working Party on Film Production. Through his Trade Union activities he has been involved with the Film & TV production industry for 25 Years.

Arthur Lappin is Managing Director of Hell's Kitchen, the production company he established in 1992 with Jim Sheridan. He has been a leading film and stage producer in Ireland for almost 15 years, following a career as Drama and Dance Officer with the Arts Council. His film credits include 'My Left Foot', 'The Field', 'In the Name of the Father', 'Some Mothers Son' and 'The Boxer'. He was founder Chairman of the National Training Committee for Film and Television.

Louis Marcus is the Chairman of the Irish Film Board. He has produced over 70 documentaries which have won almost 20 international awards, including two Academy Award nominations. He has been a Shareholder of the Abbey Theatre, a member of the Department of Foreign Affairs' Cultural Relations Committee and a member of the Arts Council. He is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, of Aosdana and is a honorary member of the Royal Hibernian Academy.

Liam Miller is RTE's Organisation and Development Managing Director and, as such, has responsibility for the planning and introduction of new services, including a policy for the introduction of digital television and radio in Ireland. He is chairman of the European Broadcasting Union's task force on Millennium Television Programmes. He is director of Tara TV and a Governor of the Banff International Television Festival.

Kevin Moriarty is Managing Director of Ardmore Studios having operated in freelance production in the 1980's. He is a Board Member of the Film Institute of Ireland and Screen Commission of Ireland. He has also served as Chairman of the Irish Film and Television Guild and Chairperson of Film Makers Ireland. He was a member of the Taoiseach's special working group on the Film Production Industry in 1992 and has played an active role in the recent growth of the Irish Film Industry.

Padhraic O Ciardha has been Development and Information Editor with TnaG since late 1994 and has been a central figure in the establishment and development of the Irish Language television service. He has extensive experience in broadcast policy and journalism since 1979 and currently serves as TnaG's representative on number of national sectoral bodies, including STATCOM and the Irish Audiovisual Federation (IBEC).

Martha O'Neill is Chairperson of the Film Institute of Ireland, a member of the Committee of Screen Training Ireland as well as a member of the Steering Committee of the Irish Film and Television Academy. She has worked extensively in development and production in the Irish film industry for the past ten years, on such films as 'December Bride', 'Trojan Eddie' and 'Last of the High Kings'.

Morgan O'Sullivan is director of world 2000 Entertainment and is also a member of the Irish Film Board. He began his career in the industry as an on-camera presenter and producer of radio and television programming for RTE. In 1986, he put together a consortium which was led by MTM Enterprises and which brought that company to Ireland. He acts as Managing Director of MTM Ardmore Studios from 1986 to 1990 before moving to Los Angeles for two years. He returned to Ireland in 1993 to avail of the Section 35 film incentives and has since been part of the production team on several notable productions including Mel Gibson's 'Braveheart', 'The Old Curiosity Shop' and 'Moll Flanders'.

Dermot Burke is the Principal Officer in charge of Film Division in the Dept. of Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands. Rita Meehan is an Assistant Principal in Budget Division in the Dept of Finance.

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