26 October 2020 The Irish Film & Television Network
Joan Egan, former Chief Executive of Tyrone Productions has Passed Away
31 Aug 2015 : Seán Brosnan
The death has taken place of Joan Egan, former Chief Executive of Tyrone Productions.

Joan was a highly respected and an extremely successful producer and industry leader in the UK and Ireland until her retirement in 2013. She was a proactive member of the board of Screen Producers Ireland and was a Founding Member of the Irish Film & Television Academy (IFTA). Joan will be warmly remembered by her many colleagues and friends in the industry.

Joan Egan had been involved in the television and theatre business for over 40 years, working in both Ireland and the UK. She joined the Board of Tyrone Productions in 1994, becoming Chief Executive in 1995. Tyrone Productions, one of Ireland’s largest independent television production companies, has under her stewardship produced broadcast content for RTÉ, TG4, BBC NI, UTV in Ireland, and PBS in US, CBC and Bravo in Canada, ABC Australia, Channel 4, Sky TV UK and France, Switzerland and Germany with Riverdance.

In May 2001 she became Executive Chairman of Abhann Productions, the company responsible for the management and expansion of the Entertainment companies Tyrone Productions Ltd., Abhann Productions Ltd., (producers of Riverdance) River Films and River Productions.

Her career began in RTÉ, working in Features, Sport, News & Current Affairs and finally in the Drama Department with the legendary Chloe Gibson and Shelagh Richards, before going to work for Yorkshire TV in the UK. On returning to Ireland she joined the fledgling Independent Sector setting up her own independent production company Joan Egan Productions. She was involved in the struggle to secure rights for independent producers and lobbied for legal status to regulate the percentage or RTÉ spend to be allocated to independents. She served on the Board of Screen Producers Ireland for several years and had always been committed to the well being of the independent sector.

From a business and commercial affairs perspective Joan Egan had negotiated some of the largest commercial deals ever seen in this country, from securing the rights and the sponsorship deal for the Irish version of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” to negotiating all the original Riverdance deals with cast and crew, together with the sell through video deal for Riverdance with 2 Entertain/BBC which went on to sell in excess of ten million copies.

Joan Egan commissioned John Banville to write an original script featuring the character of Quirke. This character became the lead character in the novels written by John Banville under the name of Benjamin Black, which was subsequently adapted as a Drama Series for BBC.

Her Executive Producer credits include Riverdance Live at Radio City, the award winning Beckett on Film, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, Open House, Seoige and O’Shea. She was responsible with Eo Telifís for the initial setting up of Ros Na Rún, the weekly TG4 Irish language soap. She was executive producer of Ros Na Rún for 9 years. Ros Na Rún is now in its twentieth year of production producing 40 hours of drama per year.

The largest single production spectacular staged in Ireland, the opening ceremonies of the Special Olympics at Coke Park, was produced by Joan Egan bringing to the stage U2, Nelson Mandela, Mohammed Ali and a host of international guests.

Joan will be laid to rest in Co. Mayo. The funeral arrangements can be found at rip.ie.

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