Industry mourns passing of Siobhán O'Donoghue
The directors and staff of IFTN are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Siobhán O’Donoghue. A steadfast supporter of the Irish industry and of IFTN since our foundation in 1996, Siobhán had been at the helm of Creative Europe (Ireland) since its foundation in 1992, when it was previously known as MEDIA Desk Ireland until she stepped down in 2015.
In a statement issued this week, Alan Fitzpatrick, the Chair of the Creative Europe Desk Ireland MEDIA Office, said: “Siobhán O’Donoghue was a rare and extraordinary woman who occupied a unique and important place in Ireland’s film industry and community. For twenty two years Siobhán spearheaded the establishment and development of what was then MEDIA Desk Ireland, creating an organisation that became a vital and invaluable support for Irish film and filmmakers. She was unfailingly generous with her time and personal support for both established and emerging filmmakers, producers, directors and writers.
Her time at the MEDIA Desk led to incredible results for Irish companies in securing European funding, and her work will have a long lasting legacy in the careers of the hundreds of Irish filmmakers she has championed, helped and supported. Her loss will be acutely felt by her very many friends and colleagues in the film community and she will be remembered with extraordinary kindness by all who encountered her."
A Legal Studies graduate of Trinity College Dublin, Siobhán had a career encompassing the business and cultural sectors. In her early career, Siobhán held positions in a government department, and as a member of the investment team of the National Development Corporation - the State Venture Capital Company. In 1991 Siobhán was retained by Film Makers Ireland to research and write an in-depth report on the opportunities for the independent television sector in Ireland. This report was launched in 1992 and was recognised as one of the definitive source documents on the emerging production sector in Ireland. In 1992, Siobhán established MEDIA Desk Ireland and was appointed to the Taoiseach's Special Working Party on Film and from 1997-2000 Siobhán was a Screen Commissioner for Ireland.
James Hickey CEO of the Irish Film Board said:
I would like to acknowledge the huge contribution that Siobhán O’Donoghue has made to the Irish film industry during her career. We are very grateful for the energy and commitment that she invested in the sector, encouraging Irish producers to grow their businesses and expand their focus outside of Ireland. We are very sorry to hear of her passing and the staff of the IFB and Screen Training Ireland would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to Siobhán’s family and friends.
Áine Moriarty CEO of the Irish Film & Television Academy said:
“The Irish Academy is very saddened to hear of the passing of Siobhán O’Donoghue who was an extraordinarily talented woman and such a positive force behind the Irish film industry and community. Siobhán was generous with her support to all concerned and her multilingual skills and her undeniable charisma and charm was pivotal in connecting Irish companies with European funding and partners. Siobhán was among the founding Members of the Irish Academy and served on the IFTA Committee for three years. IFTA would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to Siobháns family and friends."
"It is with great sadness that we learned of the recent passing of our friend and IFI Council Member, Siobhán O Donoghue.
"For over 20 years Siobhán was the director of Media Desk (later Creative Europe Desk Media Office) from its foundation in 1992 until she stepped down in 2015. Her work in establishing the service as a vital conduit for Irish filmmakers to European supports was invaluable.
"A legal studies graduate who worked in a range of senior cultural and business positions, she brought invaluable industry experience to her Media role and was respected by both established and emerging film practitioners. Her wisdom, kindness and great good humour was appreciated by all who had the good fortune to work with her. As was her incomparable wardrobe! She will be greatly missed.
"The staff, board and her fellow IFI Council members extend our deepest sympathy to Siobhan’s family and friends – especially to her sister, our former colleague, Anne."
From Galway Film Centre:
"Galway Film Centre & Galway UNESCO City of Film is deeply saddened to hear of the death of Siobhán O’Donoghue.
"Siobhán regularly attended film events in Galway and was a great supporter of everything that we did here in the West. She made a very significant contribution to the Irish film industry and will be sadly missed by colleagues, friends and film-makers.
"She was especially supportive of emerging producers and directors in helping them getting established in a very competitive industry.
"The staff and board of Galway Film Centre extend our deepest sympathy to Siobhán’s family and friends."
May she rest in peace.
Memorial mass will be celebrated in memory of Siobhán on Wednesday the 22nd of February at 1pm, in the Church of St Mary of the Angels, Church Street, Dublin 7. No flowers, please. Donations, if desired, to the Capuchin Day Centre.
Further details can be found here.