People

Sharon Rollston

Sharon Rollston

Chief Executive

Sharon leads the implementation of Music Network’s strategic plan, and manages the organisation’s operation.

Sharon’s role includes Artistic Direction, leading the implementation of organisational policy and programmes, fundraising, management and development of relationships with strategic local partners and key external bodies at national level, and financial and general management of the organisation. With over 15 years of experience working in Ireland’s cultural sector, Sharon's previous positions include Touring and Outreach Manager at Moving on Music Ltd. and Education Programme Manager at the Crafts Council of Ireland, before joining Music Network initially as Performance Programmes Manager and later serving as Acting CEO.

Deirdre Moynihan

Deirdre Moynihan

Programmes Manager

Deirdre is responsible for Music Network’s National Touring Programme and associated audience and promoter development initiatives.

She plays a key role in programming and curating work, and designing programmes for Music Network. Alongside managing artist liaison, artist support schemes and special projects she also focuses on building and maintaining relationships with cultural organisations and other stakeholders.

Deirdre holds a B.Eng (UCC) and an M.A. in vocal performance (CIT CSM). She has performed extensively on the national and international stage as a soprano soloist, professional choral singer and also as a traditional violinist and singer. She is the inspiration behind the popular choral website, Choirs Can. As both a performer and project curator across a wide range of genres, she has managed many tours and projects within Ireland and abroad. With experience on both sides of the performance platform, Deirdre brings a wealth of expertise to the role of Programmes Manager.

Andreas Ziemons

Andreas Ziemons

Operations Administrator

Andreas supports the planning and delivery of Music Network's programmes and coordinates operations in our busy office.

Andreas studied classical singing at the Robert Schumann Conservatory in his home town of Düsseldorf, and holds a Degree in Musical Stage Performance from the Bavarian Theatre Academy in Munich. He has over 25 years’ experience in Musical, Opera and Concert performance in Germany, The Netherlands, Austria, Italy and Ireland. Andreas joined the Music Network team in 2007 and is currently Operations Administrator, assisting in the planning and delivery of Music Network Programmes and supporting the work of the Programmes Manager and the Communications team in sustaining positive working relationships with promoters and other key stakeholders.

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Sarah Ledwidge

Sarah Ledwidge

Programmes Administrator

Sarah works with the Programmes Manager to support the effective planning, delivery and management of Music Network’s programmes.

With a particular focus on music education initiatives and audience development, Sarah’s role includes engaging and supporting musicians, promoters and other stakeholders. Sarah holds a MMus in vocal performance from Guildhall School of Music and Drama, a BMus(Hons) 1st class from Birmingham Conservatoire, and is currently
completing a PhD on Shakespeare and Music. As a former member of Chamber Choir Ireland, vocal tutor at DKIT and vocal team leader for Music Generation, Sarah has thirteen years of experience in the fields of music performance and music education.

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Sarah Cunningham

Sarah Cunningham

Music Capital Scheme Administrator (P/T)

Sarah works with the Programmes Manager to ensure the efficient management of the Music Capital Scheme.

The Scheme provides support for the purchase of musical instruments across the country, and Sarah’s role includes facilitating the annual application and assessment processes, as well as contributing to overall analysis and development.

Sarah graduated from National University of Ireland Maynooth with BMus and MA (Computer Music) degrees. She has worked previously at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, and as the Coordinator of the Outreach Programme at Waltons New School of Music. In addition to her work with Music Network, she also teaches piano, theory and musicianship at Waltons New School of Music. Having sung previously with the NUI Maynooth Choral Society, the Maynooth Gospel Choir and the Park Singers, she now sings with the award-winning Cuore Chamber Choir.

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Muireann Sheahan

Muireann Sheahan

Communications Manager (P/T)

Muireann is responsible for the development of Music Network’s marketing, public relations and development strategies.

Muireann graduated from DIT Conservatory of Music with a BMus in music performance, and holds an MA in Arts Administration and Contemporary Music Studies from Goldsmiths College, University of London. Over eleven years in London she worked with Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers and the London Symphony Orchestra, as well as with award-winning design agency 300million. Back home in Dublin she has worked as Marketing Manager with The Ark and as Communications Manager with Poetry Ireland. Muireann is a keen clarinetist and performs with Dublin Concert Band and the Irish Symphonic Wind Orchestra.

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Holly Ní Ghráda

Holly Ní Ghráda

PR & Marketing Officer

Working closely with the Communications Manager, Holly drives Music Network’s strategic communications campaigns.

Having worked in one of Ireland's leading PR agencies before taking up her position at Music Network, Holly has an excellent sense of the media landscape, both traditional and new. Holly’s experience lies across many sectors including travel, tourism, arts and culture, and she has delivered media relations and digital campaigns for arts and family-friendly festivals. She holds a BA in An Ghaeilge agus na Meáin Úra/Irish and New Media from University of Limerick and an MA in PR with New Media from Cork Institute of Technology. With experience in television and media production, Holly uses her skills to tell important stories about the community around her. Coming from a musical background and having grown up in Cúil Aodha, Gaeltacht Mhúscraí in Cork, music, language and culture plays an important role in Holly’s everyday life.

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Catherine Hearn

Catherine Hearn

Development Officer

Catherine is a Fundraising Ireland Fellow and is responsible for fundraising and capacity building.

Catherine works with Music Network's staff and stakeholders to generate revenue through engagement initiatives and relationship development. She graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a BA in English Literature and German and went on to intern at the Lilliput Press in Dublin 7, before moving to New York to begin work with MUNE, a start-up that delivers live-music meditations to workplaces and festivals. She returned from the US in March 2020, and began her position with Music Network shortly afterwards. Having worked across the fields of literature, theatre, education and live music, Catherine is a passionate advocate for the importance of arts and culture in society. If you are interested in supporting Music Network in any capacity, or in partnering with us on new projects, she would love to hear from you.

Catherine's role is supported by Business to Arts and the Department of Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht.

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Dolores Madigan

Finance Manager (P/T)

Dolores is responsible for the effective management of all financial aspects of the organisation.

Dolores holds a BBS from University of Limerick and is a fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. She has worked for the last 30 years in Ireland and the UK, in banking, construction and retail. Her wide-ranging experience and professional approach are central to supporting the implementation of the organisation’s strategic plan.

Patron

Michael D. Higgins

President of Ireland

Music Network Board of Directors

Peter Finnegan

Chairman

Managing Director of Communiqué International, Peter designs and directs a wide range of communications consultancy and skills-development projects across the public and private sectors.

He works in Ireland, Europe, Western Balkans and Africa. In addition, he acts as a facilitator of strategy development including the development and implementation of internal and external communication strategies.

Acknowledged as a leading expert in the area of media communication, crisis communication, persuasive communication and the communication of change, Peter acts as communications advisor and strategist to a wide range of companies and organisations and is the consultant of choice for many of the leading public relations companies. A key part of his work involves message development and spokesperson preparation for media encounters.

Peter works extensively with companies preparing for big ticket sales pitches. He has devised pitching principles and pitch preparation methodologies for organisations and consortia in the highly competitive sectors of Professional Services, Financial Services and Foreign Direct Investment.

Peter presents regularly at conferences and seminars where he has focused on topics as diverse as ‘Media Communications in Political Campaigns’, ‘The Power and Influence of the Media in a Contemporary Environment’, ‘The Public Face of Risk & Crisis Management in Ireland’, ‘Defence of the Corporate Realm – Managing Media Communications in a Crisis’, ‘Taking the Selling out of Selling’ and ‘Winning Business through Communicating Value’.

Peter holds an MSc in Executive Leadership from the University of Ulster and Boston College.

He is a member of the board of Fishamble Theatre Company.

Re-Appointed 24/05/2018

Peter Browne

Peter is a renowned uilleann piper and combines his career as a performing and recording musician with his experience in radio production and presenting.

Peter learned traditional Irish music at an early age, first playing the tin whistle and concert flute and then graduating to the uilleann pipes at the age of ten. His teachers included Leo Rowsome, Willie Clancy and Séamus Ennis: three of the foremost exponents of uilleann piping at that time and he played with and learned from many of the celebrated musicians of that period at Fleadhanna Ceoil and other musical gatherings.

He progressed to being a skilled player of the instrument and spent time as a member of 1691 and later the Bothy Band. He has played on commercial recordings by artists such as The Chieftains, The Dubliners, Paul Brady, Mick Hanly, Mary Black and Cór Chúil Aodha and has also performed as soloist with various orchestras including the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, RTÉ Concert Orchestra and the Ulster Orchestra.

He has worked as a radio producer/presenter with RTÉ for over thirty years and is regarded as knowledgeable in the field of traditional Irish music. He is involved in a wide variety of music programmes including traditional, jazz, classical, world music and documentaries and has also produced a series of commercial recordings of archived traditional music and has lectured on the subject. At present, he works for both RTÉ Radio 1 and RTÉ Lyric fm.

Re-Appointed 24/05/2018

John McGrane

John McGrane is Director General of The British Irish Chamber of Commerce, a private sector organisation which he co-founded in 2011 to represent businesses with interests in the two islands and their economies.

He is a retired financial services professional having completed a 40 year career with the Royal Bank of Scotland / Ulster Bank Group in Ireland. His career has spanned substantial initiatives in the enterprise and corporate sectors, both indigenous and foreign direct investment.

John is Founder of NSI Technology, a tech start-up which helps Not For Profits become Not For Losses. He is a Board Director at Dublin Chamber of Commerce and at The British Irish Chamber of Commerce and a number of charities.

He retains active roles in the Cultural, Tourism and Trade Development sectors, having served on a number of related Boards and Government Taskforces.

Re-Appointed 29/05/2019

Neil Martin

Neil Martin is a composer from Belfast whose work has been performed across the world from Ground Zero to Mostar Bridge and the Royal Albert Hall, as well as being played on the International Space Station.

As a producer, arranger and musician, Neil has contributed to over 100 albums and has performed in international venues, such as Carnegie Hall and Palazzo Vecchio.

In 2014, the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, invited Neil to perform, arrange and conduct music for a concert at the Royal Albert Hall to mark his historic state visit.

Along with the iconic dancer and choreographer, Jean Butler, Neil has created a duet for solo dancer and cellist titled this is an Irish dance. All performances sold out prior to the show’s opening in NYC in November 2015.

Knocknashee
, a song Neil co-wrote with Brendan Graham (author of You Raise Me Up), topped the World Music charts in 2011.

In 2013, the BBC (NI) produced and aired a 30 minute TV documentary on Neil’s life and career.

Neil directs national workshops in composition and performance for Music Generation and was also Choral Director for a children’s TV series in the USA for the Jim Henson company.

Appointed 01/06/2017

Jenny Sherwin

Jenny Sherwin is the Wicklow County Arts Officer. Wicklow County Arts Office was established as a core service of Wicklow Local Authorities in 1997, to stimulate arts practice in the county and to support artist development.

Much has been achieved in the county since the establishment of the Arts Office to reinforce locally the benefits and the merits of arts practice and participation.

Appointed 01/06/2017

Shirley Kavanagh

Shirley Kavanagh started her career with and subsequently spent 15 years with the AXA Group where she held a number of senior roles, both strategic and operational, culminating in an appointment as an Executive Director of the Axa Group in Ireland.

In 2000 Shirley embarked on a consulting career working across cultures internationally. Client work included organisations in the Pharmaceutical, Manufacturing, Technology, Telecoms and Financial Services sectors. Shirley worked with both Leaders and Teams to implement Change and improve performance in their organisations. Her specific areas of expertise are Strategic Talent Management, Organisational and Leadership Development, Culture and Change management.

From 2012 to 2014 Shirley was Head of Talent and Organisation Development with the Central Bank of Ireland. This was a significant period of change for the Bank and her role was to drive that change across the Bank.

In 2014 she was appointed Global Head of Talent and Organisation Development and a member of the Group Executive team at UDG Healthcare plc. This company is a global service provider to the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare industry. Her role is to devise Talent strategies to ensure that the organisation has the capability to deliver their strategic objectives. In addition, Shirley is responsible for leadership development for senior leaders, cultural interventions to create a values based culture and employee engagement initiatives.

Shirley has an M.A. (History) from Trinity College Dublin and an MSc. (Management Science) from the University of Leicester. She is also an alumna of IMD Lausanne and Harvard Executive Education Business School.

Re-Appointed 29/05/2019

Anna Lardi Fogarty

Anna Lardi Fogarty was born in Switzerland. She holds a Teaching Diploma and an Honours BA in Humanities with focus on Art History.

Following a period of teaching and studying in Switzerland, she moved to Ireland in 1995 where she worked for some years in language tuition and as a session musician on the Galway band circuit. She ran Galway Language Centre from 2002 to 2003, and then moved to Music for Galway in 2003, where she is now Executive Director.

She has seen Music for Galway through the challenges of recession and through the change in artistic directorship from Jane O’Leary to Finghin Collins. In recent years the focus has been the preparation of the main pillars of the classical music programme for Galway 2020 including the creation of CELLISSIMO, a major nine-day international cello festival in Galway City and County, which is intended to be presented every three years.

She served on the board of the Galway Arts Centre from 2008 to 2012. In 2014, being the sole representative of classical music on the advisory panel to the Galway ECOC bid team, she co-founded the Galway ECOC Music Interest Group, a group of organisations and people who got together with a view to ensuring that music programming would be at the centre of the Galway ECOC bid and to champion for proper infrastructure for music in Galway.

This group has now become the Galway Music Centre Facility Advisory, which Anna Lardi Fogarty chairs.

Reappointed 29/06/2019

Cathal Cusack FCCA CTA

Cathal is a partner in Cusack Garvey, Chartered Certified Accountants. It focuses on providing “big firm advice in a small firm environment” and the firm is the Irish accounting representative of MSI Global Alliance.

Cathal is a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, a Registered Auditor and a Chartered Tax Adviser. He undertakes one off projects, tax strategies & planning, tax solutions and assurance for business and individuals.

With over 30 years’ experience in practice in both Ireland and the UK, Cathal’s range of expertise includes advising individuals and business owners on the tax impact of decisions, tax planning for non-resident individuals, the financial and exit plans of businesses, acquisitions, disposals, succession and retirement planning.

Cathal is passionate about music and previously served on the board of Newpark Music Centre.

Appointed 15/11/2019

Carl Corcoran

Carl Corcoran’s music career started in the mid 70s when under the moniker of Jamie Stone he recorded three albums for EMI that featured original material and collaborations with various co-writers.

In the late 70s he moved to New York, where for twenty years he pursued a career in songwriting, publishing, management and performance. He also developed a passion for radio, which he continued on his return to Ireland in 1999, presenting shows on RTÉ Lyric fm and RTÉ Radio 1 including The Lyric Breakfast and the acclaimed late-night programme The Blue of The Night, until his retirement from RTÉ in 2017.

A graduate of the MA in Community Music at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, Carl cemented his relationship with Limerick University when in 2017 he was invited to be the Course Director for the inaugural year of the MA in Songwriting at the Academy, his Alma Mater.

Appointed 24/09/2019