What we do
Our Board are made up of individuals drawn from a variety of backgrounds across the audio-visual industry. They bring their unique, wide-ranging expertise and experience to the oversight and governance of Ardán, and provide guidance and support, where needed.
Tomás Ó Síocháin is Príomhfheidhmeannach | CEO of Údarás na Gaeltachta [udaras.ie], the state agency that supports and develops Irish as the spoken language in the Gaeltacht region across seven counties of Ireland. Údarás supports communities and enterprise to sustain the region, language and its unique global heritage.
Tomás was, until 2022, CEO of the Western Development Commission, an Irish state agency supporting the development of Ireland’s Western Region along the Atlantic coast. Prior to that he held a number of senior roles in Ollscoil na hÉireann | University of Galway and was a broadcast journalist, producer and editor with Irish national broadcasters RTÉ and TG4 between 1998 and 2013. A law graduate, he holds an MBA, a Higher Diploma in Applied Communications and is a non-executive director of GrowRemote and Future Mobility Campus Ireland.
He is Chair of the Advisory Board for the University of Galway Cairnes School of Business and Economics, a member of the National Hubs Network Steering Group and the National Remote Work Strategy Implementation Group. Formerly, he was the inaugural Chair of the Regional Skills Forum West, Chair of the WDC Whitaker Institute Remote Work Expert Group and an External Assessor for the Broadcast Authority of Ireland’s Sound and Vision Fund.
Paul Conway is an award-winning game artist & developer who has worked in the Irish games industry since 2005. A graduate from Ballyfermot College’s Computer Animation course, Paul has contributed to over 120 game titles. Paul has also worked as a game art lecturer with Pulse College and ATU.
He is currently the CEO and Art Director of the award-winning Irish games studio, Spooky Doorway Games, best known for developing The Darkside Detective series.
Pierce has been CEO of Abú Media since its creation in January 2000.
Pierce is responsible for all international co-productions and acts as Executive Producer on most projects - Raising finance, sourcing co-producers, attending markets and working closely with the development team make him a key player in the Abú Media team.
His most notable credits include in factual 1916 Seachtar na Cásca, Mobs America; in drama An Klondike, Teenage Cics ; in reality series Jockey Eile and feature films Finky and Red Roses & Petrol.
His productions have won several IFTA awards across Television Drama, Factual and Reality as well as numerous Celtic Media Festival award winners.
Siobhán Ní Ghadhra is a two-time EMMY Award Winner and has numerous credits for both animation and live-action productions throughout her career. She began her career at Roger Corman’s Irish film studios in 1998. She was later appointed Chief Operating Officer at Telegael, prior to leaving to establish Danú Media in 2014. She is currently Executive Producer on Ros na Rún, one of Irelands' longest running TV drama series. In 2022, Danú will produce a Tween Drama Series entitled Saol Ella for TG4 / BAI, and has a slate of projects currently in development also.
In 2021, Danú Media established Atlantic Academy, a new training entity for the TV and Film Industry and in December 2021 was announced by Screen Ireland / Fís Éireann as the lead organisation for a TV and Film Hub for the West of Ireland, as part of the National Talent Academies.
She is a current member of the Board of TG4, and also Chair of the Creative Europe Desk in Galway. She also sits on the board of the Blue Teapot Theatre Company, Galway Film Centre and the External Strategy Board for NUIG. Siobhán was a Board member of Broadcasting Authority of Ireland from 2010 – 2015 and was presented the NUIG Alumni Award for Arts and Media in 2016.
Loretta Ní Ghabháin is Founder & Director of the Award winning Digital Marketing & Production Agency Lorg Media. Loretta also works as a moderator and a Communications consultant. She began her career in film and television over eighteen years ago. She has worked in numerous roles both on and off camera with state broadcasters and Independent film makers, from film critic to Producer on the ground with the Oprah Winfrey Show. She is also a former News Director and Presenter with Nuacht RTÉ/TG4. Her keen interest in promoting Irish Culture internationally is what motivates her work with her company Lorg Media. Lorg Media’s pioneering an innovative approach to video production and marketing is what sets them apart.
James Hickey was CEO of Screen Ireland (formerly the Irish Film Board) from 2011 to 2019. During that period, Screen Ireland supported such feature films as “Room” directed by Lenny Abrahamson, “Brooklyn” starring Saoirse Ronan, “Song of the Sea” directed by Tomm Moore and “The Breadwinner” directed by Norah Twomey, all of which were nominated for “Best Picture” or “Best Animated Feature Film” at the Academy Awards. Before that he was from 1992 to 2011, a partner in and Head of the Media and Entertainment Law Group at law firm, Matheson, (formerly Matheson Ormsby Prentice), one of Ireland’s largest law firms. He was also Chair of the National Theatre Society Limited (The Abbey Theatre) from 1991 to 2001 and Chair of the Project Arts Centre in the 1980’s. He is currently a director on the board of the Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) and on the board of The Lir National Academy of Dramatic Art. He is also a member of the European Film Academy and through Copper Alley Productions is a member of Screen Producers Ireland and the European Producers Club.
Heather Grace Mills is a lecturer in Film, Documentary, and Animation at GMIT CCAM. A graduate of both GMIT (BA Film & TV Production) and NUIG (MA Film Studies: Theory and Practice), Heather has worked in Animation and Film Production, in the West of Ireland, for more than a decade. Heather has Line-produced and Produced award-winning animated series and feature films, in the format of traditional 2D animation, 3D-CGI, and also stop-motion puppet animation.
Brenda Romero is a BAFTA award-winning game designer, artist and Fulbright award recipient who entered the video game industry in 1981. As a designer, she has worked on 47 games and contributed to many seminal titles, including the Wizardry and Jagged Alliance series and titles in the Ghost Recon, Dungeons & Dragons and Def Jam franchises. Away from the machine, her analog series of six games, The Mechanic is the Message, has drawn national and international acclaim, particularly Train and Siochán Leat, a game about her family’s history, which is presently housed in the National Museum of Play. Most recently, in 2018, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award (the Bizkaia award) at the Fun and Serious Games Festival in Bilbao, Spain, and the inaugural Grace Hopper Award presented by Science Foundation Ireland at the Women in Tech conference in Dublin, Ireland. In 2017, she received the 2017 Development Legend award at the Develop: Brighton. That same year, she won a BAFTA Special Award for her contributions to the industry. In 2015, she won the coveted Ambassador’s Award at the Game Developers Choice Awards. In 2014, she received a Fulbright award to study Ireland’s game industry, academic and government policies.