Board of Governors and Guardians

Merrion Square entrance to the Gallery
Photo © National Gallery of IrelandCredit

The Board comprises up to seventeen members, of which ten are appointed by the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, five are ex-officio holders of the offices listed below, and two are nominated and appointed by the Royal Hibernian Academy pursuant to a power bestowed on them in the 1854 Act. Members appointed by the Minister serve terms of five years. Ex-officio members serve terms of varying duration depending on the constitution of their organisation. Read more information on terms and appointment dates.

Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA) | President
Royal Dublin Society (RDS) | President and Vice President
Royal Irish Academy (RIA) | President 
Office of Public Works (OPW) | Chairman

Aerial photograph of the National Gallery of Ireland taken from a drone.

New appointments: 2023

The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media invites applications from suitably qualified candidates for 4 positions on the Board of the National Gallery of Ireland. 

Find out more and submit your application. 

Current members 

Maurice Buckley | Chairman of the Office of Public Works (OPW).   Previous management and consulting roles included the NSAI, System Label, AEG, and the Boston Consulting Group.  Chartered Director, MBA, MEng and FIEI.  

Dr Sandra Collins | University Librarian at University College Dublin. Over 25 years of experience in digital innovation and cultural heritage in the public and private sectors. Former Director of the National Library of Ireland, founding Director of the Digital Repository of Ireland in the Royal Irish Academy, a Scientific Programme Manager in Science Foundation Ireland, a Master Engineer in Ericsson Telecommunications, and a Mathematics lecturer in Dublin City University. Chair of the Consortium of National and University Libraries (CONUL), a member of the Irish Government’s Expert Advisory Group on Commemorations, a Board member of HEAnet, and a member of the International Council of the Research Data Alliance (RDA). Previously served on the Boards of the Irish Manuscripts Commission, the Chester Beatty Library, and Museum of Literature Ireland, as well as the Irish Government’s Open Data Governance Board, the Government’s Advisory Forum for ‘Creating our Future’, and the Council of the National Cultural Institutions. PhD in nonlinear fluid dynamics from UCD (1996).

Diana Copperwhite | Member of the RHA contemporary artist. Recent solo exhibitions include Driven by Distraction, Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin (2016), Depend on the Morning Sun, Thomas Jaeckal Gallery, New York (2016) and A Million and One Things Under the Sun, Kevin Kavanagh, Dublin (2015). Works held in numerous public and private collections including: the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Arts Council of Ireland, Limerick City Gallery of Art, Office of Public Works, Contemporary Irish Art Society, Highlanes Municipal Art Gallery, Mariehamn Stadbiblioteque, Aland (Finland), Dublin Institute of Technology and The President of Ireland.

Gary Coyle | Member of the RHA and Aosdána with experience in a variety of different medias such as drawing, photography and the spoken word. Recent solo exhibitions include: On Returning, The Lexicon, Dun Laoghaire (2021); Dreaming Different Dreams, The Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dublin (2020); My Magnetic North (a performance) Project, Dublin, (2018); and Now Still Came Evening On, The Dock Carrick on Shannon, (2016). Works held in various public and private collections including Irish Museum of Modern Art, Arts Council of Ireland, Irish Contemporary Art Collection and The David Kronn Collection.

Dr Michelle D. Cullen | Managing Director, Board member and Head of Inclusion and Diversity at Accenture International. Strong advocate for diversity in leadership and co-founded Accenture’s Women on Walls initiative with the Royal Irish Academy, RCSI and DCU, which seeks to make women leaders visible through a series of commissioned portraits to inspire future generations. Proven record of accomplishment in managing innovation, with a focus on the humanities and sustainable, inclusive decision-making. Woman of the Year (2018 Women in IT Awards) and DCU Alumni Achievement honouree. PhD from Dublin City University.

John Dardis | President Royal Dublin Society, ex-officio 

Dan Flinter | Chairman of the boards of PM Group Holdings, The Irish Times and VCIM Venture Capital. A non-executive director of Aryzta AG and Dairygold Co-Operative. Former CEO of Enterprise Ireland, and a former executive director of IDA Ireland. MA in Economics from UCD, and is an Eisenhower Fellow.

Professor Pat Guiry | President of the Royal Irish Academy. Full Professor of Synthetic Organic Chemistry at UCD. Elected as member of the Royal Irish Academy in 2013 and of the UCD Governing Authority and the Senate of the National University of Ireland. President of the Institute of Chemistry of Ireland and the Division of Organic Chemistry on EUChemS (2022- present). Recipient of the Institute of Chemistry of Ireland’s Boyle- Higgins Medal in 2014 and the Science Foundation Ireland Mentorship Award in 2020. 

Mary Keane (Chairperson) | Qualified Barrister-at-law.  Retired Director General/Deputy Director General of the Law Society of Ireland.

Margie McCarthy | Director of Research and Policy Insights, Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland. Executive Director with SEAI, responsible for leading activities to provide and translate evidence to support policy decision making and delivery in Ireland’s clean energy climate action. Chartered Engineer and Fellow of Engineers Ireland, with over 25 years’ experience across education and public engagement, engineering and science, public funding programmes, strategic communications and social marketing. Previous roles include leading Education and Public Engagement activity with Science Foundation Ireland, Membership and Industry Director with Engineers Ireland and a range of consulting engineer roles with a structural and environmental design focus. Chair of the Gender Balance in STEM Education Advisory Group to the Department of Education. Graduate of Engineering (UCC), Executive Programme in Strategy and Organisation (Stanford University), Innovation in the Age of Disruption (INSEAD), and Licentiate degree in Stage Performance.

Abigail O'Brien | President of the RHA, Contemporary Artist. O’Brien’s work employs many media including photography, sculpture, video, sound and hand-made embroidered objects and explores themes such as ritual, rites of passage and the domestic realm. Currently working on The Cardinal Virtues, Fortitude, Temperance, Prudence and Justice. Featured in private and public collections including, The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, The Caldic Collection, Rotterdam, The Museum of Modern Art, Vienna, The Gemeentmuseum, The Netherlands and Centro National des Artes, Mexico. MA Fine Art Painting from The National College of Art and Design, Dublin (1998); born in 1957. President of the Royal Hibernian Academy in Dublin, the first female president of the RHA in almost 200 years. Secretary of the RHA from 2012 until 2017, the first female artist to hold this position. O'Brien's work has been supported by the Arts Council of Ireland and Culture Ireland. Lives and works in Ireland.

Adrian O'Carroll | Co-founded Merrion Capital Group in 1999 which became one of Ireland's leading stock broking, fund management and corporate finance organisations. Over 25 years of experience carrying out in-depth financial and operational analysis of a wide array of organisations. Experience in providing advice on a voluntary basis to the arts sector. Director of Project Arts Centre and Chair of its Finance Committee.  Board member of a number of funds for AKO Capital. In recent years, O’Carroll has also developed his own photography practice, has published a book and has shown in a number of group shows. 

John O'DohertyManaging partner KOD Lyons Solicitors, Ireland’s largest criminal law firm and award-winning human rights practice. Sole Irish member, Solicitors Law Group, an international network of medium sized independent law firms. Studied Business and Economics at Trinity College Dublin and qualified as solicitor from Law Society of Ireland in 1997.

Hilary Hough | Vice-President Royal Dublin Society, ex-officio. Previously held various senior management roles in Bank of Ireland. Adjunct Professor at Trinity College lecturing on accounting and finance on the MBA and Executive Management programmes. Also provides finance training to Directors in a wide range of businesses, particularly in the food sector. Director of IT Alliance Group and the National Concert Hall. Chairman of the Audit and Risk committees in both. Certified Accountant, a Chartered Director and a graduate of the Smaller Company Management Programme at the Harvard Business School.

Niamh O’Connor (Board Secretary) | Chartered Company Secretary with the Chartered Governance Institute UK and Ireland with previous experience in company law compliance and corporate governance. Bachelor of Civil Law (Law with Philosophy), UCD (2015) and Certificate in Freedom of Information (2022). Currently completing a Masters in Ethics (Corporate Responsibility) in Dublin City University.

Further information