Meet the Team

The Galway 2020 team is responsible for delivering a European Capital of Culture that enables the creation of more vibrant cultural communities throughout Galway.

Patricia Philbin

Chief Executive Officer

Damian Egan

Finance and Operations Director

Damian moved to Galway in 2001 where he developed a successful career in some of our city’s large US multinational companies, holding key leadership positions in financial planning, controllership and compliance. Damian…hates...hugs.

Fintan Maher

Communications Director

Husband, father, son, brother, proud Galwegian, avid rugby fan, and born in the wrong climate, Fintan is delighted to be promoting his home place to the world. Oh, and he loathes celery and cucumber.

Marilyn Gaughan Reddan

Head of Programme

Our Head of Programme has been a key member of the arts community in Galway over the years, with extensive experience in arts management, production, curation and programming. Marilyn has also been part of the founding boards of many organisations in Galway.

Alan Kenny

Head of Human Resources

Galway 2020’s human resources manager’s top tip for employees? “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything”. Wise words.

Bridgette Brew

Head of Tourism Engagement

Mostly found travelling the world, bringing people to this beautiful county, Bridgette is happiest in the great outdoors of the West of Ireland, practicing her cupla focail.

Tracey Nolan

PA to Chief Executive

Nollaig McGuinness

Community Engagement Coordinator

Nollaig has 20 years’ experience in developing and managing community and social inclusion initiatives in Galway. He enjoys the challenges and rewards that working with communities brings and believes firmly that we should be continuously working towards creating a better society for all.

Cepta O'Connell

Financial Controller

Cepta is a Galway girl and a graduate of NUIG where she completed a Bachelor of Commerce. From here she headed east to Dublin where she earned her trade with PricewaterhouseCoopers becoming an Associate Chartered Accountant in 2004. While there is no accounting for culture, Cepta is planning on awakening her creative side as part of the 2020 team. She is looking forward to sharing the excitement with her three young boys and hopes that they will look back on 2020 as the year where unforgettable memories were made.

Jo Lavelle

Communications Content Specialist

A Galway native, Jo is a former magazine producer, editor and writer who is passionate about telling the stories of her hometown's creative and cultural communities.

Sorcha Nic Aodha

Digital Communications Coordinator


Cormac MacMahon

Videographer and Administration

Loyally documenting the Galway 2020 process since the beginning.

Brendan Kenny

Marketing Manager

A blow-in from neighboring Roscommon, Brendan’s unhealthy obsession with 80s cartoons has now been replaced with a preoccupation with spreading the 2020 word.

Kate Howard

Kate Howard

Before joining Galway 2020, Kate (also known as Catherine) was involved in a multitude of organisations including NCFA, Arts in Action NUI Galway and TULCA Festival of Visual Arts.

Liz Kelly

Cultural Producer

Liz has over 20 years’ experience as an arts and culture manager, currently heading up Galway 2020 project, Small Towns Big Ideas. She is also an adjunct lecturer at the Kemmy Business School in UL and the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance.

Siobhán O'Malley

Cultural Producer

A native of Achill Island, Siobhán is former Director of The Dock Arts Centre in Leitrim and has extensive experience in programming, commissioning and producing interdisciplinary and inter-cultural work in the arts. She loves travelling and discovering cultural connections!

Craig Flaherty

Cultural Producer

Craig is a proud Galwegian. Before joining Galway 2020, he was Associate Producer at the internationally-acclaimed Druid and previously worked with Macnas, Town Hall Theatre and St Patrick’s Festival Galway.

Denise McDonagh

Digital Programme Manager

Denise is a creativity and tech enthusiast with more than a decade’s background in the multimedia industry and a jack of all trades when it comes to multimedia production and digital storytelling.

Ian Burke

Account Executive

Ian is a proven problem creator with a great eye for detale

Seán Ryan


Elena Toniato

Volunteer Development Manager

Passionate about Galway and culture, Elena loves working with people and is looking forward to making some disruptive waves with volunteers from Galway communities.

Pearse Doherty

Head of Production

Pearse, a native of Donegal, has been involved in the Galway arts community since 1988. A former member of the band ‘The Saw Doctors’, Pearse has worked with Macnas, Galway International Arts Festival and Electric Picnic. The list of famous names he’s worked with is too long to mention.

Sarah McDonagh

PR Manager

Sarah’s background in media relations and issues management means she’s a match made in heaven with 2020. An award-winning PR consultant, Sarah’s experience spans retail, hospitality, health, property, environmental and education sectors.

Emma O'Flaherty

Office Administrator

Originally from Dublin, Emma has lived in Connemara for the past 4 years. With a background in Woven Textile Design, Emma has worked as a visual merchandiser and fashion retail manager. No stranger to the arts world, she was an artist liaison at Vantastival, and used to sing in bands.

Matti Allam

International Relations Manager

Matti works on all things European and further afield at Galway 2020 – such as hosting delegations, managing European relationships and speaking German, French, English and some basic Polish. Matti’s background is in coordinating EU funded projects in the cultural sector and creative industries.