The Board of Directors of Music Generation DAC is non-executive and independent. Members are drawn from diverse backgrounds and bring to the Board a broad range of experience and skills, including significant artistic, education, business and cultural expertise. There are currently ten Board members. Together, they are responsible for providing leadership, developing strategy, identifying and mitigating risk, and monitoring the budgets and outcomes of the organisation.
Leo Blennerhassett - Chairperson
An honours Business Studies graduate of Trinity College Dublin, Leo Blennerhassett is a management consultant. A former Managing Director of Accenture Ireland, he led the the company’s Irish business from 1997–2005, a period in which the company’s employment increased from 300 to 1,500 and which saw a fivefold increase in profitability and a doubling of service lines. This was also a period of substantial change in the global organisation with the establishment of Accenture, transitioning from a partnership to an ultimately global IPO. Leo was a member of the Global Leadership Council and the leadership training faculty for new executives. He has also held a number of European leadership positions as a senior executive in the Financial Services Consulting Operating Group.
Leo is a former adjunt lecturer on the MBA programme at Trinity College Dublin and a former member of the Advisory Board of the Business School. He also provides strategic planning and operating model advice to a large Irish charity. He is the Chairman of RSA Insurance Ireland and was a member of Music Network’s Board of Directors until March 2017.
Anna Marie Delaney
Appointed Chief Executive of Offaly County Council in February 2016, Anna Marie Delaney has more than 30 years’ service in Local Government. She commenced her career with Offaly County Council and subsequently worked with Galway County Council, Midland Regional Authority, Kildare County Council and Laois County Council in a variety of roles. Anna Marie served as Director of Services in Laois County Council from April 2006, covering areas including HR, ICT, Planning, Housing, Economic Development, Community, Libraries, Tourism and the Arts.
John Kelly is a writer and broadcaster. A SONY, EMA and PPI award-winner, he has presented some of the best-loved and most critically-acclaimed music programmes on the Irish airwaves. For many years John has been at the forefront of music and arts broadcasting in Ireland. Having presented The View on RTÉ television for 12 seasons, and assorted programmes for the BBC before that, he now fronts The Works Presents – a series of interviews with leading figures in the world of arts and culture.
From his radio shows on the BBC to The Eclectic Ballroom on Today FM and the award-winning music show Mystery Train on RTÉ1, John has always put the music first. In recent years he has presented the John Kelly Ensemble on RTÉ Lyric FM and Radio Clash on RTÉ Digital Radio 2XM. In September 2017 Mystery Train returned to RTÉ radio.
John Kelly’s first collection of poetry, Notions, was published by Dedalus Press in 2018. His work has appeared in The Irish Times, Poetry Ireland Review, Winter Papers, Oxford Magazine and several anthologies. His novel, From Out of the City, was shortlisted for Novel of the Year at the Irish Book Awards 2014 and his radio play, The Pipes, starring the celebrated Beckett actor Barry McGovern, was broadcast on RTÉ.
Deirdre McCrea is an arts consultant, specialising in music and arts development. Having graduated from Queen’s University of Belfast with a Master’s Degree in 20th Century Music, she then attained a Higher Diploma in Arts Administration, from University College Dublin. She joined Music Network as Regional Development Officer in 1996, and from there went on to become the organisation’s Education and Healthcare Manager in 1999 before being appointed Chief Executive Officer in 2003: a position that she held until 2012.
During her time with Music Network, Deirdre played an instrumental role in the preparation and launch of the 2003 feasibility study report A National System of Local Music Education Services. As newly-appointed CEO, she spearheaded a long-term research and advocacy campaign aimed at progressing the implementation of the report’s recommended model. Initially resulting in a commitment by the Department of Education and Skills to pilot the model in two locations - County Donegal and City of Dublin - this campaign ultimately led in 2009 to an unprecedented investment of €7 million by U2 and The Ireland Funds towards the establishment of Music Generation and the roll-out of the Music Education Partnership model to eight further regions.
Also during her tenure as Music Network’s CEO, Deirdre led the development of the Music Capital Scheme, funded annually by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, which gives both non-professional performing groups and individual professional musicians access to funding to enable the acquisition of suitable musical instruments.
Deirdre is a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts. A keen cellist, she is a member of the Dublin Symphony Orchestra.
Professor and Chair of Performing Arts at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick, since 2016, Mel Mercier was formerly Associate Professor of Music and inaugural Head of the School of Music and Theatre at University College Cork. He is a traditional percussionist, composer and educator, with an international reputation as an innovative performer, rooted in Irish traditional music and committed to collaborating across music genres and art forms. A renowned, award-winning composer, he has composed the music for many critically acclaimed, award-winning theatre productions and installations that have been presented at theatres and venues in Ireland, UK, Europe and America.
Mel was first introduced to music by his father Peadar Mercier, who was a member of Seán Ó Riada’s seminal ensemble Ceoltóirí Cualann and the Chieftains in the 1960s and 70s. In a performance career that spans four decades he has collaborated with a wide range of traditional, classical, jazz, and non-western musicians and ensembles, and he has performed in hundreds of concerts and recitals throughout Ireland, the UK, Europe, North America, India, China and Indonesia.
He performed in a piano and percussion duet with composer and performer Professor Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin that flourished for more than 40 years. He recorded 11 CDs with Professor Ó Súilleabháin and performed in concert with him extensively in Ireland and abroad, as well as on frequent national and international radio and television broadcasts.He has performed and recorded with leading Irish and international musicians including John Cage and the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Donal Lunny, Pallé Mikkleborg, Helen Davies, Martin Hayes, Liam Ó Maonlaí, Alan Stivell, European Percussion Ensemble On the Edges of Europe, Iarla Ó Lionáird, TRASNA, Bill Whelan, and as soloist with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, RTÉ Symphony Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra and Irish Chamber Orchestra.
Mel is director of the Irish Gamelan Orchestra, which released its debut album The Three Forges to critical acclaim in August 2015. He recently formed the group PULSUS, the first Irish traditional percussion ensemble. In January 2019, his album of theatre scores, Testament, was released on Heresy Records to critical acclaim.
James Morris is a history graduate of Trinity College Dublin. After college he went to London with Shaun Davey to record an album and returned six years later as a film editor. He set up his own film editing company in Dublin and went on to found Windmill Lane Studios and Windmill Lane Pictures in 1980.
In 1990 he assembled a formidable array of talent as the founder of The Mill in London, a Post-Production and Visual Effects Company.
In 1998 he co-chaired Mill Film with Ridley Scott and in 2001 Mill Film won the Academy Award for Visual Effects for its work on the film ‘Gladiator’.In 1998 he led the Windmill Consortium that established Ireland’s first National Independent TV channel, TV3, in partnership with Canwest Global. James was Chairman of TV3 until it was sold to Doughty Hanson in 2007.
From 2011 to 2016 he has been working with Windmill Lane to establish a Visual Effects Studio in Dublin to compete internationally for Visual Effects work on TV dramas and feature films. In May 2016 he stepped down as Chairman of the Windmill Lane Group of Companies.
James has served two terms as chairman of Bord Scannán na hÉireann, the Irish Film Board. In 2013 he was presented with the ‘Galway Hooker’ Award by President Michael D Higgins at the Galway Film Fleadh for “his enduring legacy with the Irish Film Industry.” He is currently on the Board of the Audi Dublin International Film Festival and the Gate Theatre.
Chantal O’Sullivan is a dealer specialising in 18th-century Irish antiques. Having started in the business in 1980, Chantal opened her own gallery in Dublin in 1989 and in New York in 1995.
Active in philanthropic work, especially benefiting Irish causes, Chantal is a member of the New York board of the Irish Georgian Society. She is also an active member of The Ireland Funds and New York’s Glucksman Ireland House. Chantal was involved in a fundraising campaign for the Royal Hibernian Academy in Dublin, and is a member of the Royal Dublin Society. She is involved with CINOA (The International Confederation of Art and Antiques Dealers’ Associations), the Art and Antiques Dealers League of America, and the Guggenheim Museum.
Chief Executive, Laois and Offaly Education and Training Board.
Strategic Plan 2022-2026
Music Generation’s current five-year Strategic Plan charts the priorities of the organisation from 2022-2026. The Plan is reported on at all Board meetings.
Codes and Standards of Practice
We adhere to the following codes and standards of practice:
- Charities Regulator “Charities Code of Governance”
- Statement of Recommended Practice for Charities - “SORP”