BOARD OF DIRECTORS

MARIA DEASY

President

Maria Deasy is a New York-based actress, who has appeared Off-Broadway and in several films and television shows. New York credits include The Crucible at The Roundabout Theatre Company, Mario Fratti’s Suicide Club at Theatre For The New City, and Straight Faced Lies at The Theater at the 14th Street Y.  Among her film appearances are Aimy In A Cage starring Crispin Glover, Barry Levinson’s Sleepers, and starring roles in the award-winning films Contact Zone and The Anniversary. Television: 30 Rock; All My Children; As The World Turns; Guiding Light; Late Nite With Conan O’Brien; Momsters; and Onion News Network.  

Maria won the Bairbre Dowling Spirit of the Festival Award at Origin Theatre’s 2019 1st Irish Festival for her work as a Producer of Derek Murphy’s Inside Danny’s Box.  She also received a Best Actress nomination for that production. At the 2018 1st Irish Festival, Maria starred in Dyin’ For It, also by Derek Murphy, for which she received Best Production and Best Actress nominations.  She is the author of the play Mine, about the connection between the coal mining industry and the New York finance world, which she produced at The Broadway Bound Theatre Festival in 2017.  She completed the Commercial Theatre Institute’s 14-week program, “Advanced Topics in Producing For The Theatre” in 2015. Education: Brown University.  While her parents harken from beautiful County Mayo, Maria is both a native New Yorker and a Jersey Girl. For more information please visit Maria’s website.

BRENDAN COSTELLO Jr.

Vice President

Brendan Costello Jr. teaches creative writing at The City College of New York, where he earned his MFA. He won the Irwin and Alice Stark Award for short fiction. His fiction and non-fiction have appeared in Salon.com, The Huffington Post, OpenLettersMonthly.com, smokebox.net, and Epiphany Magazine. Brendan has taught online courses for the National MS Society, and is also the former producer and co-host of The Largest Minority on WBAI radio in New York.

SEÁN O’DOWD

Treasurer

Seán O’Dowd runs the Family Business Advisory group at Silvercrest Asset Management, a NYC-based RIA with $27 billion in AUM.  Prior to joining Silvercrest, Mr. O’Dowd spent 13 years at Bessemer Trust, where he helped create Bessemer Trust’s Family Company Advisory group, which provided corporate finance advisory services to clients. These services included advising on liquidity events, independent valuation analysis, restructurings and business success planning. He has also worked in investment banking within Lehman Brothers’ Power Group and corporate finance and valuation work at Ernst & Young and KPMG. Mr. O’Dowd holds Bachelor of Commerce from the University of British Columbia and an MBA from the Yale School of Management. He is also a CFA Charterholder and a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts. Mr. O’Dowd is a member of the board of directors for Saugatuck Nursery School in Westport, CT, where he serves as Treasurer.  Mr. O’Dowd is also a NYC Ambassador for the Celtic FC Foundation and in 2019 was awarded the Belfast Ambassador Medal as part of the Belfast International Homecoming for work he has done within the Irish community on both sides of the Atlantic.

KAREN DALY

Secretary

Karen Daly spent all her working life in book publishing, recently in senior editorial and acquisition roles. She was Editor-in-Chief of Doubleday’s Literary Guild book club for ten years, and served for twelve years as Director/Book Publishing for Bottom Line Books, a publisher of health and personal finance information. She frequently does the Salon blog.
Karen’s primary interest is in the contribution of the Irish to New York City history. She’s been published in the Journal of the New York Irish History Roundtable and has self-published an Irish/American Images Calendar (on lulu.com) for several years. A graduate of the College of Mount St. Vincent, she volunteers in the archives of a NYC landmark and for other groups.

CONOR BAGLEY

Director

Conor Bagley is a New York-based director interested in tragedies, tragicomedies, and seeing the private, sacred moments in the mundane, with a special place in his heart for Irish drama. His directing credits include Two by Friel by Brian Friel at Off Broadway’s Irish Repertory Theatre, The Adult in the Room at Victory Gardens Theatre in Chicago, An Iliad at Atlas Performing Arts Center in DC (a 2018 DC Metro Theatre Arts’ staff favorite for “Outstanding Performance in a Professional Production”), plus Shining City  by Conor McPherson and Dancing at Lughnasa by Brian Friel at Yale University. He has been fortunate to assist and learn from several great directors, including Charlotte Moore and Neil Pepe in New York, and Conall Morrison at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin. During Covid-19, he has been directing theatre virtually, including scenes from Jenna and the Whale by Vanessa Garcia & Jake Cline, Borrowed by Jim Kierstead, and Coral Gables by Christopher Demos-Brown (Adrienne Arsht Center’s Miami Monologues). In addition to directing, he has co-produced two shows on Broadway: The Inheritance by Matthew Lopez and Once on This Island, winner of the 2018 Tony Award for Best Musical Revival. Bagley is one of Manhattan Theatre Club’s 2019-2020 Directing Fellows.

DARRAH CARR

Director

Darrah Carr is an Assistant Professor in the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College, SUNY.  She is the Artistic Director of Darrah Carr Dance –  a Bessie Award nominated Irish dance company that specializes in ModERIN: a unique blend of traditional Irish step and contemporary modern dance. Performance highlights include: “The Today Show,” “Good Morning America,” The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The New Victory Theater, Celebrate Brooklyn, the Irish Repertory Theatre, and the company’s annual season at Irish Arts Center.  Carr holds a PhD in Dance from Texas Woman’s University.  She received an MFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Wesleyan University. Carr has presented her research at the Dance Studies Association, the National Dance Education Organization, and Dance Research Forum Ireland.  She has contributed numerous articles to Dance Magazine, Dance Teacher, Dance Spirit, and Dance Studio Life.  Carr was named one of the “Top 40 Under 40” by The Irish Echo and one of the “Most Influential Women of 2010” by The Irish Voice.  She was the 2020 artist honoree for Irish Arts Center’s yearly Show Your Love celebration.  Darrah Carr Dance is represented by Siegel Artist Management.     

SARAH FEARON

Director

Sarah Fearon is a graduate of the High School of Performing Arts, and New York University. Her film credits include Reversal of Fortune, Liebestraum, Martin Scorsese’s The Departed and The Comedian. Her short plays TED talks NYC, Air Rights and 2B have been presented at The Players Theater, Origins 1st Irish Festival, The Electric Picnic in Ireland and The Cell theater. Her work has been seen in Irish America Magazine, at the American Irish Historical Society Irish Press Awards, Funny Pages at the Stone House in Brooklyn, Rockaway Artists Alliance, West Side Comedy Club, Gotham Comedy Club, The Metropolitan Room, The Emerald Inn, Stand Up NY, the Irish Arts Center Sundays at Seven and many benefits in NYC. Her character Snazzy Peabody, a real estate legend in her own mind, can be found on SarahFearon.com. Sarah is a real estate salesperson at The Corcoran Group.

SKYE GURNEY

Director

A native of Maine, Skye has been the Art & Photo Coordinator at TIME Magazine for the past seven years—a high-energy position where the continually evolving news cycle provides a new and interesting challenge every day—just the way she likes it!   A graduate of Dartmouth College, with overseas studies at Glasgow University, she is nearing completion of her Masters degree in Graphic Communications Management at NYU.

MALACHY McCOURT

Director

Malachy McCourt was born in Brooklyn, NY and from the age of three was raised in Limerick, Ireland. He returned to the land of his birth at age twenty and began his long-running career as a stage and screen actor, raconteur, radio personality, and writer. He has appeared on and off Broadway in Mass Appeal, Da, The Hostage, Inherit the Wind, and A Couple of Blaguards, which he co-authored and starred in with his brother Frank. His TV credits include appearances on many soap operas and as a guest on The Tonight Show, Conan O’Brien and The Late, Late Show. His movie career has also been varied, with roles in The Molly McGuires, She’s the One, Devil’s Own, Green Card, and many others. As a writer, he has published a New York Times best-selling memoir, A Monk Swimming, as well as a history of the song Danny Boy, a history of the Claddagh ring, and Malachy McCourt’s History of Ireland. Malachy is a co-host of the radio show Talk Back on Wednesdays from 10am to noon on WBAI 99.5FM.

SIOBHÁN McCOURT

Director

I am a well traveled Marketing and Event Manager with  a curiosity for different cultures. I have lived in Israel, Mexico, The Caribbean, Hawaii, and now back to whence I came, NYC, to be closer to family! I am a lover of the arts, believe in the Holiness of Life and have a deep understanding of how the small relates to the whole! I enjoy writing and love the surprise of what words will flow next and will one day share some of those words!  Cheers to all of you and welcome to the IAWA!

JOHN McDONAGH

Director

John McDonagh is a playwright, cab driver, comic and political activist. After a three-month run at the Irish Repertory Theatre his play Off The Meter on the Record is currently on a world tour, starting in Long Island City, Queens then on to Donegal, Dublin, and back again. Directed by world-renowned Ciaran O’Reilly, the play is the culmination of a thirty-five-year career of driving a yellow cab while trying to make a difference in the world. John’s plays have been produced in the NYC Fringe Festival and at the cell theatre in NYC.  He is currently producer and host of Radio Free Eireann with Malachy McCourt, a weekly radio show heard on Pacifica station WBAI, New York. He recently appeared on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, and in a documentary on French TV. John showed Stephen Fry his New York on the BAFTA award winning film Stephen Fry in America, and taught Richard Hammond to drive a yellow cab in Top Gear in America. John began his career as a NYC Yellow cab driver after serving in the U.S. Army in Germany during the Vietnam War, and was recently honored to be chosen by painter Mary Whyte to represent the state of New York in her series of paintings of veterans called We the People. John was one of the featured veterans in the CBS Sunday Morning piece on the exhibition. John’s parents emigrated from Co. Donegal and Tyrone, Ireland to Queens, New York and, while raised in New York, John spent his summers in Ireland. He is a frequent contributor to the IAWA salons. For more information on John please visit his website.

FRANCES MULRANEY

Director

Frances Mulraney is a bi-lingual journalist currently working as an online reporter for DailyMail.com. She is the former editor of IrishCentral.com and has featured on BBC, RTÉ, TG4, Image.ie, Irish Tatler and Nós. She curates Irish language events in New York City as a founding member of Gaeil Nua-Eabhrac and was an organizer with Irish Stand, a grassroots movement advocating for civil rights for all immigrants. Frances is currently a committee member for the Douglas Hyde Foundation, an organization that aims to develop and support programs that realize the vision of Ireland’s first president. She formerly worked as an Irish-language researcher with a focus on folklore, place names, and terminology. Frances is a Co. Kildare native and moved to New York for one year but forgot to leave. 

KATHLEEN WALSH D’ARCY

Director

Kathleen Walsh D’Arcy is a native New Yorker with roots in Offaly and Tipperary. She lived and worked in Dublin for several years. She has worked as a writer, editor, teacher and social worker. She compiled and co-edited Territories of the Voice: Short Fiction by Irish Women Writers (Beacon Press), the first American collection of Irish women’s short stories. Her work has been published in Irish America Magazine, and All American Women (Macmillan). She wrote and produced Inside Stories, an oral history of women in NYC nursing homes, which was performed at the 92nd Street Y, and The Project Theatre in Dublin. Kathleen is active in the New York Irish community. She is a Director of  the Irish Institute, and co-chair of the inclusive, multi-cultural St. Pat’s For All Parade. In 2016, she received the Irish Presidential Distinguished Service Award for the Irish Abroad which recognizes the contributions of members of the Irish diaspora.