BOARD OF DIRECTORS
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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!
KATHLEEN WALSH D’ARCY
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.