This is Tourism Ireland’s corporate website. 
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Board of Directors

Christopher Brooke (Chairman)

Christopher Brooke has been involved in the security industry for many years, ten of which were spent as a security advisor with the Royal Office in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman. In 1990, he returned to Northern Ireland to develop Galgorm Castle Estate. The estate includes a championship golf complex, which has hosted nine European Tour events, among them the Northern Ireland Open, the ISPS Handa World Invitational and the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open. Galgorm also comprises a garden centre, business parks and a conference and events facility which together with the Golf complex attract more than 400,000 visitors a year. Christopher's other interests include the development of tourist accommodation and associated facilities on the Ashbrooke and Colebrooke estates. He is a Deputy Lieutenant for County Antrim and a Vice President of the RNLI.
 

Nóirin Hegarty

Nóirín Hegarty is a global leader in digital media and led digital storytelling at Lonely Planet, as Vice President, for the past two years. She has been a member of the senior leadership team at the world's leading travel media brand for six years and returned from London to establish its new office in Dublin in 2015. She is chair of Ireland's Recovery Oversight Group for tourism and an experienced editor and commentator on travel and current affairs. Previously, she was editor of the Sunday Tribune, an award-winning national newspaper and editor of independent.ie, Ireland's leading news website.



 

Ruth Andrews

Ruth Andrews has worked in Irish tourism for over 30 years. She commenced her career in the hotel sector in the mid-eighties, working as a marketing/sales professional in some of Ireland’s then largest hotel chains – Doyle Hotel and Great Southern Hotel Groups. She established her own tourism marketing/sales consultancy service in the late ‘90s, providing marketing communications, coaching and mentoring, as well as business development expertise to a wide range of Irish tourism industry businesses in almost all sectors. Ruth is Chief Executive of the ITOA (Incoming Tour Operators Association), a position she has held since 2006. ITOA represents the leading inbound tour operators in Ireland, who bring in excess of 705,000 international visitors to Ireland annually. In 2017, she was appointed Special Advisor to AVEA (the Association of Visitor Experience and Attractions), to establish the association; and now manages the executive function of the organisation, which has over 100 members. She is currently Chair of ITIC, the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation.  She has served and continues to serve on many industry advisory boards. In May 2020, Ruth was appointed Chairperson of the Tourism Recovery Taskforce (TRT), to oversee the development of a comprehensive recovery that will identify priority aims, key enablers and market opportunities to drive the sector’s recovery from the devasting impact of COVID-19 for the period 2020-2023.  She now serves on the TRT Recovery Oversight Group.
 

Katy Best

Katy Best is the Commercial Director at Belfast City Airport and is responsible for all revenue streams, marketing, communications and tourism-related activity at the airport. She was most recently the Northern Ireland representative on the board of VisitBritain, a position she held for seven years. Katy has previously co-chaired Tourism Ireland’s GB Strategy Review and has been a member of the Tourism Ireland Central Marketing Partnership Group. Within tourism, Katy has also been a board member of Tourism Northern Ireland, The Metropolitan Arts Centre and Tall Ships Ltd.
 

Harry Connolly

Harry Connolly is the Director of Fáilte Feirste Thiar, a local tourism development agency tasked with developing West Belfast's tourism offering and building sustainable tourism infrastructure. Prior to working in tourism development, Harry worked for a number of years in youth, sport and community development across the greater Belfast area. He is the former Vice Chairperson of the West Belfast District Policing & Community Safety Partnership (DPCSP), a body established as a result of the developing political process, which acknowledged the critical role of policing and justice in Northern Ireland. He is a former board member of Visit Belfast, the public/private body tasked with marketing Belfast as a tourism destination and with developing strong relationships with key tourism stakeholders across the city and beyond. He is the Chairperson of Féile an Phobail, Ireland’s largest community arts festival, which has sport, culture, arts, politics and identity as key pillars of its unique experience. As a co–founder of Áras Uí Chonghaile, Belfast’s latest visitor attraction which opened in April 2019, Harry has led the development of this innovative project. Harry has taken the opportunity provided by peace to develop the West Belfast tourism product and infrastructure, supporting tourism-related businesses and social enterprises, promoting local social and economic regeneration via small business development and promoting tourism and sport as a model for delivering peace and reconciliation. He has been central to the development of strategies that market the uniqueness of West Belfast as a tourist destination, re-branding the area as a core part of Belfast’s and the wider region’s tourism offering.

Joe Dolan

Joe Dolan is owner and Managing Director of the Bush Hotel in Carrick on Shannon, a mid-range and mid-size boutique heritage hotel; and is long associated with tourism in Leitrim and a former Leitrim Person of the Year. He is a graduate of NUI Galway and holds a PhD from Queen's University Belfast and a Tourism Strategy Diploma from Cornell State University.  He is a former Chair of Leitrim Tourism, Director of NW Tourism, a past President of the Irish Hotels Federation and a member of the National Tourism Authority, Fáilte Ireland. He is passionate about balanced regional and rural economic development, particularly through sustainable tourism; and in extending the season, particularly outside urban areas. On a broader platform, he has experience from other business interests (including retail, contract catering, construction, property development, management and consultancy) in strategic planning, finance, business analysis and development.

John McGrillen

John McGrillen is the Chief Executive of Tourism NI, Northern Ireland's tourism development authority. He was appointed to the post in July 2015, following a lengthy career in economic development and local government. Prior to his appointment to Tourism NI, he was Director of Development at Belfast City Council, where he was responsible for economic development, regeneration and tourism within the city. From 1999 to 2010, he was Chief Executive at Down District Council. He began his career as an aerospace engineer before heading up IDB Northern Ireland's operations in Düsseldorf, Germany, and subsequently taking over as Chief Executive at NI-CO, an international development consultancy business based in Belfast. He has been a Governor of the Belfast Metropolitan College since 2012.
 

Stephen McNally

Stephen McNally has over 40 years’ experience in the hotel industry. He studied at the Rockwell Hotel and Catering School in Co Tipperary. He also has extensive international experience, having worked with Ramada Hotels in both the UK and Germany; and he completed the Ramada Hotel Management Development Programme, before joining Jurys Hotel Group PLC in 1989. During 17 years at Jurys (which subsequently became Jurys Doyle plc.), he managed the company’s hotels in both Ireland and the UK and ultimately headed up operations for the entire group, including its properties in the USA. In August 2007, he became director and Deputy Chief Executive of Dalata Hotel Group. Best known for the Clayton and Maldron brands, the company has extensive hotel operations in both Ireland and the UK. He was appointed President of the Irish Hotels Federation in 2014. He is also a non-executive director of the St Patrick’s Festival.

Mary Mulvey

Mary Mulvey has considerable senior management experience, which includes previous work with the English Tourist Board, Bord Fáilte, Heritage Towns of Ireland and the Irish Peatland Conservation Council. From 2005 until 2009, she was CEO of Greenbox, a cross-border project and Ireland’s first ecotourism destination company. From 2017 to 2019, she worked with the Heritage Council / Irish Uplands Forum. She was the founder of Ecotourism Ireland; and worked with Sustainable Travel Ireland, from February 2019 until April 2020. Mary served as the island of Ireland representative on the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), between 2015 and 2019. The Ecotourism Ireland label was recognised by the GSTC, in 2012 and 2019. Mary has been working for Earthcheck, a global sustainable consultancy, to review international sustainable tourism policy and to make recommendations on policy, guiding principles and the implementation of sustainable tourism development in Ireland for the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport. She is passionate about raising the profile of sustainable tourism, at national and international level, with relevant government agencies, tourism bodies and stakeholders. She is a tireless advocate on sustainability and on finding a clear way to educate on the subject and to plan future tourism on these principles.

Kathryn Thomson

Kathryn Thomson has been Chief Executive of National Museums NI since March 2016. Immediately prior to that, Kathryn spent 11 years as the Chief Operating Officer at Tourism NI. Kathryn holds a B.Com. (Hons) degree in Business Studies from the University of Edinburgh, completed her accountancy training at PwC and has a professional qualification as a chartered accountant with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA). In addition, Kathryn holds a public appointment as a Director of the Strategic Investment Board and is a Non Executive Director for Visit Belfast. She is also a director and trustee on the board of three charities: Grand Opera House Belfast, Culture Perth and Kinross and Open House Festival.