Board of Directors

Encountering the Arts Ireland (ETAI) Board of Directors

Jennifer Buggie

Jenny Buggie works with the Department of Education & The Education Centre, Tralee as an advisor for Arts and Creativity in Education and is seconded from Holy Family Junior School, Portlaoise. 

She studied history and archaeology in Trinity College, Dublin and transitioned to teaching in 2009 through Newman University, Birmingham. In 2017 Jenny received the IPPN Prize for her Postgraduate Diploma in Educational Leadership with Maynooth university which focused on leading change through teaching in drama and history. The work developed towards her Master of Education thesis exploring teacher identity-in-practice during school-merger. Jenny has worked with Teacher-Artist Partnership since 2014 as a lead facilitator and for the organisation’s national design team. She is passionate about providing teachers, artists and children with the skills and opportunity to work together in arts rich schools that acknowledge and develop the whole person as both learner and teacher.

Liz Coman

Liz Coman is an Assistant Arts Officer with Dublin City Council.  She is a certified Visual Thinking Strategies facilitator with VTS/USA and has completed training to coaching level.  She is responsible for monitoring the quality of Erasmus+ Permission to Wonder – an EU project for Dublin City Council that is testing the VTS training pathway with educators in classroom and gallery settings.

Liz has a background in History of Art and Museum Studies and fifteen years experience in designing innovative projects that support arts, education and learning.  She has led trainings in enquiry led approaches to mediating artwork for visual art facilitators in The Ark, A Cultural Centre for Children, The National Gallery of Ireland, and The Turner Prize, Derry and offers ongoing mentorship for individual artists, arts educators and teachers.

Eoghan Doyle, Co. Secretary

Eoghan is the director of Youth Theatre Ireland and is responsible for the strategic and operational leadership of Youth Theatre Ireland. He previously served as a board member from 2007 to 2011 and as acting director from 2018 to 2019.  In his role as Assistant County Arts Officer in Kildare County Council (2007-2020), he spearheaded a range of supports for youth theatres in the county including annual funding and professional development supports, the establishment of the award-winning Kildare Young Filmmakers, and writing County Kildare’s first youth arts strategy.

Eoghan trained as an actor in DIT’s Conservatory of Music and Drama before undertaking Artstrain, Youth Theatre Ireland’s Drama Facilitation Programme. He was Artistic Director of Clondalkin Youth Theatre and was Irish Animateur at the European Children’s Theatre Encounter in 2005.

Eoghan currently serves as Company Secretary of ETAI. 

Nigel Flegg, Chair

Nigel Flegg is the Head of Learning and Participation (L&P) at the National Concert Hall. With a background as a musician and music educator and with a strong interest in non-formal and informal learning, Nigel has developed the L&P programme across five pillars: Young People and Families, Schools and Teachers, Music Students and Musicians, Our Community, and Health and Wellbeing.

Prior to this, Nigel was director of Newpark Music Centre, holding this position for a decade before moving to the role of Higher Education Support and Projects Manager while returning to education in 2011 to complete a M.Ed in Educational Leadership and Management at Trinity College Dublin (TCD). A Licentiate of the Guildhall School of Music (LGSM) – Jazz Performance, Nigel also holds a Diploma in Business Studies (DBS) from UCD and BA in Spanish and Classics from TCD.

He currently serves as Chair of the ETAI Board of Directors.

Oisín Kenny

With a background in journalism, socially engaged art, and storytelling, Oisín Kenny (he/him) is Apollo Fellow at the National Gallery of Ireland and previously wrote for Ireland’s leading LGBTQIA+ press, Gay Community News (GCN). In his role at the Gallery, he coordinates the Apollo Project, programmes for and by young people (ages 16-25).As part of the Gallery’s first Youth Panel, he collaborates with a group of young people to co-create impactful, educational, and creative experiences for young people, their family, friends, and communities. 

Aoife Keogh

Aoife Keogh is a full-time lecturer in the School of Education at the National College of Art and Design (NCAD), Dublin. She teaches on the undergraduate BA (Joint Hons) in Education and Design/Fine Art and the Postgraduate PME programmes. Aoife has 10 years’ experience teaching at 3rd level, lecturing in Pedagogical Studies and Art History Methodology in initial teacher education (ITE) and spent 15 years teaching and researching the fields of Art & Design and Education. Aoife managed The Education Unit from 2009 to 2016, a high support education centre for early school leavers and students with special educational needs.

As a freelance art educator Aoife worked with a range of museums to design and facilitate arts based projects and workshops to diverse audiences and has worked with a number of arts organisations to produce books and resources specifically for post-primary teachers and learners, and designs and delivers primary and post-primary teacher Continuing Professional Development (CPD), with both theoretical and practical arts focus. She was an Irish team member and researcher in the Images and Identity Comenius project (2008-2010).

Catherine O’Donnell

Catherine O’Donnell is the Creative Engagement Programme Manager at Dublin City Council Culture Company. She has over 15 years’ experience developing and delivering museum and creative engagement projects spanning education, exhibitions and public programming. Catherine has expertise in participatory methodologies, co-production, and working with challenging and contested history. She has written extensively on museums and participation, and including the voices of children and young people in decision-making.

An Associate of the Museums Association (UK), Catherine holds an MA in Art Gallery and Museum Studies from the University of Manchester, a Postgraduate Diploma in Education Studies (Inquiry-Based Learning) from Trinity College Dublin, and a BA in English Literature and Art History from Newcastle University.

Gina O'Kelly

Gina (she/her) is director of the Irish Museums Association (IMA) and is responsible for delivering the network’s vision and leading its advocacy work, research, and programming in support of the sector across the island of Ireland.

A Licentiate (BA+MA) in Fine Arts from the University of Granada, Spain, Gina has held senior management and curatorial roles for over two decades with a range of cultural organisations and – as a visual arts freelancer – delivered major touring exhibitions in Europe, USA, South America, South Africa, and the Middle East, public art installation, and blue-chip visual art publications.

Gina serves on the Board of Visual Artists Ireland and is a member of Digital Repository Ireland’s Expert Advisory Group and the Cultural Rights, Cultural Democracy biennial, Network of European Organisations Museums & Sustainability, and Ireland’s CCSAP for Built & Archaeological Heritage WGs.