New Chairperson and Board Members at Hawk’s Well
The Hawk’s Well Theatre has announced the addition of four new board members including a new Chairperson Roddy Quinn and board members Una Mannion, Des Power and Niall Rhatigan.
Roddy Quinn joined the board as Chair earlier this year. Roddy is a Family doctor who has been interested in the theatre from a young age. Since coming to live and work in Sligo in 1984 he has been an active member of Coolera Dramatic Society which, as well as hosting the highly successful annual pantomime (he has directed the show on six occasions and filled many other backstage and acting roles), has been responsible for many award winning dramatic productions. Indeed, Roddy won the best supporting actor award at the All-Ireland open amateur drama finals in Athlone in 2003 for his playing of “Michael” in Frank McGuiness’s “Someone who’ll watch over me”. He has also acted with Sligo Drama Circle, Silver Apples theatre company and Splódar, (Manorhamilton). Roddy also brings experience of involvement with organisations at a local and national level. He is currently chairperson of the Parenting Network, a high level body involved in influencing policy at a national level to support parents in their parenting role. He has also, on a regular basis, chaired committees of the Irish College of General Practitioners that are tasked with the training of young doctors who want to specialise in family practice.
Una Mannion is a writer and lecturer. She has a PhD in Early Modern Literature and Drama and has taught on the Performing Arts course at IT Sligo for over a decade. She is Programme Chair of the new BA in Writing & Literature in Sligo. In 2017 she won the Hennessy New Irish Writing Award for Emerging Poetry, the Cuirt International Festival award for Fiction, the Doolin short story prize and the Allingham short fiction award. Her stories have been published in The Irish Times, Ambit, The Lonely Crowd, The Incubator and others.
Des Power is a highly respected global business executive in the Consumer Electronics space. After many years working abroad, Des was delighted in 2016 to return home to become Managing Director of Fitbit International, responsible for the Fitbit business in EMEA and APAC. A passion for Innovation and team building has taken Des on a leadership journey starting with Philips Electronics at a time when TV’s became flat, then joining Harman to run its global Consumer Audio business as music consumption habits evolved to smartphones and streaming. Finally joining Fitbit at a most exciting time where consumers are now empowered to take better charge of their own health and wellness. Des has worked in Europe, the Americas and most recently in Shenzhen, China. Des is passionate about the Arts in Ireland and especially Sligo and has been a supporter of the Hawks Well since the year it was opened.
Niall Rhatigan is a recently retired consultant architect. He started his career in London and Dublin before returning to Sligo in 1985 where he has since been involved in a wide range of projects throughout the North-West. These have included significant urban renewal, educational and civic buildings for both private and public clients. He has a broad interest in the arts and culture including the visual arts, drawing, cinema, theatre and music. Niall brings first-hand experience in the expansion of social and cultural facilities not only in the provision of building infrastructure but also in the growth and development of the bodies supporting them.
These new board members join existing board members: Cllr Declan Bree, Martha Kearns, Cllr Sinéad Maguire and Gerry Moore as the theatre embarks on a major fundraising drive to
undertake major improvements in the next two years at an estimated cost of €1.3 million. The plans include: A landmark renovation of the theatre’s entrance and foyer space; seating upgrades; hearing assistance system in the auditorium; flood prevention measures and essential backstage and equipment upgrades.
The Theatre launched a Hawk’s Well Renovation Patrons scheme in 2017 which is proving successful. Individuals, families or companies can contribute to the renovation fund by becoming renovation patrons and donating funds across various levels of support. Renovation patrons will be acknowledged in perpetuity within the extended building and will become a permanent part of the Hawk’s Well history.
In order to raise funds €1 has been added to the price of all tickets sold since May 2017. Through the development levy, fundraising events and donations from the public, along with pledged money from Sligo Council, Sligo BID, Sligo LEADER Partnership and the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht the theatre will be in a position to complete renovations within three years’ time.
The plan to renew and regenerate the theatre will ensure its future for many years to come. The proposed improvements and redevelopment at the site will transform the theatre into a stunning arts centre, providing a visitor experience that is lively, accessible, authentic and interactive. It will have the potential to transform the theatre into an artist hub in the North West and will be a major attractor of visitors to Sligo, creating a coherent experience that is innovative, authentic and transformative. It will help to strengthen the region’s strategic positioning in Irish tourism markets and will highlight the wealth of the arts and cultural activity in the county.