Contact Us

Irish Arts Foundation
Headingley Enterprise and Arts Centre (HEART)
Bennett Road

T: + 44 (0)113 278 7442

Irish Arts Foundation Team

Des Hurley is the founder and Chief Executive of the Irish Arts Foundation. From a well-known Leeds musical family with Galway and Mayo roots, Des has long been established as a highly respected fiddle player at demand both in Britain and Ireland. He studied Voluntary Sector Management, which enabled him to develop the skills to grow the organisation considerably. An experienced teacher, Des has lectured at Newcastle and Limerick Universities. He also serves on the board of the Irish Government Emigrant Services Advisory Committee (Dion) and had previously served as a trustee for the Federation of Irish Societies.

Chris O'Malley is Director of the Irish Arts Foundation. After teaching Social Science and Irish Studies in Birmingham, Chris taught in a school in the West of Ireland for two years. This experience, as well as his considerable experience performing in various acts all over the world, ideally placed him to develop the activities and programmes at the IAF. Chris is also much in demand as an accompanist both on piano and guitar. Chris served on the board of directors for Resourcing the Community, a registered charity in Leeds, and also that of Seven Arts Centre, Chapel Allerton, Leeds.

The Untold Stories Team

Patricia Doherty is the Untold Stories Project Coordinator, whose family hail from the north of Ireland. She also filmed, directed, and edited the doumentary A Place Called Home, which was specially commissioned for the Untold Stories project and is available to view on the website. Patricia is an award-winning filmmaker, who has been making documentaries for television for the last 20 years.

Brendan McGowan is responsible for the coordination of the website and image archive, and for researching and writing the content for the Untold Stories website. Since graduating from GMIT, Galway, in 2004 with an MA in Humanities (Irish Heritage Studies), Brendan has worked for the National Museum of Ireland - Country Life and Galway City Museum. He has close family ties to the City of Leeds, and is the author of Taking the Boat: The Irish in Leeds, 1931-81; he also contributed to Róisín Bán: The Irish Disapora in Leeds.

Christy Herron is responsible for the design and development of the Untold Stories website. Christy Herron is the owner of , a Leeds-based creative internet and software solutions company. Developd specialise in the development of web-based applications using the Haskell platform. They also develop apps for iPhone and Android, and have clients as far afield as Germany and France.

Róisín Ferguson is studying Events Management at Leeds Metropolitan University, and is on work placement with Irish Arts Foundation. Róisín was involved with the Untold Stories image archive, the schools project, and with the organisation of the launch of the project. Her family hails from the West of Ireland.