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Our Trustees

The Irish Heritage Board of Trustees is responsible for governance outlined in the Charity Commission’s guidelines. Trustees ensure that the charity operates it objectives and provides clear strategic direction.

All are volunteers who freely give of their time, experience and expertise to support the charity and its programmes.

Our Patrons

Irish Heritage is Irish Heritage is proud and grateful to have the endorsement and support of the following Patrons.

Mary Clancy, Lady Hatch

John Gilhooly CBE

Michael Alen-Buckley

Giancarla Alen-Buckley

Seamus McGarry

Our Trustees

Tom Scanlon

Chair of Trustees

Tom Scanlon is a native of Achill Island in County Mayo and is a graduate of Bolton Street, College of Technology, Dublin and the College of North West London. He is a professional Quantity Surveyor and former founding partner of his quantity surveying practice with offices in Dublin and London. He subsequently set up his own construction company in London and he now offers construction estimating and business development consultancy to London based construction contractors. He has 37 years’ experience in business management.

He has a keen interest in charitable fundraising and bringing his business experience to help small charities grow.

Mary Connolly

Events Management

Mary Connolly comes from Kildare and is a law graduate of London Metropolitan University. She has worked in Dublin and the City of London as a para-legal. She has been a member of Irish Heritage since the early 80’s and has served on Committees since then and was Chairman from 2016 to 2018. She has been the Hon. Secretary of Candlewick Ward Club in the City of London for over 15 years and is recently retired from that position.

Shirley Cully


Shirley Cully comes from Sligo and has lived in London since the 1950s.  She was educated at the Mercy Convent Sligo.  When she came to London she continued her business studies at Pitman's College in London.  She has been a committee member of Irish Heritage for a number of years.  She has worked in the newspaper industry and has spent many years in retail management.  She has also been a committee member, fundraiser and a volunteer for Mind in Camden.  She writes poetry and has published a short collection of her poems.  She is a member of the Irish Literary Society.

Peter Power-Hynes

Finance Director and Treasurer

Peter Power-Hynes was born in Dublin and grew up in Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary and has an MA in Irish Studies from St Marys University, Twickenham. He is a Fellow of The Royal Geographical Society and a Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts. He trained as an accountant with E&Y (Ernst and Young) before working in industry and moving into private practice where he has served clients for over 40 years.

Mr Power-Hynes is also Chairman of the Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith and Honorary Treasurer of the Irish Literary Society and Assistant Curator of The London Irish Rifles Museum.

Keith Raffan


Keith Raffan comes from Strabane in County Tyrone and is a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin where he studied Business Studies and Mathematics. Subsequently, he trained as a chartered accountant with Price Waterhouse in London. He then worked in publishing and distilling before setting up in practice 30 years ago in Bloomsbury. His current office is in Covent Garden. He provides tax and accounting advice to a variety of clients, in particular the Entertainment and Media sector. He joined the Irish Heritage Committee in recent years and is glad to assist an organisation with musical purpose.

Our Management Commitee

The charity’s Management Committee is responsible to the Board of Trustees for the day-to-day operation of Irish Heritage in the process fulfilling the charity’s purpose through its four programmes: education including bursaries; events including concerts and recitals; collaborations with like-minded partner organisations, and outreach and community activity.

The first Chairman of the Committee is Jim Kirby, a long term Friend and supporter of Irish Heritage, who brings extensive management experience, music knowledge and community contact to the role. He is supported by a team of volunteers with expertise in the performing arts, event management, marketing and communications, digital marketing and social media, fundraising, information technology and community contacts.

Jim Kirby


Jim Kirby began his education in Cork City before moving to St Peter Claver College in Mirfield, Yorkshire. He later studied at Clapham College in London and Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. His successful sales and marketing career in the international airline and hospitality industry with Aer Lingus and others included working in this country, the USA and Canada.

A talented musician and singer – he is a bass-baritone, Jim currently sings under musical director Andrew King, He is also Secretary of the Aer Lingus Retirees Association and a member of the management committee of the Mitcham Golf Club. He is married to Adelaide and has two adult daughters, Ailidh and Sinead.

Audrey McKenna

Artistic Director - Ireland

Ms McKenna studied at the National University of Ireland (Maynooth) and graduated with an MA (Composition); BA Hons (in German and English); BMus Hons. She also studied piano and keyboard with Dr Patrick Devine and Professor Gerard Gillen and is an ARCM, LVCM, AVCM.

She is a widely experienced practitioner in Ireland’s cultural sector and has combined performance with business to build a successful career in education and the promotion of Irish culture both in her native country and overseas. From 2008 to 2020 she founded and operated the Kingston Academy of Music based in south Dublin. The academy’s students achieved unrivalled success in state and RIAM examinations. She has had a professional performing career including over two decades of National Concert Hall (Dublin) performances as pianist, composer and music director.

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