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Our People

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

Director – Operations

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.

Brian Hughes

Committee Member

Brian Hughes comes from Dungarvan, Co. Waterford and now works as a piano teacher in the London Contemporary School of Piano and MMQ Piano Studio in London. He was the recipient of the Irish Heritage Accompanist Award in 2018 during his studies at the Royal College of Music, and performed in numerous concerts throughout 2019.

After graduating from the RCM with a Master of Performance in Collaborative Piano in 2020, Brian decided to join the Irish Heritage team as he wanted to give back to the organisation which had given him so many great performance opportunities. He enjoys liaising with the young musicians, helping to organise performers and concert programmes and being part of the Irish musical community in London.

Saoirse Walsh

Committee Member

Originally from Wexford, Saoirse completed her undergraduate degree in Music and History of Art at University College Dublin before moving to London to complete an MA in Fine and Decorative Art at Sotheby's Institute. She has since worked in the heritage, education and cultural sectors in Europe and the USA and has been a volunteer with Irish Heritage since 2013.

Ailidh Kirby

Committee Member

Ailidh Kirby was born in London and her mother and father are from Dublin and Cork respectively. Ailidh graduated in Law from Warwick University and went on to join BT in their graduate scheme. After some years she moved to PA Consultancy where she gained much experience on contracts with various UK Government departments. Ailidh is now leading a team at Marks & Spencer on digital transformation.

She is an ardent music lover of all genres and enjoys the committee involvement with Irish Heritage with which she has been involved since early 2021.

Thomas Scanlon

Committee Member

Born in London to parents from Achill Island, Co. Mayo, Thomas is a software engineer with 10 years of experience in the IT and tech industries. Having previously worked on digital transformation projects at Kingfisher and employee happiness web platforms, Thomas now works on web applications within BBC Design + Engineering.

As an ardent advocate for the public and third sectors, Thomas has been involved with Irish Heritage since 2020, lending his expertise in web development to help the charity achieve its digital objectives.

Interested in joining Irish Heritage?

Find out how you can join below or get in touch with us to join our commitee.

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