An update on the new MD of Ardmore Studios – it has now been confirmed that Siún Ní Raghallaigh Chair of the board of TG4 has taken up position as Managing Director of Ardmore Studios from Kevin Moriarty and not Joan Egan as I had previously posted.
Siún Ní Raghallaigh is a native speaker from Donegal, former Financial Controller of the Tribune Newspaper Group, and former Managing Director and Director of Marketing and Development at TG4. A film, television and video producer with experience in traditional and online media as well as the software industry. Siún worked with Tyrone Productions before establishing independent television company, ikandi productions. Siún is also on the Board of the Galway Film Fleadh.
Expectation around Ardmore Studios in recent months was that Brendan Walsh assistant to Kevin Moriarty would have been appointed as his successor. For Siún Ní Raghallaigh the task will be unenviable, Ardmore sound stages have remained predominantly vacant since Starz series Camelot wrapped in November 2010.
Back in March 2012 Ardmore’s majority owners, U2 manager Paul McGuinness and accountant Ossie Kilkenny, sought €500,000 from the Irish Film Board to cover the cost of keeping the studio open following the announcement that Vikings would go into production at the new Ballyhenry Studios.
While there are many factors at play in Ardmore’s decline, lack of investment in the sound stages to meet advancements in film-making would be high on the list. Many within the industry believe that Ardmore were not proactive enough in encouraging producers to use its sound stages, it had become predominantly dependent on Morgan O’Sullivan to bring in its business. Over the last 10 years there have been many small to medium-sized productions who chose to used unoccupied industrial units such as the John Player Factory, Clancy Barracks, Sandyford and Swords instead of Ardmore Studios. All these productions spent considerable sums of money at these warehouses to make them suitable for film making.
The question for the new managing director IF Ardmore is to continue to trade must be, why this is and what can be done to encourage them to use the Ardmore sound stages? For now the long term future of Ardmore studios remains in serious doubt.
The State holds a 31.67% interest in Ardmore Studios Ltd through Enterprise Ireland which was previously held by the National Development Corporation and subsequently assigned to Enterprise Ireland.
Kevin Moriarty had been Managing Director of Ardmore Studios since the early 1990’s. He is also Chair of the Kerry Screen Commission and a board member of the Wicklow Film Commission and the Irish Film Institute. Kevin has been a member of The Irish Film Board member since 2005 and receives an annual fee of €5.985 for his work in this role.
Categories: Film and TV