Edinburgh's Festival of Ireland


Meet the Board

Acknowledgements - Buiochas a Ghabhail

Thanks are due to lots of people who made the Festival possible.  All the members of the Board, as well as: Allan Armstrong, Evan Downey, Brendan McHugh, Deirdre McMahon, The Dalriada Bar, Greenprint, Consul General Mark Hanniffy and all of the Irish Consulate Staff, and others too numerous to mention by name.  

Willie Haines - Chair

Willie is a retired accountant, business person and professional musician. While living in London, he played with the Irish group Shegui, with whom he recorded an album and toured Europe, the UK and Ireland. A player of concertina, whistle and guitar, Willie can still be heard around the Edinburgh informal session scene. He retains a close interest in Irish affairs through friends, holidays and cultural connections in Ireland. He also organises projects related to folk and traditional arts.

Neil Palmer - Treasurer

After gaining a degree at the School of Scottish Studies at Edinburgh University as a mature student, Neil studied cultural connections between Scotland, Ireland and the USA in the Appalachian Mountains. As an unaccompanied singer of traditional ballads, contemporary songs and music hall ditties, Neil is a `weel-kent` face in the local Folk Music scene. He is active in community groups including the Southside Heritage Group. Neil is well versed in Edinburgh`s history and geography and has a keen interest in transport issues.  

Jennifer Roxburgh - Board Secretary and PR

Jennifer is the Artistic Director of Scotland`s Award-Winning Irish Dancers Siamsoir and founder of The Irish Dance Academy. Jennifer also has extensive experience in Governance and working in the Third and Voluntary Sectors.  With classes in Dance Base, Red Flame Dance, Edinburgh University and growing classes at the Academy, Siamsoir`s unique and enjoyable style of Performance Irish Dance are prolific in Edinburgh and the Lothians, since 2007. Siamsoir offers its pupils great opportunities as well as dance experiences.  

Terry Magill - Board Member

Terry Magill was born and grew up in Lurgan, County Armagh. After a spell working in England, he moved to Edinburgh in 1990 and worked in the Scotch Whisky business. For the last ten years, Terry and his wife Alison have owned of the Dalriada on Portobello beach. The Dalriada (named after the ancient maritime kingdom with roots in both Ireland and Scotland) is an active quality community bar with a focus on live music.  

Padraig O'Neill - Board Member

Paddy O'Neill grew up in Bonnyrigg Midlothian amongst large extended Irish family from Donegal who arrived to find work there in the 50s. Left school at 16 to work in the knitwear mills 'Ballantyne Cashmere' he has had numerous vocations including a range of IT jobs, Paddy is currently back involved in knitwear design with his own business manufacturing bespoke argyle and diced hose 'Edinburgh Tartan Socks' for private and business clients. Has been involved in the Edinburgh folk scene since 1981 as a singer and Irish set dancer since the 90s.