Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

Bill O’Herlihy is the new chair of the Irish Film Board

The Irish Film Board turns to a famous face for its next chairperson

Tue, Mar 12, 2013, 17:57


Okey doke, then. In a surprising move, the genial sports presenter and public relations guru Bill O’Herlihy has been named as the next chair of the Irish Film Board. Once formalities involving the Oireachtas Committee on Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht have been dealt with, Bill takes his place at the head of a board that includes new blood in the form of Katy Holly from Blinder Films and top cinematographer Seamus Deasy.

It is an interesting choice by the authorities. You could argue that Mr O’Herlihy’s decision to accept is just as worthy of comment. As anybody who has sat in the back lounge of the Film-makers’ Arms will attest, one loses as many friends as one makes when serving as a senior figure in the Film Board. Not everybody can get money. Everybody thinks they know the “real reason” why such-and-such got funding.

There have been a fair few decent releases over the past year or so. But precious few of them have made serious money. Real challenges await our Bill. Still, anybody capable of restraining Eamon Dunphy in full rant must be possessed of great reservoirs of inner strength. More to follow.