Maureen Kennelly has been appointed as Director of the Arts Council of Ireland.

Currently Director of Poetry Ireland, Maureen Kennelly has been working in the arts sector for over two decades with organisations including the Kilkenny Arts Festival, Fishamble Theatre Company, Druid Theatre Company, Mermaid Arts Centre and the Cúirt International Festival of Literature.

She is a member of the Expert Advisory Committee of Culture Ireland and formerly a member of the Governing Body of University College Cork.

In her most recent role at Poetry Ireland since 2013, she was instrumental in establishing the Poetry Ireland Centre at Parnell Square in Dublin.

Arts Council Chair, Prof. Kevin Rafter said he was 'thrilled' with the appointment, saying Maureen Kennelly will bring huge experience to her role as well as a passion for the arts and the work of artists. He said he looked forward to working with Maureen to ensure more people engage with the arts and that the role of the artist in society is strengthened. 

Maureen Kennelly said she was very excited about her new role and said she particularly welcomed the opportunity to lead progression around the Arts Council's recent policies on Equality, Human Rights and Diversity and on payment for artists.

She said the arts sector is  populated by talented, imaginative, hard-working, dedicated and generous individuals and by well managed and well governed organisations, and that she looked forward to bringing energy, imagination, motivation and clear direction to the role. 

Kennelly will take up her role in early May 2020, replacing outgoing Director Orlaith McBride.