About the ICC
The Irish Cultural Centre Hammersmith opened its doors in 1995 as the premiere centre in the UK dedicated to the promotion and welfare of Irish art and culture abroad. The ICC welcomes and invites people of all backgrounds and cultures to participate in our 3 core activities: our culture, community, and education programmes.
Every year we hold a varied and exciting culture programme that includes high profile Irish music, theatre, film screenings, storytelling, Irish literature, comedy, art exhibitions, and a themed lecture series strengthening the bond between the UK and Ireland.
Alongside our culture programme, we also run a low cost and free community programme of Irish music sessions, singer songwriter nights, classical musical recitals, ceili’s, tea dances for elders, poetry groups, afternoon film screenings, knitting groups, and exercise classes battling the effects of isolation, loneliness, and inactivity.
Finally, our education programme is open to people of all ages and backgrounds as we run varied classes from literature and film to Irish Music and Dancing, which has a large intake of age ranges, focusing on friendship with the person, not the age group. In 2008 we were awarded the Mayors Award for our services to the London community.
Born in Dublin but raised in Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary. Educated in Carrick-on-Suir and Dublin, he subsequently trained as an accountant with E&Y in Ireland and operated his own private practice in London from 1990. He is also a Trustee of The Irish Literary Society (founded 1892) and Irish Heritage Limited and Assistant Curator of the London Irish Rifles Museum.
He is a Fellow of The Royal Geographical Society and a Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts in London and a Fellow of The Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland. He is also a member of The Military History Society of Ireland and the British Association of Irish Studies. He has a wide interest in Irish Culture, Postal History and Military History. He also has a keen interest in family research.
He did a Post Graduate MA in Irish Studies at St. Mary’s University, Strawberry Hill in 2013/2014. His dissertation was titled “Subaltern Voices of the Connaught Rangers 1914-1922.” He has lectured in Ireland and the UK on Irish Military topics.
The ICC Board & Management is delighted to welcome Michael Kingston to the Board of Directors. Michael is a partner and marine, trade & energy lawyer at DWF LLP law firm in London. Originally from Goleen in West Cork he assists relations between Ireland and the UK in business, culture and sport. Michael has strong links with the British Irish Chamber of Commerce, The British Irish Trading Alliance, The London Irish Construction Network, and he is a member of the Mayor of London St Patrick's Advisory Committee representing the GAA and London Irish.
"It is a huge honour to be asked to join the Board. It is important to always help Ireland and Irish people. The Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith’s significance for Ireland as a flag bearer of the Irish Abroad should not be underestimated. My family’s link with London started when my Grandfather, Mick Kingston, left Goleen in the late 1800’s to work on the docks in East London. He is buried in Leytonstone Cemetery with my Great Grandmother Mary Keohane from Clonakilty in Co Cork. My Grandfather was a GAA champion in the 1920’s in London and attended St Mary’s University, and my father was born in Romford before the family moved home to Goleen. I am here again. I therefore understand completely the significance of the Irish Cultural Centre to the wonderful Irish Community here, and to my Community in Co Cork and elsewhere in Ireland when our youth have had to come to Britain to work or study. I deeply respect the wonderful work that has been carried out by the ICC Board and the Irish Government in securing the Centre. I will do all I can to assist its future at this exciting time." (April 2016)
Michael opened the ICC Centenary Lecture Series in 2015 with an expert lecture about the Sinking of the Lusitania and has since travelled all over the world delivering this lecture.
Lloyd’s List Global Maritime Lawyer of the Year 2014 – 2015
Lloyd’s List Top 100 Most Influential People in Shipping 2014
Tanker Leader Shipping and Trade Top 50 Most Influential 2015 and 2016
Recipient of the United States Coastguard Challenge Coin for assisting Arctic Governments in relation to Safety for Life at Sea
International Union of Marine Insurance representative at International Maritime Organisation Polar Code World Delegation Correspondence Group.
Anthony oversees the philanthropy programme in Europe, Middle East and Africa at Bank of America as part of the Public Policy, ESG and Capital Deployment team. Before joining the bank, Anthony established the responsible business programme at Nomura for the EMEA region. He started his career at Lehman Brothers.Throughout his 15 years in Investment Banking, Anthony has helped organisations effectively broaden and deepen their philanthropic activities, combining financial and human capital to create social, economic and environmental outcomes. Anthony sits on a range of not-for profit boards and has several advisory roles,including as a founding Trustee of Right to Succeed, Director of The Irish Cultural Centre, Hammersmith and an Ambassador for The Careers and Enterprise Company. Anthony has been recognised for his contributions to Corporate Philanthropy with several industry awards, including the Lord Mayor’s Heart of the City Award.
Dr Anne Goudsmit
Dr Anne Goudsmit was born in Co. Fermanagh. She left Ireland to study at Sussex University and at the Sorbonne before moving to London. Her early career was in Finance, when she worked at Citibank and subsequently at ITV. Anne wrote her PhD thesis on Northern Irish fiction at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, where she was a visiting lecturer. She launched the monthly Book Club at the Irish Cultural Centre in 2017 and is a member of the Irish Literary Society.
Jim O Hara
Jim O'Hara was born in Belfast and studied at Queen's University, Belfast and London University. During his academic career he has been a History Lecturer in various universities in Britain and in 1990 established, and became Director of, the Irish Studies Centre at St. Mary's University College, Strawberry Hill, Twickenham.
He is a founder member of the British Association for Irish Studies, as well as the European Federation of Centres for Irish Studies. He is a former Chairman of the Irish Youth Foundation (U.K.), is Vice-President of London Irish Rugby Football Club and is a member of the Irish government's DION committee.
Jim has published a number of books and articles on Irish history and politics and on Anglo-Irish relations, including "Drawing Conclusions: A Cartoon History of Anglo-Irish Relations,1798-1998", and "Ireland Since 1690;A Concise History". His other interests include Irish traditional music, where he played in the group "Tristram Shandy", rugby, squash and golf. Jim is married to Hazel and has two sons.
Seamus McGarry is a native of Kilkenny and has been a prominent member of the Irish community in Britain for over 40 years. He was well known in the GAA in the 60s as a hurler in London and Hertfordshire.
Seamus has served over 10 years of office as chairman of the Federation of Irish Societies in two terms. He was a founder member of the Ireland Fund of Great Britain in 1988 and is currently a Trustee of the Fund. After 30 years service with BT Seamus retired in 1992.
He was then appointed the Director of the Safe Start Foundation in London 1992-1998. He was also former Chairman of the Irish Network Stevenage.
He is currently a member of the Irish Government Emigrant Services Committee and a Director of the Irish Cultural Centre Hammersmith.
Dr Ivan Gibbons
Dr Ivan Gibbons is an adult education organiser and history lecturer in Modern Irish and British History. His PhD topic was "The British Labour Party and the Establishment of the Irish Free State". He was a councillor in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham for 20 years and chaired the council's Leisure and Recreation Committee.
He taught and organised Irish Studies adult education classes throughout London and was awarded the Irish Post Community Award for services to the Irish Community in Britain. He has written extensively on modern Irish history and politics and is a former editor of "Irish Studies in Britain".
Claire is currently working as the Advisor to the Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary Louise Haigh. Claire assists with Irish in Britain’s political strategy and engagement in Westminster, providing the secretariat to the APPG Ireland and the Irish in Britain chaired by Conor McGinn MP.
This work helps to sustain strong links and representation between the Irish Community in Britain and the parliament at Westminster. She is also Director of Banba Communications – a public affairs consultancy that works specifically with London Irish networks. Born in London, grew up in Mayo, she loves to sing and is a resiliently optimistic Mayo GAA supporter.
Rosalind is a Professional Playwright, Theatre Director and Producer, she is also a producer of Irish arts festivals and events, including the acclaimed festival ‘A Sense Of Ireland’ at The Riverside Studios. From 1995 she was the Irish Centre’s founding Artistic Director. She left in 2009 to pursue her theatrical career. She now serves as our Culture Director.
Rosalind has her own theatre company ‘Irish Repertory Theatre and Film Co. UK’. She has scripted and directed many new Irish plays including the hit show ‘Dance Hall Days’ at The Riverside Studios. She has also directed many plays by Ireland’s leading playwrights, Brian Friel, J.M. Synge and John B. Keane. Rosalind currently facilitates drama workshops for Older Irish Women (aged 55 plus;) and for young aspiring Irish actors. She established the ‘Older Irish Women’s Drama Workshop’ and also Act Your Age, Drama, which creates new community plays with older people. Rosalind said 'It's great to be part of this new and exciting phase of the Irish Cultural Centre - and it's an honour to have the opportunity to be part of The ICC Board and to play a role in creating a centre for the Irish Community, full of creative and cultural possibilities’.
William is from Bangor, Co. Down, graduating from the University of Glasgow with a degree in History and Theatre, and a Master's degree from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Classical and Contemporary Acting. From his studies and personal interests, William has gained valuable experience in events management and marketing having performed and worked with many theatre and film companies, most notably Shakespeare's Globe, London and Bard in the Botanics, Glasgow.
He also launched his own theatre company 'Now What Theatre' which toured the UK and the USA, gaining fantastic reviews and winning multiple awards, such as 'Best of the Fringe' at Capital Fringe, Washington DC, and 'Critics' and 'Audience Choice' Awards, Portland Fringe. William took a year out from the world of arts and became the assistant manager of a successful children's education company in London. He is very excited to be a part of the Irish Cultural Centre's management team, and believes it is the perfect role, allowing him to blend his passions of arts, history, and Irish culture into one.
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Digital Media and Events Officer
Carrie is a visual artist and writer with a love of folk and trad music, poetry, live art and storytelling. She has worked for a range of cultural and charitable organisations including a German art gallery and an artistic residency centre in rural Finland.
Carrie specialises in events, communications and curation and she'll be helping to spread the word about our programme of classes, concerts, theatre shows and film screenings.
The Irish Cultural Centre is very lucky to have many wonderful and dedicated volunteers, who help with most aspects of our work. Without their tireless support, the ICC simply wouldn't be able to survive. We would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their time, energy, and moral support. If you would like to become a volunteer at the ICC, we would be delighted to hear from you. If you think you might have a spare couple of hours each week then please contact us at [email protected]
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