Our Board

Jane Alger 

Jane Alger is the former Director of Dublin UNESCO City of Literature, a position she held from 2010 when the city achieved the designation until 2016. A librarian by profession, Jane is a firm believer in encouraging children to read for pleasure and among the initiatives she started while working with Dublin City Libraries are the Citywide Reading Programme for Children (similar to One City One Book); Reader in Residence, a scheme which links libraries, schools, children and their families; and Babies Love Books which became a national Millennium Year project. She was Dublin City Libraries’ Chief Stock Buyer for many years and started the highly successful Dublin: One City One Book festival as well as the first Readers’ Day in Ireland – still an annual event for book club members fifteen years later! Jane was appointed to the board in November 2016.

David Field

David Field has seventeen years of senior management experience and has held a number of marketing positions, including Marketing Director at Brown Thomas, part of the Selfridges Group. David led the repositioning strategy at Eason where he was Head of E-commerce, Marketing and Innovation. Under his guidance, Eason’s transformed and modernised as the 125-year-old brand introduced a loyalty programme, online initiatives and a successful rebrand across the business. He was Retail Director at Fresh, the good food market for two and half years. David also worked with Glanbia in a product marketing role and started his career at Superquinn. David was elected to the board at the AGM in September 2015.

Patricia Forde 

Patricia Forde is a full-time writer for children and young people from Galway. She has extensive experience of working in the arts, having been Director of Galway International Arts Festival for five years, and founding Baboró International Arts Festival for Children. She is a fluent Irish speaker and writes books and television programmes in Irish and in English. She is also a qualified Primary School teacher. Patricia advises on Irish language issues and on the needs of writers on the CBI board. Having served on many arts boards she is also interested in governance and the long-term development of CBI. Patricia was co-opted to the board in October 2014.

Eileen Jackson  

Eileen Jackson is Principal of a primary school where children’s reading for pleasure is celebrated and encouraged in numerous ways. She is a former member of the Church of Ireland Board of Education, and, more recently, of the Board of the National Museum of Ireland where she was a member of its Development and Corporate Committee. Eileen is currently a member of the Early Childhood and Primary Board of the NCCA. She avidly supports the development of school libraries, and recommends schools’ membership of Children’s Books Ireland. Eileen was elected to the board at the AGM in September 2015.

Eddie Murtagh 

Eddie Murtagh is a former Assistant Chief Inspector, Department of Education and Skills and past president of the Reading Association of Ireland. Eddie was appointed to the board in November 2016.

John O’Donnell

John O’Donnell’s poetry and fiction has been published and broadcast widely. Awards include the National Irish Poetry Prize, the Ireland Funds Prize, the Hennessy Award for Poetry, and the Hennessy Award for Fiction. Previously a board member of various other organisations (including Dublin Theatre Festival and the Arts Council) he is also currently a board member of Fishamble Theatre Company. A senior counsel, he lives and works in Dublin. John was appointed to the board in November 2016.

Anne O’Gorman

Anne O Gorman is an arts manager with a specialism in children’s and young people’s arts provision. She is currently managing the delivery of 2021’s Towers and Tales Lismore Story Festival and was previously the Manager of the National Youth Arts Programme based at the National Youth Council of Ireland where she oversaw the NUI Certificate in Youth Arts, Artist and Youth Work Residency Grant Programme, a range of training and development supports for youth work services and advocacy and strategy for arts provision for young people at local, regional and national level.  Previous roles include Children’s Arts Officer at Draiocht in Blanchardstown and Access/Outreach Officer at the Abbey Theatre. Anne holds an MA in Arts Management and Cultural Policy and a Diploma in Transformative Leadership.  She was Irish Animateur at the European Drama Encounter in 2004 and a member of the selection committee for Laureate na nOg in 2010 and 2016 and is a proud board member of Children’s Books Ireland. Anne was appointed to the board in September 2019.

Patrick Thorpe

Patrick Thorpe is a chartered accountant by training holding an honours degree in Accounting and Finance from Dublin City University. Patrick also holds an MBA with distinction from Trinity College. Patrick is presently a consultant to and founding investor in a number of trading companies. Patrick works with a small number of not for profits in personal areas of interest. Patrick was appointed to the board in March 2017.

Sarah Williams

With extensive experience in project development and management in the Education, Business, Arts and NGO sectors, Sarah’s strengths are in targeted networking, developing policies, identifying new areas of opportunity and demonstrating passion! Sarah is a storyteller, a collaborator and a strategic networker, who is the Development Manager with the DCU Educational Trust, supporting the philanthropic side of the University. She actively seeks to collaborate with others, both professionally and personally, to create social impact. Sarah is also a Director of Medicinema Ireland, and recent Chairperson of the GAZE International Film Festival. Weekends are usually spent singing professionally or for pleasure, clambering a mountain, some sort of lake or sea related activity or throwing a pot-luck brunch extraordinaire (in pre-Covid times). Sarah was appointed to the board in September 2019.


By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.