Chief Executive and founder of the IAF in 1998, Des has long been established as a highly respected fiddle player in demand both in Britain and Ireland. An experienced teacher, Des has lectured at Newcastle and Limerick Universities and Leeds College of Music and has also served on the board of the Irish Government Emigrant Support Programme Advisory Committee.
Christy is the Irish Arts Foundation Development Officer (Information and Communications Technology). From a Leeds-Irish background: an accomplished guitarist, Christy is also a software developer with well over 15 years-experience in developing websites, web based software services and mobile applications for both Android and iOS.
Steve is the Irish Arts Foundation Finance Officer. He works for West Yorkshire Community Accounting Services (WYCAS) and has considerable experience in charities accounting. Unique in West Yorkshire, WYCAS has been operating since 2000. In that time they have built up an excellent track record for providing financial management training and accounting services particularly within the voluntary and community sector.
Alison is currently working in an organisational development freelance capacity for the Irish Arts Foundation having previously worked with The Regional Development Agency and Yorkshire Forward.
Leeds-based musician Gerry Brownridge works in a freelance capacity, as part of our Untold Stories and Irish Elders Cultural Projects.
From a background in environmental management, Gerry has taken a career and lifestyle change now working as a freelance artist from his Liverpool studio overlooking the mountains of north Wales. His critically acclaimed work includes images for The Leeds Gathering since 2014 and images for a number of our events throughout the year.
The newest member of the team is Owen Spafford, the former All-Britain junior fiddle champion. Owen will be working with us, initially our new radio show, ‘The Leeds Irish Music Programme’ and also on our nine-month project, starting in mid March 2022, 'Exploring the Musical Traditions of County Cork & County Kerry'
Roisin graduated in Events Management at Leeds Metropolitan University and has worked and volunteered for the Irish Arts Foundation on a number of projects, in particular researching the Irish community in Leeds for the Untold Stories Project. Roisin also plays the fiddle and performs regularly with the Leeds branch of Comhaltas.
Cormac O'Donoghue, although a native of Adare in Co. Limerick, has been living in Leeds for a number of years. With a background in private industry, a good command of the Irish language and a keen ear for Irish music, Cormac has been a useful addition to the Irish Arts Foundation volunteer team on a number of levels.
Board of Trustees
Non Executive Trustees