James Hickey is leaving Screen Ireland after serving two terms as its chief executive. Hickey, who has been in the post since 2011, signed on for a second term in 2016 and said Thursday that he would leave when that term expires in June.
In a letter to the industry, Hickey wrote that it was the right time for a transition to a new chief executive. He highlighted the tough early part of his tenure as a financial crisis hit the business in Ireland and noted an increase in Screen Ireland funding since then and a government commitment to €200 million ($230 million) in funding in the 10 years to 2027.
“The reputation of our creative talent in film in Ireland and on the world stage has grown and strengthened over the years,” Hickey said. “Feature films such as ‘Song of the Sea,’ ‘Room,’ ‘Brooklyn,’ ‘The Lobster’ and ‘The Breadwinner’ have garnered international recognition and audiences for Irish filmmakers.
“A strong body of work has been created, which I believe better reflects the very wide diversity of Irish talent in film and screen content. The focus on gender equality and diversity will continue into the future.”
Screen Ireland, formerly known as the Irish Film Board, is now looking for a new boss. It hopes Hickey’s successor will be in place by June.
“I would like to pay tribute to James, who has been an incredibly committed chief executive during his time here at Screen Ireland and has dedicated his entire career to the film and television industry,” said the organization’s chair, Annie Doona. “He will be missed by both staff and board, and we wish him well in his future endeavors.”