Désirée Finnegan will be the new chief executive of Screen Ireland, replacing the outgoing James Hickey. Finnegan, who hails from Dublin, joins from Warner Bros. Pictures where she was SVP, theatrical marketing and publicity, and guided strategy for campaigns across the EMEA region.
In a 15-year stint at the Hollywood studio she worked on campaigns for “Dunkirk,” “The Dark Knight” trilogy and the “Harry Potter” franchise among others. Prior to Warner Bros., Finnegan was in New York, working with Enterprise Ireland, supporting the development and growth of Irish enterprise in the U.S.
“I am delighted to be returning home to take up the post of chief executive of Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland and for the opportunity to continue building on the critical and commercial success of the Irish film, television and animation industry,” Finnegan said. “My passion for supporting great storytellers and those with creative vision has played an important role throughout my career and I am sincerely looking forward to working with the incredible wealth of Irish creative talent, both in front of and behind the camera.”
Screen Ireland chair Dr. Annie Doona said Finnegan “is an experienced leader who brings huge energy to her work and has a strong commitment to the screen industries.” She added: “Her wide knowledge of the international film industry will benefit the Irish industry and we are delighted to welcome her back to Ireland to lead the agency into the next phase of growth.”
Finnegan takes up her new role at Screen Ireland, formerly known as the Irish Film Board, in August. Hickey will remain at the helm until then.
Doona paid tribute to Hickey, who has been chief executive of Screen Ireland for eight years. “During this time production activity levels across the film, television and animation industry have doubled and the sector has experienced huge success with award winning and critically acclaimed films including ‘Room,’ ‘Brooklyn,’ ‘The Lobster,’ ‘Sing Street,’ ‘The Young Offenders,’ ‘Song of the Sea,’ ‘The Breadwinner,’ ‘Black ’47’ and ‘Hole in the Ground,’ amongst many others.”