Who We Are

International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival is run by an Executive Committee, all of whom give their services on a full volunteer basis.

The International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival (IDGTF) is a company limited by guarantee (Company registration number 409686).  The people working on this either behind the scenes or in the public face include:


brian_merriman Brian Merriman, Founding Artistic Director.

Brian is one of Ireland’s leading producer/directors, and an accomplished actor, writer and singer in music and theatre at home and abroad. In all he now has over 360 productions to his credit. He has won many awards for directing, acting and singing at International Festivals including for Best Producer, Best Director, Best Show and Best Actor at the Waterford International Festival of Light Opera, The Association of Irish Musical Societies and The Northern Ireland Festival of Light Opera. Amongst other achievements, Brian devised, wrote and directed the biggest millennium night celebration in Ireland – 1000 artists, 15 hours of entertainment, culminating in an audience of 50,000 people on the Quay in Waterford. He has a strong commitment to diversity and equality in the arts and to date has sourced, developed and encouraged thousands of young artists and volunteers. He prioritises meaningful access to the arts by performers, writers, communities and audience.  For Festival 2024, Brian will be assisted by David Donovan.


gareth_hurley Gareth Hurley, Company Secretary.

Gareth has been on the IDGTF executive committee for ten years, serving in a number of roles most recently box office manager and web & communications and has represented the Festival at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for a number of years. An IT professional he has experience in areas including web, social media, management and administration. He has a long time interest in theatre and the arts. He has previously been involved in a number of other festivals and university societies including the Dublin Fringe Festival as well as a regular attendee of arts festivals in Ireland and abroad.


Derek O’Neill and Robert C. Bates, Joint Technical Directors

A long-time supporter of IDGTF, Derek took over as Technical Director for Festival 2016, a responsibility he shares with R.C. Bates.  Derek has many years of experience in the arts and arts administration combined with a professional career as a senior medical scientist.  R.C. is an experienced technician who has managed Festival venues since 2015.  They will be joined by Gilly Pardy for Festival 2022.



Ivan Lynch – Treasurer & Assistant Manager

Ivan joined us in 2015 having previously been a long-time supporter and patron of the Festival. He has served on various voluntary committees in the past and has over 20 years experience in the world of Corporate Accounting in Dublin, London and Sydney.  A keen supporter of the Arts, he’s delighted to be able to put his skills to good use in overseeing the Corporate Governance of the Festival.



Eimhear Ó Dalaigh – Volunteer Coordinator, Executive Committee

Eimhear brings extensive experience in theatre, festivals and volunteering to Festival 2022.  Her previous experience includes Volunteer Coordinator for the Dublin LGBTQ+ Pride Festival.


Maurice Whelan – Sponsorship & Corporate, Executive Committee

Maurice joined the IDGTF executive committee for the first time in 2022. Maurice brings with him vast experience at Board level having previously been on the board of the CCMA (Contact Centre Management Association) where he serves for 15 years, 12 of these as Chairperson. He is a former graduate of the Brendan Smith Theatre Academy and holds a Diploma in Stage Craft and Voice Production. Maurice was a former member of the DIAS Drama Society and planned leading roles in the rock musicals “Wheel” and “Toyboys”. Maurice is also a proud member of Gloria, Dublin’s Gay and Lesbian Choir. In his professional life Maurice is Founder and Managing Director of Unleash Potential which specialises in Leadership Development, Executive Coaching, Mental Health and Wellbeing, Diversity and Inclusion, and Mindfulness.


David Donovan – Artistic & Programming – Script Reader, Executive Committee

David Donovan is a playwright from Cork currently based in Berlin. His previous credits include Monastic at IDGTF, Sistemic as part of Smock Allies Scene and Heard festival and Tamper/Split as part of Scripts playwrighting festival. He is the script reader for IDGTF 2022



Niall Williams – Administration, Executive Committee

Niall Williams is a Legal Researcher and currently a Barrister at Law Candidate at the Kings Inns. He has a keen love of theatre and performing arts having been involved from a young age in local productions, choirs and concerts.




Sarah Busch – Researcher & Seminar Coordinator, Executive Committee

Sarah is a PhD student in English Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of Freiburg where she also does PR, acts and directs for the student drama group, the maniACTs. For her PhD project she researches how affective theatre reception shapes our understanding of text and performance, prioritizing the diverse voices of spectators over the opinions of elitist heteronormative criticism. Thus, she’s interested to talk to IDGTF spectators about their experiences of the shows they see.


We are supported by our eight member Board as well as over 40 volunteers annually.