Sean is CEO of the London Irish Centre charity, based in Camden Town, London. The charity owns and operates the largest Irish community centre outside of Ireland and welcomes more than 75,000 visitors each year.
The Centre is the Irish heart of London and every year helps support over 3,000 of the oldest, most vulnerable and isolated in the community, as well as hosting over 500 Irish cultural and arts events.
Sean moved to the UK in the late 1980s and set up a building company which was sold in 2002. He remains involved with a number of early stage and start-up businesses. His passion is the 3rd sector and since 2002 he has been a Trustee and Chair at a number of charities. In 2005 he created the Speak Out Challenge, now the world`s largest youth speaking event which has raised over £7m and trained more than 200,000 teenagers in public speaking.
What, for you, is the importance of our global diaspora and how do you contribute to its success?
The diaspora has a key role in promoting, preserving and reinforcing what it means to be Irish on a global level. The London Irish Centre has a key role in this regard – our vision is to be ‘The Irish Heart of London’ and the Northern Irish/Belfast diaspora in London have a pivotal role to play in this vision of creating an iconic destination for the Irish in London, for everyone from the 32 counties of Ireland and for those with an affinity to Ireland. My role is to make a £15m+ redevelopment project of the Centre happen, to create a world class venue in London for the global diaspora to use and be proud of.
Tell us how you connect to Belfast:
Although my own roots are in Tipperary, Clare and Dublin, Belfast’s story and fascinating history has always interested me and its modern-day renaissance as a tourist destination and tech hub is inspirational.
You know you’ve got Belfast heritage when…:
I’m afraid I’ll have to pass on this one for the moment, but our family is in the midst of a very involved genealogy project and I`m eagerly anticipating the discovery of my Belfast heritage.