In his time as CEO, John has overseen its development into one of Ireland’s best known cultural enterprises. In addition to presenting an annual festival with an attendance of over 210,000 and an economic impact on the local economy of €29.5 million, the organisation has developed into a significant producer of new Irish theatre that tours nationally and internationally.
Galway International Arts Festival’s theatre productions and co-productions have received 14 national and international theatre awards from 34 nominations for its work from 2011-2017 and have toured to London, New York, Edinburgh, Chicago, Adelaide, Sydney, Hong Kong and Washington, where they have received critical acclaim.
John graduated from NUI Galway with a BA in Psychology, has an MA in Adult and Continuing Education from the University of Ulster and an MBS in Business Practice from the Irish Management Institute/University College Cork.
John became closely associated with both Galway Arts Festival (as it was then known) and Macnas in the 1990s, playing a pivotal role in their development and growth during that time.
He served as a member of the Arts Council from 2006 until 2011, a member of the Fáilte Ireland West Forum (2010-2013), a member of the Project Board of The Gathering (2012-2013) and served as chair of the successful Galway European Capital of Culture 2020 bid committee. He was appointed to the board of Galway 2020 in 2017.
He was named a Galway Person of the Year in 2013,was made a Fellow of the Institute by the Galway Mayo Institute of Technology in 2016 and received an Honorary Doctorate from NUI Galway in 2017.