Siobhan Bourke's acceptance speech - Irish Times Theatre Awards Special Tribute Award 2016 (March 2017). Photograph: Cyril Byrne /The Irish Times

At a gala ceremony held in the National Concert Hall, Dublin, Siobhán Bourke and Jane Daly received the Irish Times Theatre Awards Special Tribute Award for their essential work with Irish Theatre Institute and long-standing commitment to Irish theatre.

The 20th Irish Times Theatre Awards took place in Dublin on Sunday 5th March 2017. The event was hosted by actors Ruth McGill and Peter Daly and the awards were presented by Laurence Mackin, Arts Editor of The Irish Times.  

Following the announcement of the Award Catríona Crowe, Chair of ITI Board commented “The Chairperson and Board of Irish Theatre Institute are delighted that our remarkable Co-Directors, Siobhán Bourke and Jane Daly, are to receive the Irish Times Theatre Special Tribute Award on 5 March. We are immensely proud of their dedication, commitment and innovative effectiveness in the service of Irish theatre at home and abroad, and their particular focus on, and support for, theatre makers.  It is a privilege to work with them and to support their enormous contribution to the sector”.


Siobhán Bourke is the founding Director of Irish Theatre Institute where she works alongside Jane Daly to promote and support Irish theatre makers and companies, through international networking and showcasing, artist mentoring, conferencing and publications. Most recently for ITI Siobhán co-edited Stage & Screen Design Ireland 2007- 2014 for Irish Deisgn (ID) 2015. She was founder member of Rough Magic Theatre Company (1984) where she worked as Executive Producer until 1998 having produced 50 shows, many of which toured around Ireland and also internationally. In 1999, Siobhán edited the Rough Magic First Plays anthology.

Parallel to her theatre work, Siobhán is a successful film and TV Producer with her company Saffron Pictures, co-owned with Kathryn Lennon. Productions include the award-winning and critically-acclaimed dramas Whistleblower (RTÉ) and Love is the Drug (RTÉ) and most recently, a major six-part TV drama Acceptable Risk. Siobhán has served on several boards including the National Theatre Society, the Dublin Theatre Festival and Project Arts Centre and was also on the cultural relations committee of the Department of Foreign Affairs. As an occasional lecturer she has taught on several arts and culture-related courses including the Drama and Theatre Studies MPhil in Trinity and UCD’s MA in Cultural Policy and Arts Management.


Born in Dublin and living in Galway, Jane Daly has worked in the professional arts sector since 1984. Since 2001 she has been co-director of Irish Theatre Institute working in close collaboration with Siobhán Bourke to build an invaluable resource for the Irish theatre sector, its artists and producers. ITI focusses on provision of supports and the creation of opportunity at home and abroad for theatre artists while also contributing to the development of the art form and the promotion of the Irish play repertoire through PLAYOGRAPHYIreland.

Jane was General Manager/ Producer of Druid for eight years where she produced 30 shows, many of which toured both nationally and internationally. On leaving Druid in 1996, she set up Jane Daly Arts Management which provides project management, strategic planning and facilitation services to arts organisations. Jane was Programme Manager for Galway’s successful bid to be the European Capital of Culture in 2020.


The three judges, Ella Daly, Dr Nicholas Grene and Anna Walsh viewed over 150 productions around the country during 2016. The categories for the Irish Times Theatre Awards were: Judges’ Special Award, Best Actor, Best Costume Design, Best New Play, Best Sound Design, Best Supporting Actress, Best Set Design, Best Director, Best Lighting Design, Best Opera Producton, Best Supporting Actor, Best Actress, The Audience Choice Prize, Special Tribute Award, Best Production.

Award winners at the Irish Times Theatre Awards, March 2017

Full list of nominees for the Irish Times Theatre Awards, March 2017


The establishment of The Irish Times Theatre Awards (…) more than 20 years ago was esentially in response to the lack of such awards at the time. (…) The thinking that gave birth to the idea was not only to honour and recognise the achievements on the Irish stage during a particular year but also to provide an occasion of celebration where all sectors of theatre could come together. (…) the Special Tribute Award and this – sometimes belated – acknowledgement and honouring of the work of a stalwart of the theatre, has been an annual highlight”. – Gerry Smyth, Co-Founder of the Irish Times Theatre Awards, in an opening note to the ceremony.


For the past twenty years we’ve organised and presented this event to recognise the very best in Irish theatre productions, makers and performances. This newspaper has a long-standing commitment to arts, and within this it has always had a particurarly strong relationship with the theatre sector… – Laurence Mackin, Arts Editor, The Irish Times


VIDEO: Special Tribute Award to Siobhán Bourke and Jane Daly

Contributions from Fergus Linehan, Director Edinburgh International Festival; Maureen Hughes, Casting Director; Loughlin Deegan, Director of The Lir, National Academy of Dramatic Art at Trinity College; Jen Coppinger, Independent Producer; Garry Hynes, Artistic Director Druid; Lynne Parker, Artistic Director Rough Magic Theatre Company; Declan Hughes, novelist, playwright and screenwriter; Arthur Riordan, actor and playwright; Helene Montague, actor and musical director/composer; Stanley Townsend, actor; Anne Byrne, actor; Phillip McMahon, actor, director and producer; Emmet Kirwan actor and writer.