A Galway woman has been elected the new President of the RDS, the first President from Galway, and the only second woman to hold the office in the history of the RDS.
Ms Bernie Brennan from Moycullen, Co. Galway began her three-year term last week, taking over from Matthew Dempsey, the former Irish Farmers Journal editor whose term concluded on the first of December. Ms Brennan becomes the 81st president of the Society, which has worked to see Ireland thrive culturally and economically since 1731.
A former Chair of the RDS Equestrian Committee, Board of Management Member, RDS Council Member and a previous Chair of the Galway County Show, Ms Brennan brings a unique skill-set and range of experience to the role. During her term as Chair of the Dublin Horse Show, she was involved in the strategy for the reinvigoration and development of the Show. There were major changes in terms of the restructuring of the timetable, the introduction of new competitions such as the Young Event Horse classes, and the reconfiguration of Simmonscourt and the creation of the Grandville Nugent Arena during her tenure.
Speaking after her appointment as President, Ms Brennan said, “I first came to the Horse Show and the Spring Show as a child, with my father and siblings, so I’ve known the RDS since my earliest years.
“The last number of years have seen a change in way the Society operates with a greater focus and impact on the areas of our philanthropic work programme. This has allowed us to speak to more people about the RDS, to share the fact that the RDS is an idea and not just a venue. The idea that through celebrating indigenous success, showcasing emerging talent and sharing new thinking, Ireland can thrive culturally and economically.”
“I would like to thank outgoing President Matt Dempsey for the many years of voluntary service he has given the RDS, and especially his term as President.”
This year the RDS will spend over €2 million on its philanthropic work programme that spans the areas of science, arts, equestrianism, business and agriculture.