Members from the animation sector that were in attendance included, Ger O’Rourke and Andrew Fitzpatrick (Monster Entertainment), Paul Young (AI Chair/ Cartoon Saloon), Gary Timpson (Kavaleer), Cathal Gaffney (Brown Bag Films), Moe Honan (Moetion Films), Niamh Herrity and Aoife Doyle (Pink Kong Studios), Ronan McCabe and Stephen Fagan (Treehouse Republic), Cliff Parrot and Deirdre Barry (Salty Dog Pictures), Emma Scott (IFB), Michael Algar, Aidan Hickey, John Reynolds and John Rice (JAM Media), Meabh Tammemagi (Mooshku), Pauline McNamara and Edel Edwards(RTÉ).
The evening kicked off with a speech from Gerard O’Rourke and was followed by a few words from Sheila who expressed her own experience and heartfelt gratitude to all present. A framed artwork was presented to Sheila featuring key images from all shows that she has commissioned or supported throughout the years.
Speaking at the event, Gerard O’Rourke said:
“Sheila transformed RTE2 and also grew a new digital Channel RTEjr and while conscious of support sought by us at any given time was always aware of her audience and Irish children and how programming could affect and enrich their lives.
Today in 2018 a few generations have passed through this great body of work and I think it’s testament to now talk with children who remember fondly programmes they saw on RTE2 and RTE Jr and will carry with them as they grow up and remember their viewing experience as children. Parents will say that when they put TV on RTEjr is their 1st channel of choice as they love to hear and see local programming and in our case that also has an international appeal.
Sheila it’s great to see the gathering here tonight to simply say thanks for all your support and doing your job in RTE as Head of Childrens in a brilliant and professional manner.
It is also nice that we all became good friends during this period and shared many great times, you were more than just a broadcaster and guided and advised many of us on the journey of life.
It is always engaging been in your company and the interest you show in what we are doing, reading, listening to and exploring.
Without hesitation I can say on behalf of everyone here tonight we will miss you in this role, but what has been created with you, will live long into the future and enrich the life’s of many young people. We hope that you are very proud of what has been achieved and congratulate you again on a very successful career in Children’s TV.
We hope to see you popping in at events in the future.
Go Raibh Mile Maith Agat.”
The celebrations took place in House, Leeson Street, Thursday 11th.January
De Courcy will retire from her position later this year.