Evan Doyle opened his first restaurant in Clifden, County Galway, in 1985, and followed this with the original Strawberry Tree Restaurant in Killarney, County Kerry, in 1988. In 1999, together with his two brothers, Evan opened The BrookLodge Hotel in Macreddin Village, County Wicklow and it is here that today’s Strawberry Tree restaurant showcases artisan and locally produced organic foods. In 2004 it became the first and only certified organic restaurant in Ireland.
Evan is a member of Eurotoques and has hosted the National Food Forum and the very first Wild Food Festival. He is involved in the Slow Food movement and is a founding member of The South Dublin/Wicklow Convivium. Evan is Chairperson of The Taste Council of Ireland and is a Director of The Organic Trust.
Born in Dublin’s south inner city, Marie Duffy first found fame in the 1960s, dancing on entertainment shows on the newly launched Teilifís Éireann. She went on to become one of Ireland’s foremost dancing teachers – at Inis Ealga and her own Marie Duffy Irish Dance School – mentoring world champions and some of the performers from the original Riverdance line.
Marie has collaborated with Michael Flatley for twenty years, on his shows Lord of the Dance, Feet of Flames, Celtic Tiger and Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games, amongst others. She choreographed performances for the Oscars and The Prince’s Trust, and for TV shows such as Dancing with the Stars and Britain’s Got Talent. She has served on The Irish Dancing Commission (An Coimisiún) since 1969, and has worked as an examiner all over the world.
In 2011 at the World Irish Dancing Championships, Marie was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her dedication to Irish dance and culture.
EAMONN DUGGAN is a native of Wexford Town. A retired teacher and former Head of History at Avondale Community College in Rathdrum, County Wicklow, he holds a Master’s Degree in Modern History. Historian in residence for Ireland’s Own magazine, he has contributed in excess of 400 articles to the magazine, and is the main contributor to the very successful and popular Centenary Annual since 2016. He has been commissioned to write a special issue on the life of Michael Collins, to be published on the centenary of his death in August 2022. Eamonn has also contributed to various academic and historical society publications. In 2014, he delivered the annual Ivy Day oration in commemoration of Charles Stewart Parnell.