Director of the Prison Arts Foundation Mike Moloney, 59, passed away following an accident on Saturday 20 April.

We are saddened to report the untimely death of Mike Moloney, an inspirational figure in the area of arts in prisons, and a collaborator on Cred-Ability, a project for which ArtsProfessional is currently the media partner.

Mike moved to Belfast from New South Wales in 1981. He quickly established himself within Belfast’s community arts sector, founding the Belfast Community Circus School with Donal McKendry in 1985. He was appointed Drama Specialist for Northern Irish Prisons in 1992 and became Development Officer of the Prisons Arts Foundation in 1997. Rising to Director in 2005, Mike led a team of professional artists working in prisons across Northern Ireland, helping prisoners and ex-prisoners reshape their lives through the arts.

Chief Executive of the Arts Council of Northern Island, Roisin McDonough, said “Mike was an inspirational figure in the arts and in the prison environment. Thanks to the pioneering work he and his colleagues carried out at the Prison Arts Foundation, lives have been transformed and patterns of behaviour changed for good. They established the model for constructive creative intervention in our prisons, and we are extremely proud of our long association with Mike and the Foundation. His achievements in the arts are considerable and will have lasting impact. As a director and as a performer he was always larger-than-life and brimming with positivity. He will be sorely missed by his family, his son, his partner Nuala McKeever and his great many friends in Northern Ireland’s arts community.”