New CEO Evelyn Moynihan takes helm at Kilkenny Group

Evelyn Moynihan appointed new CEO at Kilkenny as Marian O’Gorman, after 22 years as CEO, becomes group chair.

Evelyn Moynihan has been appointed CEO of Kilkenny Group, the leading family-owned Irish retailer of premium Irish craft and design.

The appointment was announced today by Marian O’Gorman, the Kilkenny Group owner and former CEO, who will take on the new role of group chair.

“I am excited for the future and immensely proud of what we have achieved together too; especially proud of our people, and their unbelievable passion and resilience, in particular during the last 12 months”

Evelyn Moynihan joined Kilkenny Group as Marketing and Business Development director in November 2019, assuming responsibility for the long-established luxury retailer’s marketing, innovation, e-commerce, IT, supply chain and buying functions.

A vision for the future

Brown-haired woman in plum coloured dress.

New Kilkenny Group CEO Evelyn Moynihan

Moynihan is a graduate of Food Science from UCC, with a HDIP in Marketing & Management.  She lives in Cork with her husband and two children, and is based at the Kilkenny Group headquarters at Churchfield in Cork city.

She has driven the group’s successful transition to a strong omnichannel presence in the past year, as well as planning future development strategy Marian O’Gorman, who has been CEO for over twenty years.

Vastly experience in the retail and FMCG sectors, Evelyn Moynihan has over twenty years’ experience with major Irish corporates.  She previously held senior roles with drinks industry leader, Diageo, and, most recently, with Musgrave Group, the country’s largest grocery distributor which accounts for a €4 billion turnover across its wholesale, foodservices and branded retail operation.

The new appointment was announced to the wider Kilkenny Group business this morning, following which Evelyn Moynihan commented that the proud Irish business is testament to the immense vision, leadership and consumer insights of Marian O’Gorman. 

“It is an honour to take the reins at this point, working with Marian, our experienced management team and the talented and loyal retail team, to continue the task of championing Irish design and creating innovative and inspiring customer experiences”, Moynihan told colleagues.

The will to scale

Marian O’Gorman proved herself a standout leader in the retail and Irish design sector, having grown the Kilkenny Group to a €34m business which includes 16 retail outlets, five restaurants and a thriving online offering. She has mentored and developed numerous talented Irish designers and craft suppliers from all corners of the country.  

Speaking about the new appointment, O’Gorman said she was delighted Evelyn Moynihan accepted the CEO role and is confident that she will have a hugely positive impact on the business, particularly in terms of commercial planning and team-building.

“Evelyn has already had a significant impact on the business, since joining as a director.  She has brought a wealth of skills and experience and a relentless focus on the customer.  I am confident this appointment will really strengthen the Kilkenny team and support future strategy development and growth, as we transition to a truly omnichannel global Irish design offering.”

O’Gorman is also the founder of Champion Green, a national movement to encourage support for local business and rebuild communities, particularly in the wake of the pandemic.  Having stepped away from the Kilkenny CEO position, O’Gorman hopes to devote further energy to Champion Green, driving practical local initiative in support of SMEs across Ireland.

Wishing her successor well, Marian O’Gorman said it had been a privilege to lead the Kilkenny Design team over the last thirty years.

“I am excited for the future and immensely proud of what we have achieved together too; especially proud of our people, and their unbelievable passion and resilience, in particular during the last 12 months,” the new Kilkenny Group chair said.

Pictured at top: Outgoing CEO and new group chair Marian O’Gorman  with new Kilkenny Group CEO Evelyn Moynihan

By John Kennedy (

Published: 14 April 2021