Sandy started out as an actor, writer and musician. He became the founder of the City Arts Centre in Dublin, where from 1973 to 2002, he served as director. At the time he was still only 22 years, and similarly to the participants in the Escalator programme he had not had any formal managerial training. Sandy has been involved in many areas of cultural development in Ireland and abroad. He has worked at the local, national and international levels.