#IWD2017: Wise words of Women in Ireland

To celebrate International Women’s Day we’ve gone into the Irish Country Magazine archives and selected some of the amazing women that were part of the Women in Ireland series in 2016

  • Eilish O’Carroll, actress, writer & comedian: You don’t realise what your mother is imparting to you until she’s gone, but she gave us some gems, she was phenomenal. We were fed on cornflakes and socialism. One thing she passed on to us was never be afraid to stand up for yourself and never stand by when you see an injustice being done. We all inherited that, we all challenge injustice.

  • Elaine Crowley, broadcaster & producer: Midday is a largely female show that I present and produce so I get emails accusing me of being a feminazi and a man-hater, but nothing could be further from the truth. I consider myself strong, opinionated, educated and to a certain degree successful, and I think some people think that if you’re that sort of woman then you have to hate men and squash everybody else and that is so untrue.

  • Rosemary Smith, former rally driver: Women these days are heading up companies. Years ago, if I had put my name down for a particular job I got “but you’re a woman”. If women are in a position of power now, they haven’t gotten there out of the blue, they’ve earned it, so I can’t see why they shouldn’t be respected. And if women are perceived as being ‘tough’, more power to them. I wish I had been tougher when I was younger.

  • Andrea Horan, co-founder of The HunReal Issues & Tropical Popical owner: I am an Irish women in 2016 and I feel angry that we have to fight and march and convince people to allow us to make decisions about ourselves. We need to support each other and we need to respect people’s decisions.

  • Moira Mahon, 92, mother and grandmother: I was involved in a support group for women. On a Monday morning they’d come to my house, my God I saw some awful things. I saw a woman come in to my house holding her hair in her hands, she had had her hair in rollers and he pulled the hair right out of her head. But she went back to him; women didn’t have much choice. If you went back to your parents they’d say you made your bed you have to sleep in it. You were a second class citizen.

  • Maria Walsh, broadcaster & journalist: It’s amazing how it might be the simplest thing or the moat generic term that someone uses to insult you, but eventually it eats away at you. We’re all in roles, particularly as women, where we’re trying to empower on another, not diminish or tear each other down, so I think we all just need to take a little bit more care before we hit ‘enter’ to we’re sure we’re ready to take accountability for how we act [online].

  • Sinead Burke, equal rights activist & blogger: The referendum for marriage equality last year was huge in terms of rights for the LGBT community, but we still have some way to go. Not everybody feels equal and we need to ask them how we can shape society to make them feel comfortable to be themselves.

  • Cassie Stokes, TV presenter: I’m an Irish woman in 2016 and I feel proud, empowered and like I’m in a great position to help with that change for the gay community. I’m just a small part of it, all I do is go to work and talk about my story in interviews. I’m proud of all the amazing Irish women who are talking about the issues that are affecting us right now, it’s brilliant.

  • Elle Gordon, journalist: I might walk a bit differently but that doesn’t mean I don’t notice when someone is staring at me. I have as much of a right to be here as anyone. First and foremost, I am a young woman, and I have dreams for my life and my career; it just so happens that I limp. Hopefully what features like this will do is make people see the person before the disability, and open their eyes to embracing all the different forms that humans come in.

  • Louise McSharry, journalist, broadcaster & DJ: I think when you’re a woman and you choose to have an opinion about anything ['know it all'] gets thrown at you. There’s lots of things I don’t know anything about but I’m the kind of person who can’t not contribute if something’s being talked about that I have an opinion, of course I’m going to get involved.

  • Mary McDonnell, artist: Women have more freedom now to do what they want. I was a Home Economics teacher and I loved it but I had to give it up because of the marriage ban. I do remember being very conscious of the attitude towards women when I was growing up. I remember one woman who had ten children and her husband was beating her up and she went to the priest and he said just go home and do your duty. There was no way out for women, it was very sad.

To celebrate International Women’s Day we’ve gone into the Irish Country Magazine archives and selected some of the amazing women & their powerful quotes that were part of the Women in Ireland series in 2016.

Scroll through the gallery to read excerpts taken from Women in Ireland, Irish Country Magazine, 2016.

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