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Leaders of Together for Yes make Time 100 most influential people list

by Leonie Corcoran
17th Apr 2019

together for yes

Grainne Griffin, Ailbhe Smyth and Orla O’Connor have been named alongside Michelle Obama, Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift 

‘Together For Yes’ campaigners Grainne Griffin, Orla O’Connor and Ailbhe Smyth have made TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People.

The women are listed alongside Michelle Obama, Lady Gaga, Donald Trump, Taylor Swift, Spike Lee and New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Arden on the annual list. The annual list includes TIME’s 100 most influential pioneers, leaders, titans, artists and icons of 2019.

The three women are listed in the “icons” section.


In her piece about the Together for Yes campaigners, published on Time.com, Irish actor Ruth Negga describes their determination as “breathtaking”.

“Together for Yes, the campaign to repeal the eighth amendment to the Irish constitution, put the Mná na hÉireann (women of Ireland) front, centre and in control of their own bodies and rights like never before.

It was breathtaking to witness the determination, intelligence and sheer hard work of its leaders Grainne Griffin, Ailbhe Smyth and Orla O’Connor, who mobilized people of all different backgrounds in the lead-up to the vote. They put the experiences of women and the needs of their country first.

“Their incredible tenacity and integrity and courageousness will be an inspiration for generations to come,” she wrote.



In response to the news, Ailbhe tweeted, “Thrilled and more than a little overcome. This is for all who fought over decades – thank you – and for those fighting for our basic freedom globally.”


Ailbhe is a long time campaigner and former head of Women’s Studies at UCD. She was a member of the Strategic Executive of the referendum campaign for marriage equality in 2015. In 2014 Ailbhe co-founded and is now Convenor of the Coalition to Repeal the Eighth Amendment, a broad cross-sectoral platform of over 100 organisations and groups.

Orla tweeted, “Being included on the list, alongside and is such an honour, and it belongs to everyone in , particularly to the women and couples who shared their stories to bring about change in Ireland.”


Grainne is a founding member and Board member of the Abortion Rights Campaign (ARC), a grassroots, volunteer-led, nationwide movement for access to abortion care in Ireland, established in 2013.

Orla director of the National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI), the leading national women’s membership organisation with over 180 member groups. She has worked in senior management in non-governmental organisations and led numerous campaigns on a wide range of key issues for women, including domestic and sexual violence, social welfare and pension reform, and for the introduction of quality and affordable childcare.

The full list from the “icons” section is: Michelle Obama, Taylor Swift, Spike Lee, Lady Gaga, David Hockney, Pierpaolo Piccioli, Desmond Meade, Maria Ressa, Loujain al-Hathloul, Caster Semenya, Christine Blasey Ford, Mirian G and Radhya Almutawakel.

The full list of winners can be seen on time.com.


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