Pay It Forward: The Irish Women Who Deserve Recognition (According To Their Fellow Irish Women)

Across the sea of International Women's Day-related posts on social media that you'll be double-tapping today, one phrase will crop up time and again: "empowered women empower women!" And it's true: a massive part of celebrating our day today is recognising the amazing work that our fellow women do and making sure they're getting the support and love they need. Irish women represent so much of what it means to be a strong woman in 2018; passionate, forward-thinking, and ridiculously multi-talented. That's why we spend so much time championing them!

We wanted to make a list of the Irish women that deserve more recognition for their achievements and that are making big waves in their industries. So who better to ask than the amazing women themselves? We contacted a number of Irish women making waves in their fields and asked them to recommend the women in their circles deserving of a shout-out. These are the fabulous ladies they came back with.

Una Mullally - Journalist, writer and co-host of the new podcast 'Don't Stop Repealin', launching 14th March and running until May's referendum on the 8th amendment.

Photo credit: Una Mullally (Twitter)

I'd love to big-up Ellie Kisyombe. Ellie is a direct provision activist who is on the frontlines of the unfair and unnecessary conditions asylum seekers in Ireland are forced to live in. Ellie's optimism, drive, and creativity is inspiring. She has managed to raise the issue of direct provision time and time again, and it's incumbent on us all to listen to her and her peers fighting for humane, fair, and decent rights for asylum seekers in Ireland. Ellie is also one of the women behind Our Table, an amazing initiative highlighting the issue of healthy, quality food and the space to cook it asylum seekers are so often denied in our country.

Triona McCarthy - Fashion and Beauty Journalist

Photo credit: Triona McCarthy

Can I put my BFF Mary Beltrante? She owns Seamakers in La Jolla, California- a store that carries a carefully curated collection of organic, plant-based beauty brands and a mix of sustainable fashion and home accessories, all made with love and integrity by small batch makers who are as passionate about making ‘clean’ products, as Mary is about sourcing and selling them as well as educating customers on the benefits of clean living. We grew up next door to each other & moved to Dublin together. Mary went to Trinity & I went to Beauty School. We have both lost a sister & our Dads & we both have 2 children & even though we live miles apart we are still the best of friends & Mary continues to educate me on all things green & sustainable & despairs of my use of chemicals! Empowered women empower women!

Emily Hourican - Author

Photo credit: Emily Hourican

I'm thinking of Ifrah Ahmed, for the work she does around FGM and gender rights, and her own ability to keep laughing despite everything she's been through.
Also, and always, Sister Stan, because day-in-day-out and regardless of where media attention is focused, she does vital work with Ireland's homeless. Even as the situation gets worse, she doesn't give in to despondency, just keeps trying to make the lives of others better.
Edna O'Brien for her unquenchable spirit and curiosity, for being beautiful and magnetic but believing that writing is the thing that matters most, and for producing her best book in her 80s.

Angela Scanlon - TV Presenter

Photo credit: Angela Scanlon

I'd go for Blanaid Hennessy - a working mum who makes it look easy. She is my Mumspiration, not least because of her outrageous kimono collection. She is one of the most generous spirits I know & a renaissance woman in the true sense of the word.
Also, have to mention Louise O’Neill, for being one of the most bad-ass women I know & for inspiring me to always believe in bigger. For embracing her sensitivity & making it her greatest strength & for being a pretty special pal.


Stefanie Preissner - Screenwriter, playwright and actor

Photo credit: Image Magazine


I want to give a shout-out to Sarah Keary. She's a make-up artist turned business owner who has just opened her own studio - Sarah Keary Make-Up Studio - in South Lotts Rd in Dublin.
In a world full of #muas I find it inspiring to see women following their passions and turning them into a sustainable living.  It flies in the face of anyone whoever said 'that's not a real job'.

Tara Stewart - DJ and Entertainment Presenter


Photo credit: Anouska Photography
Singer-songwriter, dancer, she does everything and she's so sound! Erica is gonna have a massive year this year. She's supported the likes of Mahalia and En Vogue, so things are only going to get bigger from here.
Owner of Nine Crows and Not Another Agency, Emma is always in my top inspiring women. She's been my BFF for years and I've had the pleasure of watching her build two fashion empires.
I'm sure Louise will be in a lot of lists, not just mine. Louise is so talented and sound (and stylish) and she pushes me to do better and be better all the time.
Caoimhe, Karen and Saoirse are what my boyfriend calls 'Ireland's National Treasures' and that is spot on. They work so incredibly hard and their debut album is honestly one of my favourite albums EVER (so intense but true).
Tracy has been a massive part of making me the radio presenter I am today; she pushes me and encourages me to always be better and work harder. I honestly can't believe I get to work with her almost every day but she is so inspiring to me personally and professionally.
She is a modern voice for all of us women across the country politically and so inspiring with her confidence and work ethic. She is also my fashion spirit animal.

Alison Curtis - Radio Presenter

Photo credit: Today FM
I would like to big up Jenny Huston who after years and years of working as a radio presenter a few years ago set up her own jewellery company Edge Only and she is thriving - she's doing exciting and interesting things and making sure that everything she produces is 100% Irish!

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