Do you know about Mairead Corigan and Betty Williams who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1977 for leading peace marches where Catholics and Protestants together protested against the violence that was splitting the country? Or Grace O’Malley, a famous 16th Century pirate, seafarer, trade, and chieftain? What about Maria Edgeworth, 18/19th century Irish Writer perhaps a precursor to Virginia Woolf’s notion that women need a room of their own; Edgeworth said: “Some people talk of morality, and some of religion, but give me a little snug property.”
These and many other fascinating women leaders are chronicled on this Famous Irish Women website. The graphics are quite charming, cozy Irish country home style. But the stories tell of grit and glory, wisdom and courage. Take a look and give a tip the hat.
More likely, you have heard and seen Mary Robinson, Ireland’s seventh president and the first woman to serve in that capacity. “I was elected by the women of Ireland, who instead of rocking the cradle, rocked the system,” she said. Elected in 1990, she served until 1977 when she became the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, a post she held from 1997 to 2002. Continuing to rock the systen through her work to advance peace, human rights, and women’s leadership in all arenas, Robinson, a lawyer, is a founding member and currently the Chair of the Council of Women World Leaders.