The Characters

I feel woman have to work harder, feel more, act more to get on in life.

It got me thinking of our history and the women we learned about in school.  I started to research and selected a list of my favourite strong women, while choosing those women from today's society who would be appropriate to represent them.

Hanna Sheehy Skeffington

Vicky Phelan - dressed by Madigan.
Hanna Sheehy- Skeffington was born in 1877. Se was one of Ireland's most passionate promoters of women's rights. She was very heavily involved during the suffragette movement and campaigned for the equal status of men and women in Ireland.“Until the women of Ireland are free, the men will not achieve emancipation"

Portrayed by Vicky Phelan, dressed by Madigan. Shot in the University of Limerick, where Vicky once studied.

Peig Sayers

Olwen Fouéré - dressed by Colin Burke and Lou Brennan
Peig Sayers was born in 1873. Peig was known as one of Ireland's greatest women storytellers of her time. She was also seen as a major contributor to the Ireland folklore archive.

Portrayed by actress Olwen Fouéré, dressed by Colin Burke and Lou Brennan.

Lady Gregory

Kate O'Toole - dressed by Natalie b Coleman
Lady Gregory was born in 1852. She was a playwright, dramatist and helped in the Irish Literary Revival. She was mostly known for her co-directorship of The Abbey theatre, Dublin.

Portrayed by actress Kate O’Toole, dressed by Natalie B Colemen. Shot in the Abbey Theatre in a chair that Lady Gregory used to sit in that the Abbey took out of archive storage for the shoot, against a mirror that was commissioned in 1904.

St Bridget

Aine O'Gorman - dressed by Peter O'Brien
St Brigid was born in 453. She is the patroness Saint of Ireland and the patroness of learning, healing and protection. She was the founder of the first monastery in Ireland. St Brigid's feast day is 1st February.

Portrayed by model and climate activist Aine O’Gorman, dressed by Peter O’Brien. Shot at the church in Belvedere College, where Harry Clarke’s stained-glass windows are, as Clarke was Aine’s great-grandfather.

Eileen Gray

Simone Kirby - dressed by Mariad Whisker
Eileen Gray was born in 1878, she was an Architect and designer. Eileen was heavily involved in the Modern Movement in Architecture. This involved new innovation in glass, steel and concrete, and a craft that embraced minimalism.

Portrayed by actress Simone Kirby, dressed by Mariad Whisker. Shot at the National Museum of Ireland Decorative Arts & History, Collins Barracks, where some of Eileen Gray’s original pieces are kept.

Anne Devlin

Felispeaks as Anne Devlin dressed by Helen Steele.
Anne Devlin was born in 1780. Anne Devlin was a rebel and passionate about freeing Ireland from English rule. In 1803 Anne, Robert Emmet and Michael Dwyer planned a rising.

Portrayed by poet Felispeaks, dressed by Helen Steele. As a sign of loyalty to Robert Emmet, Anne Devlin was buried with Irish Wolfhounds on her tomb, so this shot features two of these dogs.

Queen Maeve

Maria Doyle Kennedy - dressed by Lainey Keogh and Una Burke.
Queen Maeve was a Celtic Goddess. Maeve was a warrior Queen and is best known for her part in Táin Bó Cúailnge/ The cattle Raid of Cooley.

Portrayed by Maria Doyle Kennedy, dressed by Lainey Keogh with leathers by Úna Burke, a nod to The Táin. Blanket is Ellie Dunne for Cushendale

Countess Markievicz

Charlene McKenna - dressed by Simone Rocha.
Countess Markievicz was born in 1868. Countess was a revolutionary, an Irish politician and the first female MP to be elected into Westminster. A founding member of Fianna Éireann, Cumann na mBan and the Irish Citizen Army.

Portrayed by actress Charlene McKenna, dressed by Simone Rocha. Shot at Henrietta Street.

Mainie Jellett

Domino Whisker - dressed in clothing embroidered by Domino.
Mainie Jellett was born in 1897. Mainie was a modern artist, and a pioneer of modern art in Ireland. In 1928 she was among a selection of artists exhibited at the Amsterdam Olympic games.

Portrayed by Domino Whisker. Domino created an art piece for the shot with her embroidered shirt to accompany the Ceadogán rug and Mainie Jellett drawing.

Grace O'Malley

Imelda May - dressed by Una Burke
Grace O'Malley was born in 1530. Grace O'Malley, also known as The Pirate Queen was the clan leader of The O'Malleys. She sailed her ships to London to meet Queen Elizabeth, but refused to bow, stating that Grace was Queen of her own land and not a subject of the Queen of England.

Portrayed by Imelda May, dressed by Úna Burke and Sharon Hoey with a brooch by Kieran Cunningham.

Maud Gonne

Cathy Belton - dressed by Louise Kennedy
Maud Gonne was born in 1866. Maud was an Irish republican revolutionary, suffragette and an actress. Maud Gonne’s most notable contribution was the establishment in April 1900 of Inghinidhe na hÉireann (Daughters of Ireland). The organisation was solely for women and its agenda was political, social and feminist.

Portrayed by actress Cathy Belton, dressed by Louise Kennedy.


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