Y-Lead?: Young Female Leaders in Irish Society

Y-Lead?: Young Female Leaders in Irish Society is  a film series  organised by the Irish Feminist Network with support from the National Women’s Council of Ireland and made possible by the Women’s Fund at the Community Foundation of Ireland.Videos were filmed and edited by Sam Whelan-Curtin and directed by Madeline Hawke.

Over the next few weeks we will be posting all videos (there are 6) here on the blog to highlight the wonderful, inspiring work being done by young women across the country! One video even features two CF supporters (Laura Harmon & Audrey Ellard Walsh)! I am so proud to be able to call all of these young women my peers and look forward to seeing what we all achieve over the coming years.

First up: Áine Ní Choisdealbha has been skating with the Dublin Roller Girls, Ireland’s first roller derby league, since March 2010 and is a member of their travel team as well as having duties on the league’s PR and marketing committee. Neither athletic nor much of a sports fan before roller derby, Peppy’s involvement with her league and passion for derby illustrate the power of sport in helping young women engage with their communities and with each other, preparing them for leadership roles both on and off the track.

For more information on Dublin Roller Girls and to
get involved check out:


Second Up: Gillian McInerney heard about BeLonG To at age 19 and came out as gay soon after joining. Wanting to give back to the group which gave her the confidence to embrace her sexuality, she became a youth leader and got involved in the The Ladybirds a BeLonG To group for young Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender women in Dublin. She also
participated in a postcard campaign promoting LBT womens mental and sexual health. She is currently training to be a youth worker.

For more information on BeLonG To and to get involved check out:

Next up: Orla Tinsley is a 24 year old campaigner and journalist from Newbridge, Co.Kildare. She started campaigning for the rights of people with Cystic Fibrosis, an illness which she also has, in 2005. She has written numerous pieces on the topics of facilities and transplants in The Irish Times and her Memoir : Salty Baby is out September 2011.

For more information on Cystic Fibrosis in Ireland and to get involved check out:

To read some of Orla’s articles check out: http://www.irishtimes.com and search ‘Orla Tinsley’.

Number Four on the list: Anna Cosgrave is a 21 year old student and aspiring
entrepreneur who is currently attending Trinity College Dublin. She has been involved in a number of college initiatives including being the Speakers Convenor for the Trinity Entreprenerual society, Events Coordinator for the Trinity Arts Festival as well as being on the CSC Executive board. In addition to her college pursuits Anna has been active in other community events including interning with the Dublin Web Summit and organising a mini-monthly festival at the Bernard Shaw in Dublin.

For more information on social entrepreneurship and to get involved check out:

Fifth video: Vilma Barbosa is the current Miss Africa Ireland. Born in
Portugal, Vilma moved to Ireland when she was 14. For as long as she can remember, Vilma has always had an interest in being a model, musician and actress. In following her dream of becoming a model, Vilma entered the Miss Africa Ireland contest in 2010 wanting to challenge traditional perceptions of beauty. In winning the contest Vilma has been able to perform as an ambassador and role model for young African and migrant women in Ireland.

For more information on issues relating to African and Migrant women in Ireland and to get involved check out: http://www.akidwa.ie

Last but not least: Laura Harmon gained her interest in activism after attending the LGBT Noise March for Marriage in 2009. Following this, she ran for and was elected as Campaigns Officer and Auditor for UCC LGBT Society. In addition to becoming further involved in the LGBT society, Laura got elected as the first LGBT Rights Officer for UCC Students’ Union. Her interest in activism soon spread to other social justice issues and inspired her to restart UCC Amnesty International Society last January. Laura has been awarded numerous awards for her work in student activism.

For more information on student campaigns in your college and to get involved check out: www.usi.ie

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