#55 | 100 Years on: Women Creating Change

This week on Sparking Change, Dil is joined by an extremely impressive group of women: Grace O’Sullivan, Melanie Lynch, Amy de Bhrún, Donna Gilligan and Eileen O’Sullivan. As it is a hundred years since women gained the right to vote in Ireland, Dil’s guests are at the Waterford Walls Festival to discuss stories of creative women a hundred years ago, who fought for change through creative thinking.

Grace O’Sullivan is an elected member of Seanad Éireann. As well as this, she is a mother of three, an ecologist, an environmental education specialist, a former Greenpeace activist, a former Irish surf champion and green entrepreneur.

Melanie Lynch is an award-winning creative and social entrepreneur with a passion for justice, equality and storytelling. She is founder of Herstory, whose mission is to tell the multi-faceted, lost, forgotten and untold life stories of Irish women past and present; to capture their individual characters, achievements, and the patriarchal dogma they challenged.

Amy De Bhrún is an actress and writer. She moved to London at the age of 19 to pursue her actor training at The Bridge Drama School. As well as her most recent show “Till Death We Part”, she has written 5 other one-woman shows—and performed them throughout Dublin, London, LA and New York.

Donna Gilligan is an Irish museum archaeologist & material culture historian, as well as historian of the Irish suffragette movement. She is the Curator of Print, Protest & the Polls: The Irish women’s suffrage campaign & the power of print media.

Eileen O’Sullivan is an artist. An NCAD graduate, she also studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Belgium. Her work is concerned with the personal: her subjects include family, the familiar and everyday objects.

Together, the ladies discuss the lack of promotion for the hundred-year anniversary of women gaining the right to vote, the importance of documenting the great achievements by women past and present, Melanie discusses some of the projects that Herstory has been conducting and Amy discusses the evolution of the acting industry in its treatment of women.