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Council to mark International Women’s Day with conference on key influential women in history

4th March 2019

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A half day conference organised by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council in partnership with Rural Community Network and Northern Ireland Rural Women’s Network which explores key influential women in history will take place in Fermanagh House on Friday 8 March 2019 to coincide with International Women’s Day.

The event will highlight what everyday life was like for ordinary women during the decade from 1912 – 1922 and the valuable contribution they made to society. The event will feature contributions from guest speakers Dr Alexandra Tierney, a PhD graduate and research fellow at Trinity College, Dublin who specialises in Women and Northern Ireland and the Free State and Maureen Hetherington, who has spent her career in community relations, from The Junction, a Community Resource and Peace Building Initiative based in Derry/Londonderry.

Speaking about the conference, Dr Tierney said,

“This International Women’s Day event looks at the dramatic changes women experienced in the ten year period from 1912-1922. Throughout this period, women advocated for the right to vote, maintained the home front during the Great War, carved a new role for themselves in Irish politics, and took an active role in the new states after partition. This event will focus on the familiar names of Countess Markievicz, Lady Londonderry, and others, as well as focusing on how the ‘average’ woman experienced the critical changes in this remarkable decade”.

The event will also feature historical re-enactments of influential women during the period and a poetry reading. The conference will be compered by Louise Coyle, Northern Ireland Rural Women’s Network and will include a question and answer session. There will be two exhibitions on display, one curated by Ashley Forbes, featuring women’s roles during the period and one on loan from the Public Records Office Northern Ireland ‘Suffrage, Con and Eva’ exhibitions.

Delegates at the conference will also be able to avail of a fringe event at Enniskillen Castle from 1.00 pm to view the exhibition: Suffragettes, Scholars, Sisters and Spies, the women of Fermanagh 100 years ago. The exhibition highlights Fermanagh’s forgotten and famous daughters from the early 20th century.

To register for the conference please contact Pauline Clarke, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council by email at or by telephone on 0300 303 1777. Transport may be available from Omagh to Fermanagh for the event upon request. Lunch will be provided.

This project has received financial support from Fermanagh and Omagh District Council’s good relations programme assisted by The Executive Office.