Wednesday 8th March 2017

Just some of Ireland's inspirational woman...

Just some of Ireland's inspirational woman...

All day on WLR, because it's International Women's Day, we are celebrating just some of the brilliant Waterford woman who continue to inspire and influence us across their chosen professions, but looking further afield too, transition year work experience student Beibhinn Mercer takes a look at some of Ireland's most influential women of the 21st Century.

In no particular order...

1. Ruth Negga: Born 7 January 1982 is an Ethiopian-Irish actress raised in Limerick, Ireland.

Negga made her screen debut in the Irish film Capital Letters (2004), playing the lead role of Taiwo. She's also well known for her role in RTE's Love/Hate but it was in 2016 that Negga became world famous; she starred in Loving, for which she received both Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations. 

2. Saoirse Ronan: Born 12 April 1994. is an Irish and American actress. She is a two-time Academy Award nominee receiving a best supporting actress nomination for Atonement (2007), and a Best actress nomination for Brooklyn 2015). She also received three BAFTA awards.

3. Katie Taylor: born 2 July 1986 in Co. Wicklow. Katie started boxing at the age of 11 since then she has rose to stardom representing Ireland in the Olympic Games, winning a gold medal in London 2012. On the 26th of November, 2016 she got her professional debut in Wembley Arena in London. 

4. Annalise Murphy: born 1 February 1990, she grew up in Rathfarnham, Dublin. Murphy is an Irish sailor who won a silver medal in the 2016 summer Olympics. She won her first major medal at an international event when she won gold at 2013 European sailing championships. 

5. Mary Robinson: born May 21st 1944. She was born in Ballina County Mayo. She was the first female president of Ireland from 1990 to 1997, after which she became the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, from 1997 to 2002. Robinson has also contributed her wisdom, independent leadership and integrity to 'The Elders', a group lead by Nelson Mandela to tackle some of the world's toughest problems. Mandela announced the formation of this new group, The Elders, in a speech he delivered on the occasion of his 89th birthday.

6. Katherine Zappone: born 25th November 1953 in Seattle Washington. Zappone is an Irish politician who has served as Minister for Children and Youth Affairs since May 2016. She has been a Teachta Dála since 2016.

7. Ciara Donlon: born in 1977. She is a former marketing executive and lingerie boutique owner. She founded Theya Healthcare in 2014, after she identified an issue facing some of her customers. Donlon realised many of her customers were breast cancer survivors who were looking for post surgery lingerie, and so she developed an innovative range of bras and briefs that are ideal for women who have undergone any type of breast, thoracic, pelvic or abdominal surgery. Donlon has won numerous awards for her work.

8. Julie Sinnamon is Chief Executive of Enterprise Ireland. She pointed out that in 2011 just seven female entrepreneurs out of a total of 100 were supported by the agency. Encouraging more women to become entrepreneurs "is mission critical for Enterprise Ireland and for me personally as a woman" she said. 

9. Joanne O'Riordan is one of only seven people in the world with a rare condition called Total Amelia, which means she was born without limbs. But the condition does not hold her back. Her mantra is that "it's not the disability it's the ability". In 2015 she was awarded with the Junior Chamber International Outstanding Young Person of the Year award. 

10. Dee Forbes: Dee Forbes was appointment to the top job of Director General of RTÉ last summer. Her previous role involved managing 27 TV brands in 18 markets, reaching more that 27 million house holds. She believes that RTÉ 5 years from now will be very different. It's safe to say the only thing with a permanent place on the RTÉ schedule is change.

11. Ciara Clancy is a 26 year old physiotherapist and founder of Beats Medical, an app which helps people with Parkinson's Disease, for which Ciara was awarded Ireland's best young entrepreneur. The first ever female winner of the award, Ciara explained that Beats Medical emits a beat or soundwave from your smartphone that helps to control movement and speech. She will now receive a €45,000 investment to help develop her company further.

List compiled on International Women's, 8th March 2017, by Beibhinn Mercer, a TY student at Ursuline Waterford who joined WLR FM on work exerience this week.