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School students from 10 counties join politicians to celebrate centenary of women’s vote

  • Students from 9 counties in running to win trip to United Nations in New York
  • Students from Co. Cork to perform at conference

Students from schools in ten counties will join a large gathering of politicians at an event in the Convention Centre in Dublin this Friday afternoon, 14 December, to mark the centenary of women exercising their right to vote.

The students from schools in Cavan, Clare, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Kildare, Laois, Limerick and Waterford are finalists in a video competition on the theme of ‘Politics Needs Women’. The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD, and the Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration, David Stanton TD, wrote to every secondary school in the country inviting them to enter a 90 second video on the theme.

The entries of sixteen schools have been shortlisted. The winning team, to be announced at the event, will travel to New York in March 2019 to attend the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women which in 2019 is chaired by Ireland.

In addition to the competition entrants, pupils from Pobalscoil na Tríonóide in Youghal will perform speeches delivered in the Houses of Parliament at the time of the debate on the right of women to vote.

The conference has an exciting programme of theatre, video, presentation and conversation, moderated by journalist and columnist Alison O’Connor. It will feature current female Ministers, three former female Tánaistí, former President Mary McAleese, Mairead McGuinness MEP, Bríd Smith TD, Maria Bailey TD and Senator Alice Mary Higgins. It will look at what women have achieved over the past 100 years and what needs to be done to encourage more women into politics as we look to the future.

The conference will take place at the Convention Centre Dublin from 1.30pm on Friday. Entrance is free and there are still some places available. Members of the public wishing to attend can register at Further information is available at

Note to Editors:

The schools shortlisted for the competition are:

Breifne College - 12 Cootehill Rd, Curragho, Cavan
Mary Immaculate Secondary School – Rathbaun, Lisdoonvarna, Clare
The Royal And Prior Comprehensive School - Raphoe Demesne, Donegal
Loreto - Loreto Provincialate, Loreto House, Beaufort, Dublin
Donabate Community College - Ballisk Common, Donabate, Dublin
St. Mary's Secondary School - Old Finglas Road, Glasnevin, Dublin
Le Chéile Secondary School - 15 Tyrrelstown Way, Hollystown, Dublin
St. Raphaela's Secondary School – Stillorgan, Leopardstown, Dublin
Coláiste Cois Life - Castle Rd, Glebe, Lucan, Dublin
Loreto Secondary School, Balbriggan - Brick Lane, Tankardstown, Dublin
Seamount College - Dungory West, Kinvara, Galway
Scoil Mhuire Community School - Prosperous Rd, Crockaun Commons, Clane, Kildare
Naas Community College - Craddockstown Rd, Cradockstown North, Naas, Kildare
Scoil Chríost Rí - Borris Rd, Ballyroan, Portlaoise, Laois
Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh - Sir Harry's Mall , Limerick
St. Declan's Community College - Kilmacthomas, Waterford

Full conference programme:

13.30 Welcome and Opening
Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan TD

followed by

Views from 1918
Pobalscoil na Tríonóide, Youghal, Co. Cork

Women and Voting: a Historical Perspective
Professor Yvonne Galligan, School of History, Philosophy & Politics, Queen’s University Belfast

Heading the State
A conversation with Professor Mary McAleese

From Local to National: Reflections from Council and the Oireachtas
Panel discussion with Cllr Sinead Guckian, Cllr Mary Hanna Hourigan, Cllr Gobnait Moynihan, Bríd Smith TD, Maria Bailey TD, Kathleen Funchion TD and Senator Alice-Mary Higgins

Sitting at Cabinet: On Video - Current Female Cabinet Ministers
Minister Regina Doherty TD, Minister Heather Humphreys TD, Minister Josepha Madigan TD, Minister Katherine Zappone TD, Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD

Experiences of Tánaistí
Panel discussion with Joan Burton TD, Mary Coughlan, Frances Fitzgerald TD

Women’s Caucus and Vótáil 100: Reflections on the year of celebration
Catherine Martin TD, Senator Ivana Bacik

Representing Ireland in Europe
Mairead McGuinness MEP, First Vice-President of the European Parliament

Beginnings: The Woman Who Started It All
Jeananne Crowley and Mary Kenny perform some of Constance Markiewicz’s prison letters

Promoting Women’s Interests Internationally
A message from H.E. Geraldine Byrne Nason, Permanent Representative to the United Nations, New York

Announcement of Schools Video Competition Winner
David Stanton TD, Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration at the Department of Justice and Equality

17:00 Close