Sinn Féin Councillor Edel Corrigan has welcomed the decision of Louth County Council to pass her motion calling on local authorities to mark International Women’s Day each year. This is Councillor Corrigan’s third attempt in getting this motion passed and says she “is pleased to have a commitment from Louth County Council to run events.”
The motion itself said:
‘That Louth County Council mark international women’s day (March 8th) each year. International Women’s Day celebrates the social, political and economic achievements of women while focusing attention on areas requiring further action.
The theme of International Women’s Day in 2014 is “Inspiring Change”, however, a number of groups select their own International Women’s Day theme, specific to their local context, and I propose that in the Louth Local authorities select a theme relevant to Local Community on an annual basis.’
Louth Sinn Fein will be hosting and co-ordinating with other local groups in marking international Women’s Day. On Friday 7th of March Sinn Féin Vice-President Mary-Lou McDonald will be visiting Drogheda and Dundalk to meet with a number of community groups and organisations to discuss the role of women in ‘Inspiring Change’ in their communities.
Corrigan said “we are very pleased to announce that Mary-Lou will be taking part in a panel discussion in DKIT on Friday the 7th March between 12 – 1pm and all interested members of the public are invited to attend.
“There will be a reception following this at the Sinn Féin office in Crowe Street, Dundalk with Mary-Lou, from 4.15pm – 5.30pm and again, all members of the public, community groups and local businesses are invited to attend, to help mark International Women’s Day.”
Edel was quick to point out that “while this is an event to mark International Women’s Day, we at Sinn Féin encourage men to attend these events also, which will hopefully show them ways in which they too can help support women and celebrate their achievements.”
Edel Corrigan has always been at the forefront of women’s issues and continued, “It is very fitting that both Sinn Féin Party President Gerry Adams TD and Vice President Mary-Lou McDonald will be in Louth to mark the celebrations as both are a prime example of how we can ‘Inspire Change’.
“Sinn Féin core beliefs are based on equality for all, modern day republicanism and supporting women goes naturally hand in hand. Both Mary-Lou and Gerry are a great inspiration to people, and follow through on their commitment of empowering women in their roles. Both Gerry and Mary-Lou have been a great support to me and all females in the party.
“I had spoken to Mary-Lou a number of months ago about my plans to hold a series of events this year to help encourage and support women in taking on the role of social leadership in their areas of interest, she immediately committed herself to help and support this in any way that she could. So I am delighted that she will be joining us on March 7th to celebrate International Women’s Day, here in Dundalk.”
Sinn Féin currently have the greatest female representation on Louth local authorities councils; Cllr Jennifer Green is current vice chair of Dundalk town council, Cllr Imelda Munster on Drogheda Borough council and both Cllr Edel Corrigan and Cllr Imelda Munster being the only two female representatives elected onto Louth Council Council in 2009. All three will be running in May’s Local Government Elections.
Cllr Corrigan has been working hard on women’s issues over the past number of years and has held a number of events to mark International Women’s Day in the past. She has worked as a mentor to a number of young woman on a one to one basis, to support them to achieve their goals of setting up community projects, social enterprise, facilitated workshops on how both men and women can support women in their chosen roles, and currently is a member of a small group established by a committee of the National Women’s Council of Ireland, to help encourage younger women to become involved in politics.
“I have always had a great support network of strong women in every aspect of my life and always try to help pass on that support to women in our community through my work as an elected representative.”
Councillor Edel Corrigan has kindly provided the reply she received from Louth County Council after her motion was passed which is reproduced below setting out events they are hosting in Dundalk and Ardee Libraries.
‘Louth County Council do intend to mark International Women’s Day as set out below. We will also explore the option to mark the day through the Age Friendly Initiative.
International Women’s Day – March 8th 2014 – Celebrating the Social, Political and Economic achievements of women.
Dundalk Branch Library
Feb 27th ‘The EU and You’ – Lifestyle, Equal Opportunities, Education and Women in the EU. – Keynote Speaker –with a panel of speakers to be confirmed
March 8th ‘Women Celebrating Diversity ( event to be confirmed in co-operation with the Polish community and / or African community in Dundalk)
March 11th ‘Women in Business in County Louth’ – Recognising the Achievement of Women in County Louth – a lively panel discussion with women from a broad range of business backgrounds (speakers to be confirmed)
We may also look at a daytime event for Secondary Schools on local women as role Models
Ardee Branch Library
March 8th ‘Women & Health’ – A talk with expert advice on all aspect of women’s health.
All branches will also have relevant book displays highlighting different themes to coincide with the day including women’s authors, influential women over the last century, women’s health issues etc.’