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St. Brigid's Day 2018

Lá Fhéile Bríde – Ag Ceiliúradh Cruthaitheachta na mBan
St. Brigid’s Day – Celebrating the Creativity of Women

Embassy London will be marking Lá Fhéile Bríde 2018 by hosting an event on February 1st to celebrate the creativity of women. The Embassy will host twelve different performances, talks and panel discussions over the afternoon and evening of 1st February in a variety of spaces throughout this historic building.

The event will celebrate the enormous contribution and talent of women in such diverse fields as music, film, comedy, architecture, poetry, literature, fashion, art, theatre, craft, business and entrepreneurship, science and technology.

We are delighted to welcome renowned figures including the award-winning TV actor, writer and producer Sharon Horgan, international fashion designer Orla Kiely, Enterprise Ireland CEO Julie Sinnamon, star of standup and TV comedy Roisin Conaty, musician and recording artist Keeva and the uniquely-talented Camille O'Sullivan. Paintings by acclaimed artist Pauline Bewick will be on display in the Embassy. 

St Brigid’s Feast Day was originally a pagan festival called Imbolc, marking the beginning of spring. After a long dark winter, February 1st, Lá Fhéile Bríde, celebrates the arrival of longer, warmer days and the early signs of spring. In the pagan tradition, this day also celebrates Brigid's divine femininity.

A number of tickets are available on Eventbrite: 

We are delighted to announce the below participants in St Brigid’s Day 2018:


Julie Sinnamon 

Julie Sinnamon

Enterprise Ireland


Julie Sinnamon is CEO of Enterprise Ireland, a government agency responsible for the growth of Irish-owned businesses in global markets. Prior to her appointment to CEO in November 2013, Julie held a number of senior public sector positions, spanning a 30 year career in Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland. Julie has considerable experience in a variety of industry sectors, most notably the food sector, where she has worked directly with some of Ireland's best-known food brands, from their originating idea, right through to globally trading multi-national food businesses.

Julie is a strong proponent of initiatives that drive diversity and the building of balanced teams in the workplace.  She is a champion for women engaging at all levels within both the public and private sector, not as an end in itself, but because of clear evidence of the positive impact of diversity on corporate performance. Julie is a business graduate of the University of Ulster, has a Masters in International Business (Fordham and IMI) and is a graduate of the Stanford Executive Programme, USA. She is originally from Crossgar, Co. Down and is married with two adult children.


  Fiona Mitchell

  Fiona Mitchell

RTÉ London Correspondent


Fiona has been RTÉ’s London correspondent since 2015. A native of Tullamore and a graduate of NUI Galway, RTÉ in 2000 and worked as a reporter before being appointed a news editor in 2006 and later moving on to the foreign desk.

In her 14 years of service she has worked with the ‘Morning Ireland’ programme and on the Foreign Desk. In 2006 she was appointed News Editor. Some of the stories she has worked on in recent years have included the resignation of Pope Benedict, the State visit of Michael D. Higgins to the UK and the Scottish independence referendum.

Fiona is responsible for reporting across all RTÉ News television, radio and web based platforms on political, social and economic affairs in London and the wider Great Britain.


 Camille O'Sullivan 


 Camille O’Sullivan



Born in London of a French mother and Irish father, Camille moved to Cork, Ireland when she was a child. Prior to running away with the ‘circus’ ‘The Famous Spiegeltent’ and La Clique touring the world, she took a circuitous route to becoming a performer. She studied Fine Art Painting for a year and then went to UCD and graduated as an Architect, winning the prestigious Architectural Association of Ireland Award in 2000. She lectured in University and exhibited in the Royal Hibernian Academy as a painter.

As an actress she has appeared in the films Over the Edge, November Afternoon (from Once Director John Carney). After being spotted by Ewan Bremner of Trainspotting fame in La Clique, Camille appeared in the Oscar-nominated Mrs. Henderson Presents alongside Judi Dench, Bob Hoskins and Will Young, directed by Stephen Frears. Theatrical productions include of One Night Stand, Tonight Lola Blau and Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd at the gate theatre, Dublin. She has been a special guest panelist several times on John Kelly’s arts programme The View (RTÉ One).

With 5-star sell out seasons in UK, New York, Australia tour including the Sydney Opera House, Edinburgh and two recent sell-out shows at London’s legendary Roundhouse Theatre and QEH Southbank this year, O'Sullivan recently took The Dark Angel on a six week UK tour, Latitude & Glastonbury Festivals. She will be supporting Jools Holland on his autumn tour 09 commencing in the Royal Albert Hall., her own 6 week run in the West End London at the Apollo Theatre and returning to Sydney Opera House to perform in Hal Wilners Rogue Galleries.


Pauline McLynn

Pauline McLynn



Pauline is currently on stage at the Park Theatre, London, in Daisy Pulls It Off.

Pauline’s television credits include her well known award-winning role as Mrs Doyle in Father Ted (Hatrick/ Channel 4). She has also appeared in Eastenders (BBC), Father Figure (BBC), Threesome (Comedy Central), Shameless (Channel 4), The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff (BBC) Pramface (BBC). She appeared in all 3 seasons of Jam and Jerusalem (BBC), Bremner, Bird and Fortune (Channel 4, six series), High Hopes (BBC), French and Saunders (BBC), TV To Go (BBC), The Dark Ages (ITV), It Happened Last Year, Dalziel and Pascoe, Family, Aristocrats and Ballykissangel all for BBC.

Pauline has also appeared in numerous films such as Jim Sheridan’s Secret Scripture, Stephen Bradley’s Noble and Angela’s Ashes directed by Alan Parker. She also has multiple theatre credits and has published 8 best-selling novels. 



 Marina Carr

  Marina Carr



Marina is a playwright whose work has been produced by The Abbey Theatre, The Gate, Druid, The Royal Court, Wyndhams Theatre, The RSC, The Tricycle, The MacCarter Theatre, San Diego Rep, Milwaukee Rep. She is translated into many languages and produced around the world.

Marina also wrote a new, contemporary translation of Rigoletto for Opera Theatre Company, which toured Ireland in 2015, and wrote an original oratorio as part of a commission for Wicklow County Council that brought together choirs from throughout County Wicklow with solo singers and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra in November 2016. She is a member of Aosdana, an affiliation limited to 250 living artists who have produced a distinguished body of work.

She has taught at Trinity College Dublin, at Villanova University and at Princeton. Currently she lectures in the English department at Dublin City University. She is published by The Gallery Press, Nick Hern Books and Faber & Faber.   


 Rachel O'Riordan

  Rachel O’Riordan

 Theatre Director


Rachel is the Artistic Director of Sherman Theatre, for whom she has directed The Cherry Orchard, Killology (& Royal Court Theatre); The Weir (& Tobacco Factory Theatres); Bird (& Royal Exchange Theatre); The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, A Doll’s House, Iphigenia in Splott (National Theatre & UK/International tour), Romeo & Juliet and Arabian Nights.  Her work has been performed internationally including the Schaubühne new work festival in Berlin and Brits off Broadway in New York. Recently, she worked for the British Council in Kiev on an artist development project. 

Rachel won the CATS Award for Best Director for The Seafarer and Best Director at the First Irish Theatre Festival Awards for Absolution. Iphigenia in Splott won both the UK Theatre Awards Best New Play and the James Tait Black Prize for Drama. It was the first production from Wales to transfer to the National Theatre. She holds a PhD from the University of Ulster.




Jen Coppinger


Jen Coppinger


Jen Coppinger joined as Head of Producing (New Work Development) at the Abbey Theatre in January 2018. Previously she worked as Producer for HotForTheatre, TheEmergencyRoom and United Fall as well as with independent artists such as Kevin Barry, Paul Curley, Kellie Hughes, Jody O’Neill, Shane O’Reilly, Raymond Scannell and Dylan Tighe. She has toured work extensively in Ireland and internationally.

She was Project Manager for the Laureate for Irish Fiction (Anne Enright 2015-2018) for the Arts Council of Ireland and was Manager of Rough Magic SEEDS. She is Chairperson of Youth Theatre Ireland and is a member of the board of Theatre Forum. Jen is an Artist Research Fellow at Queen Mary University of London.


 Martina Evans

 Martina Evans



Martina Evans grew up in County Cork and moved to London in 1988. A prize-winning poet and novelist, she is the author of eleven books of prose and poetry including The Windows of Graceland: New and Selected Poems Carcanet 2016. Now We Can Talk Openly About Men will be published by Carcanet in 2018.  Martina is a Royal Literary Fund Advisory Fellow as well as a freelance teacher and reviewer.


 Tara Bergin

Tara Bergin



Tara Bergin was born and grew up in Dublin. Her second collection, The Tragic Death of Eleanor Marx (Carcanet), was named as one of the best poetry books of 2017 by The Times and was shortlisted for both the T.S. Eliot and the Forward Prize. Tara currently lives in the North of England and lectures part-time at Newcastle University.


 Vona Groarke

Vona Groarke


Vona Groarke has published seven collections of poetry with Gallery Press, most recently X (2014) and Selected Poems, awarded the Pigott Prize for the best Irish book of poetry in 2016. Her book-length essay on art-frames, Four Sides Full, was also published in 2016 and was Book of the Week on RTE Radio 1. Her poems have recently appeared in The New Yorker, Ploughshares and Threepenny Review. Former editor of Poetry Ireland Review, she is a Senior Lecturer in poetry at the University of Manchester



 Roisin Conaty

Actor, comedian & writer


Roisin Conaty is an actor, comedian and writer from London. She is best known for GameFace (2017) which she created and stars in, Ricky Gervais’ film David Brent: Life on the Road (2016) and Man Down (since 2013). A celebrated stand-up, Roisin won the Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award 2010 for Best Newcomer. She is one of the most prominent comic faces on television, appearing regularly on entertainment shows such as Live at the Apollo, Have I Got News For You, 8 out of 10 Cats does Countdown and Would I Lie To You.



Sharon Horgan

Sharon Horgan

Actor, writer, produce & director


Sharon Horgan is a BAFTA winning Irish actor, writer, producer and director who is perhaps best known for her multiple award-winning sitcom CATASTROPHE, which she co-writes and stars in with Rob Delaney, airing on Amazon Prime and Channel 4. The series won a BAFTA TV Award for Best Writing in a Comedy Series. She gained a further nomination for Best Actress in a Comedy for Catastrophe alongside a Primetime Emmy Award Nomination for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series. Sharon was nominated for two BAFTA Awards and won two British Comedy Awards for her BBC show PULLING which she co-wrote and starred in.  As a director, Sharon won critical acclaim with her debut short-film THE WEEK BEFORE CHRISTMAS, which also went on to win the Outstanding Achievement Award at the International 3D Awards.
Sharon co-founded the independent production company Merman with producer Clelia Mountford. Merman recently shot the first series of MOTHERLAND which was co-written by Sharon and aired on BBC Two to great critical acclaim.  Merman also co-produced CATASTROPHE and DIVORCE, a comedy created, written and produced by Sharon and starring Sarah Jessica Parker, the second series of which will air on HBO starting in January 2018.
This year, Sharon will star alongside Rachel McAdams, Jason Bateman and Kyle Chandler in the new Warner Brothers feature film GAME NIGHT - out on 23rd February in the US and 4th May in the UK.



  Angela Bourke

  Angela Bourke

 Author & Academic


Angela Bourke is Professor Emerita of Irish-Language Studies in the UCD School of Irish, Celtic Studies and Folklore. Professor Bourke has taught at UCD for over 30 years. She has also been a Visiting Professor at Harvard University, the University of Minnesota, the University of Notre Dame, and has also taught at Boston College. International fellowships include the Parnell Fellowship at Magdalene College, Cambridge, and a Japan Foundation Fellowship at Waseda University in Tokyo.

Professor Bourke is also author of the biography Maeve Brennan: Homesick at The New Yorker (2004), as well as the award-winning The Burning of Bridget Cleary: A True Story (1999), the earlier Caoineadh na dTrí Muire: Téama na Páise i bhFilíocht Bhéil na Gaeilge, based on her PhD thesis, and the recent Famine Folio, Voices Underfoot: Memory, Forgetting, and Oral Verbal Art (2016). Professor Bourke’s essay on the traditions of St Brigid was published in 1999, entitled Irish Stories of Weather, Time, and Gender: Saint Brigid’.


 Orla Kiely

Orla Kiely



The Orla Kiely brand was founded in 1995 by Orla Kiely. What began as a small collection of accessories commissioned exclusively by Harrods following her graduation from the Royal College of Art, turned into a design company that embodies colour and print.

Developed from a passion for mid-century design and print, this has informed all aspects of the Orla Kiely product, from the ready to wear collections, fragrance, beauty, handbags, watches, jewellery, shoes, home wares, wallpapers and more. The handbag collections hold a unique place in the British fashion industry, as being amongst the few which are immediately recognisable world over for its distinctive prints and shapes.

Orla Kiely has been awarded an OBE for services to Fashion and Business in 2011 and the title of Visiting Professor of Textiles at the Royal College of Art.



Una Fox

The Walt Disney Company


Una Fox is a senior technology executive at The Walt Disney Company based in Burbank, California.  She has over 15 years of senior leadership experience leading sales and marketing partnership and technology programs and initiatives at some of the world's leading brands. Prior to joining Disney, Una was a Director at Yahoo Inc., and also held various leadership roles at KPMG in Paris, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Una has focused most of her career on incubating and developing technologies to allow companies to manage consumer relationships. She is also currently a member of the Irish Technology Leadership Group. Ms. Fox began her technology career at Cisco Systems in Europe. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in French Literature from University College Cork, Ireland.


 Emma Dabiri

  Emma Dabiri

Writer & broadcaster

Emma is a writer and broadcaster. She is currently finishing her PhD Mixed Race  a Ghost Story at Goldsmiths. Emma also teaches in the Africa department at SOAS and is writing her first book A History of Hair which will be published by Penguin in 2018. She appears frequently on TV and radio, with credits ranging from Back in Time Brixton (BBC2) The Sweetmakers (BBC2) as well as presenting history shorts for The One Show. Emma is currently filming series 3 of Britain’s Lost Masterpieces (BBC4).



 Iseult Ward

Iseult Ward



Iseult is co-founder and CEO of the award winning social enterprise FoodCloud. In 4 years, FoodCloud has grown to have 3,200 retail stores across the UK and Ireland donating surplus food through its software platform to over 7,500 charities. Iseult was named as one of TIME magazine’s Next Generation Leaders and was included on Forbes 30 under 30 Social Entrepreneurs European list. In 2017 she received a Humanitarian Award from the Muhammad Ali Centre in Kentucky, the EY Special Achievement Award and Image Business Woman of the Year award. 





Musician and Recording Artist

When London-based recording artist Keeva quietly posted two songs online, she didn’t expect that they would attract the attention of Grammy-nominated production team Austin Jenkins and Josh Block (aka Niles City Sound), who immediately wanted to start working with the young singer-songwriter.

The timeless feel of debut single Whiskey assimilates Keeva’s early love for the soul classics of her mother’s record collection, finessed by an ongoing obsession with the song-craft of country greats Willie Nelson and Patsy Cline – discerning tastes for a teenage girl growing up between Jordan, County Laois, and London. Keeva later signed to the ATC Management stable, also home to the likes of Warpaint, Kate Tempest, The Staves, and Nick Cave.

With more music due from Keeva across 2018, this promising debut signals the arrival of a name to watch closely. It’s hard to imagine her impressive fan club staying as select as it is for very much longer.




Angela Brady



Angela is a past president of RIBA (2011-2013), and graduated in Architecture from the Dublin Institute of Technology with a post graduate scholarship in Copenhagen.

Angela is a director of award winning Brady Mallalieu Architects, set up with Robin Mallalieu in 1997 specialising in quality contemporary sustainable design based in London. She was chair of RIBA Women in Architecture (2000-2005) and promotes more women into construction and is a design champion.

As a professional TV broadcaster Angela co wrote and co presented the TV series “Designing Ireland” about Irish Architecture, Craft, Industrial Design and Design Thinking.

She presented 6 part international city design on ‘The Home Show’ on Channel 4 and designed and built a house on “Building the Dream” with 65 episodes on ITV.

In 2016 Angela was awarded an OBE from the Queen and the Irish “Presidents Distinguished Service Award”, both for services to Architecture and Design. 



Catriona Crowe

Catriona is former Head of Special Projects at the National Archives of Ireland. She was Manager of the Census Online Project, which placed the Irish 1901 and 1911 censuses online free to access. She is editor of Dublin 1911, published by the Royal Irish Academy in late 2011. She presented the RTE documentary, Ireland before the Rising, which was shown in February 2016.

She is Chairperson of the Irish Theatre Institute, which promotes and supports Irish theatre and has created an award-winning website of Irish theatre productions. She is an Honorary President of the Irish Labour History Society, and a former President of the Women’s History Association.

She is Chairperson of the SAOL Project, a rehabilitation initiative for women with addiction problems, based in the North Inner City, and also Chairperson of the Inner City Renewal Group, which delivers employment and welfare rights advice and support to the community in the North Inner City.

She is a member of the Royal Irish Academy.


Maureen Kennelly

Maureen Kennelly

Director Poetry Ireland

Maureen Kennelly has been director of Poetry Ireland since October 2013.  She was previously director of Kilkenny Arts Festival, Artistic Director of the Mermaid Arts Centre and Programme Director with the Cúirt International Festival of Literature.  She is a member of the governing body of University College Cork, a member of the expert advisory committee of Culture Ireland and she is a member of the board of the Tyrone Guthrie Centre.  A native of Ballylongford, Co Kerry, she is a graduate of UCD and NUIG. 

Rachel McLoughlin PhD

Professor in Immunology, School of Biochemistry and Immunology, Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute, Trinity College Dublin.

Dr McLoughlin received her PhD in Immunology from the University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff, UK. She undertook postdoctoral training at the School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, UK and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, USA before obtaining a faculty position as Assistant Professor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School. In 2010 she was awarded a Wellcome Trust Career Development Award, which facilitated a move to Trinity College Dublin where she established the Host Pathogen Interactions Group within the School of Biochemistry and Immunology.

In 2016 Dr McLoughlin was made a fellow of Trinity College Dublin and in 2017 she received the Science Foundation Ireland early career researcher of the year award.





Ursula Rani Sarma


Ursula Rani Sarma is an internationally-acclaimed Writer and Director of Irish-Indian descent. She has written fifteen plays including The Dark Things, The Magic Tree, Yerma, Blue, and ..touched..., for companies such as The Royal National Theatre London, A.C.T San Francisco, The Abbey Theatre Dublin, The Traverse Theatre Edinburgh, Paines Plough London, Clean Break London and the BBC amongst many others. Her work for the screen includes projects for SKY, the BBC, RTE and TV3.

She has received numerous awards for her work and has held Writer in Residence positions for the National Theatre, The Eugene O’Neill Theatre Centre and Paines Plough. Recent theatre productions include her award winning adaptation of Khaled Hosseini's novel A Thousand Splendid Suns, which premiered at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco to critical acclaim. A Thousand Splendid Suns will be remounted in the US and Canada in the Spring and Summer of 2018 and is published by Penguin Random House.

Recent screen work includes Delicious for Sky One, Red Rock for TV3 and Anywhere But Here for Rankin Films. She is currently writing screenplays for the BBC, Scot Free, and Sky One amongst many others. Ursula is the Course Leader on the MA in Scriptwriting at Bath Spa University.



Pamela Newenham

Co-Founder GirlCrew

Pamela Newenham is the co-founder of GirlCrew, a global community for women to make new friends, share advice, and network in a social and professional capacity. GirlCrew has more than 45,000 members across 47 cities worldwide, including Dublin, London, San Francisco, Toronto, New York, Brussels, Liverpool and Melbourne.

GirlCrew members make new friends through online group chat and offline events such as brunches, nights out, career events, cinema trips and even holidays abroad. The start-up was selected for Google’s Adopt a Start-up programme, and was an Irish winner of the EU Welcome Project Initiative.

Pamela is also a business journalist with The Irish Times, specialising in the areas of technology, start-ups, entrepreneurship and business. She was named Technology Reporter of Year 2014 in Ireland. She was editor of Silicon Docks: The Rise of Dublin as a Global Tech Hub, which was published in 2015. With a background in law, she founded Ireland’s first student television station while still an undergraduate at UCD.


Alison Spittle

Comedian, actor and writer

Alison is an Irish comedian, actress and writer. She has worked for RTÉ Radio and Newstalk and appeared on the guilty feminist podcast. She is the host and creator of the Alison Spittle Show podcast. 

She has created sketches for Republic of Telly, this is Ireland with Des Bishop and the RTÉ Player. Alison wrote the Babycow produced short film, Alison Spittle in Ireland for Sky Arts.

She has performed at the Abbey, the 3 Arena and headlined Vicar Street. Alison also created, wrote and starred in the sit-com Nowhere Fast in 2017 with RTÉ and BBC worldwide.


Úna Burke



Úna Burke is a multi-award winning Leatherworker, Accessories Designer and Artist, born in Ireland and now living in London. Using traditional leather-working techniques in her distinctly complex constructions, Úna makes both seasonal fashion collections and figurative art pieces. This work has been exhibited in art galleries across Europe, the US, Asia and the UAE with commissions from private and public art and fashion collectors including those of New York Designer ‘Phillip Lim’, Seoul's ‘Simone Handbag Museum’ and Model, Muse and Fashion Icon ‘Daphne Guinness’

Significant collaborative projects have involved the making of several pieces for blockbuster movies The Hunger Games 2 and 3, making a dress from the interiors leather of luxury car manufacturer Lexus, Luxury Blanket Bags for International Woolmark Prize Winner Teatum Jones, Costumes for music videos of pop princess Taylor Swift and for the main advertising and opening scene of The Bodyguard, the Musical. Other partners have included media giants; Fox Network and The Guardian and Cosmetics companies L’Oreal, Nars and Goldwell, who have featured Úna Burke leather pieces in their advertising campaigns.

Úna Burke set up her eponymous fashion label in 2010 producing leather accessories which are timeless, elegant, considered and sculptural. The brand has developed a strong celebrity following both nationally and internationally. Among the most prominent of these are Rihanna, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Cindy Crawford, Fifth Harmony, Nicki Minaj, Ellen Pompeo, Rachel Stevens, Una Healy, Heidi Klum, Haifa Wehbe, Doda and Elva.