President Michael D. Higgins to travel to London for Lá Fhéile Bríde
President Michael D. Higgins will travel to London today (1 February 2018) to attend a major event celebrating the achievements of women in Ireland and Great Britain.
The Irish Embassy in London, with the support of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Emigrant Support Programme, will be presenting Lá Fhéile Bríde – Ag Ceiliúradh Cruthaitheachta na mBan / St. Brigid’s Day – Celebrating the Creativity of Women.
The guests of honour at the event are President Michael D. Higgins and Sabina Higgins, who are visiting London to attend the celebration.
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, all compèred by TV’s Pauline McLynn. 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.
Participants in the day’s events include renowned figures such as award-winning TV actor, writer and producer Sharon Horgan, international fashion designer , 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.
Speaking about the event, Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Mr. Ciarán Cannon, T.D., said:
“I am delighted to lend my support to this innovative initiative which highlights the richness of creativity amongst Irish women. From leading writers to comedians to businesswomen, the diversity of talent on display at this St. Brigid’s Day event is truly impressive. I wish all involved a stimulating and enjoyable day.”
International designer and businesswoman Orla Kiely said:
“I was thrilled to hear of the Embassy’s plans to celebrate the creativity of women and look forward to taking part alongside an extraordinary group of talented and creative women. I hope this is the first of many such St. Brigid’s Day celebrations.”
Ireland’s Ambassador in London Adrian O’Neill said,
“This Embassy initiative offers a wonderful opportunity to celebrate talented and creative women from a wide range of backgrounds. St. Brigid’s Day traditionally represents the beginning of spring in Ireland and we see it as an apt occasion to celebrate the many talented women who contribute so much to Irish and British life.”
Later in his trip, this Friday, the President will pay his respects at the grave of Eva Gore-Booth.
President Higgins gave a major speech, in October 2016, on the life and work of Eva Gore-Booth, reflecting on her remarkable, yet often overlooked, contributions to the fight for Irish freedom and, together with Esther Roper, for the rights of powerless and disenfranchised sections of society in Britain.
Catch up with the President’s speech below or on www.president.ie/diary
The President will also visit the Suffragette Fellowship Memorial in London’s Christchurch Gardens, which commemorates the women who fought for women’s right to vote.
This year (2018) marks the centenary of Irish women getting the vote and the right to stand in elections. After decades of campaigning, some women in Great Britain and Ireland – those over 30 who owned property or who were university graduates – gained the right to vote in 1918, through the passing of the Representation of People Act.