5 Great Ways To Celebrate International Women’s Day 2023 in Dublin

Posted 9 months ago in Arts & Culture Features

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International Women’s Day takes place on Wednesday March 8th, and we’ve been checking out some great things to do in Dublin to mark the day that’s in it. From art exhibitions, to gigs, to innovative drawing workshops, here’s a taste of the many events taking place across the city to celebrate the wonderful women in our lives.


Art of Strength by Emily Quinn at Atelier Now, Dublin 2

A brilliant idea beautifully executed,  Art of Strength is a fascinating portrait series featuring modern Irish women channeling iconic Irish women of the past. This stunning new exhibition by photographer Emily Quinn weaves together art, history, design and photography, and includes images shot in a variety of different locations of particular significance to each woman featured.

In one image singer Imelda May portrays her heroine, the Pirate Queen Grace O’Malley, dressed by Úna Burke and Sharon Hoey, featuring a Celtic broach by Kieran Cunningham. Another sees Countess Markievicz brought to life by actress Charlene McKenna, dressed for the occasion by designer Simone Rocha. The photograph was shot at a house in Henrietta Street, similar to one frequented by the famed revolutionary herself over a century ago.

The Poet Felispeaks depicts the patriot Anne Devlin, dressed by designer Helen Steele. As a gesture of her loyalty to the rebel Robert Emmet, Anne Devlin was buried with Irish Wolfhounds on her tomb, and this is the reason why two of these gorgeous dogs are featured in this shot.

Meanwhile, writer and playwrite Lady Gregory is portrayed by actress Kate O’Toole, dressed by Natalie B Coleman. The photograph was taken in the Abbey Theatre in a chair used by Lady Gregory, featuring a beautiful mirror commissioned in 1904.

The exhibition also features such iconic women as Maeve, Queen of Connacht (Maria Doyle Kennedy), Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington (Vicky Phelan), Maud Gonne (Cathy Belton) Designer Eileen Gray (Simone Kirby), and matron saint of Ireland St Brigid (Aine O’Gorman), with styling by Catherine Condell.

Treat yourself to this incredible visual spectacle at @ateliernow.ie. For details about the characters portrayed head to artofstrength.ie. You can find out more about the exhibition and check out the accompanying videos @emilyquinnphoto


Daughters of The Pirate Queen – The Spirit of Grace O’Malley

“Daughter, lover, mother, leader – Grace O’Malley was all of these things and so much more; not a myth, but a flesh-and-blood Irish woman. The fierce heart of the pirate queen resides in us all. Therefore, we are all her daughters.”

So muses international composer and conductor extraordinaire Eimear Noone as she gets set to join forces with Wallis Bird, Nina Hynes and a host of legendary musicians and performers this Wednesday evening in a celebration of the spirit of the great woman herself.

In the company of the National Symphony Orchestra, the stage is set for a display of music that will be at times evocative, poetic, rhythmic, and exhilarating, in an experience inspired by the literal and metaphorical storms Granuaile herself rode and tamed in her complicated, glorious life.

The concert takes place on Wednesday 8 March at The National Concert Hall. Tickets here.



To mark International Women’s Day, this Wednesday March 8th sees a special screening of the award-winning documentary Vicky, which tells the story of the inspirational Vicky Phelan at the Lighthouse Cinema in Smithfield. A story of courage, hope and resilience, Vicky takes audiences behind the headlines of the Cervical Check debacle and one woman’s journey to expose one of the greatest health scandals in Ireland’s history.


Hailed as a ‘latter day warrior Queen’, Vicky’s selfless courage in the service of others changed the course of healthcare for Irish women and shows what one person can achieve when they use their voice for the greater good. Go see if you can.

This special screening takes place at 6pm on Wednesday March 8th at The Lighthouse Cinema.


Drink & Draw – Paint Frida Kahlo for International Women’s Day

Alternative Dublin invite you to come and celebrate with them by creating your very own painting of Frida Kahlo for International Women’s Day. They will happily guide you through the creation of your own artistic masterpiece, with step-by-step instructions to help you produce a canvas you can take home afterwards and frame forever.

No experience necessary, and 50% of profits will be donated to support the work of Women’s Aid.

The event takes place at the Grand Social between 6pm and 8pm on Wednesday March 8th. Tickets here.


Mná na hÉireann: Irish Female MEPs – Past and Present

The recent ‘Decade of Centenaries’ programme served as a reminder of the appalling way women were treated in the early years of the Irish State, further underlining the battle that women had to endure to secure their rights as equal citizens in the new republic.

As the fight to bring equality to all aspects of Irish women’s lives goes on, this timely and fascinating portrait exhibition of Irish women MEPs sees Estonian photographer, Kaupo Kikkas, capture something of the individuality and distinctive personalities of those Irish women who served as members of the European Parliament.

They range from Ireland’s first female MEPs, Mary Banotti and Síle de Valera, right up to the five current incumbents, including Frances Fitzgerald and Grace O’Sullivan.

The exhibition also marks 50 years of Ireland’s membership of the European Union, and the organisers describe the images as “a testimony to the evolution of attitudes regarding gender equality and to the gradual increase of Irish female representation in the European Parliament.”

The exhibition runs at the Irish Photographic Museum until Saturday, March 11th.

Words: Martina Murray

Feature Image: Grace O’Malley portrayed by Imelda May dressed by Una Burke with dress by Sharon Hoey and brooch by Kieran Cunningham. Photography Emily Quinn. Styling Catherine Condell.


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