Happy International Women's Day: Here's 8 Irish Women Making Waves Abroad
Whose names you already or definitely should know.
1. Saoirse Ronan
When a then 13-year-old Saorise Ronan was nominated for her first Academy Award for her portrayal of Briony Tallis in Atonement, she instantly became a national treasure. Since then, the Carlow native has steadily been building a career to become one of the most respected and revered young actresses and her hard work paid off dividends this year when she earned her second Oscar nomination, this time for her performance as Eilis Lacey in the film adaptation of Colm Tóibín’s Brooklyn. The 21-year-old has been quietly prolific in her output, amassing an impressive resume, all the while charming Hollywood with her down-to-earth and seemingly nonchalant approach to stardom. Ronan is currently taking Broadway by storm, playing Abigail Williams in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible.
2. Angela Scanlon
For the last number of years, we’ve been witnessing the rise and rise of Angela Scanlon. The flame-haired beauty cut her teeth as a stylist and fashion journalist back in the day and now has made the move across the pond to become a fully-fledged, Vogue-favoured fashion doyenne and presenter du jour. With a string of high-profile presenting gigs under her impossibly-stylish belt, including regular stints as the host of London Fashion Weekend, digital presenter on The Voice UK as well as a handful of eponymously-titled RTE2 documentaries. With her status as the UK’s newest fashion darling cemented, Scanlon has also just been announced as the co-host of BBC Two’s Robot Wars, alongside Dara O’Briain.
3. Simone Rocha
Born with one of the most prominent and successful surnames in Irish fashion, perhaps Simone Rocha’s fate was somewhat sealed at birth. However, those quick to wax lyrical about the powers of nepotism need save it for someone else, as Simone has established herself as a world-renowned fashion designer solely on her own merit. Since graduating from NCAD and pursuing an MA in London’s prestigious Central Saint Martins, Rocha has wowed fashion critics since her debut collection at London Fashion Week in 2010. Noted for her deconstructed ethereal designs, in the last six years, the 29-year-old Ranelagh native has built a brand that counts the likes of Rihanna, Cara Delevingne and Alexa Chung as fans. Most recently, Simone showcased her A/W’16 collection at London Fashion Week just months after giving birth to her first daughter, Valentine and opening her debut flagship store on London’s Mount Street.
4. Laura Whitmore
After beating thousands of hopefuls in a competition to become the face of MTV News in Europe in 2008, Bray-born Whitmore has been a permanent fixture on our TV screens, fronting numerous well-known shows, including I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here! Now! alongside her role at MTV. The 30-year-old presenter has firmly established herself as one of the UK’s hottest TV talents and regularly performs hosting duties on some of the most high-profile red carpets – namely The Brit Awards and The BAFTAs. Like Scanlon, Laura has become somewhat of a clotheshorse and is perched firmly on the FROW of any fashion show worth attending!
5. Sorcha O’Raghallaigh
When Sorcha O’Raghallaigh left Offaly to study fashion at Central Saint Martin, surely she could never had prepared herself for the level of success that was about to come her way upon graduating. At O’Raghallaigh’s grad show, Lady Gaga’s team handpicked her designs to be worn by the singer and thus the foundations were laid for a long-lasting collaboration between the young Irish designer and Born This Way hit-maker. Cue interest from a host of A-listers including Beyoncé and Kate Moss and you’ve got yourself an internationally-renowned brand to be reckoned with. Our very own Angela Scanlon even wore a Sorcha O’Raghallaigh creation for her wedding day in 2014.
6. Eve Hewson
There’s no denying that when your dad is Bono, the prospect of forging a career of your own outside of his shadow could seem a little daunting, but 24-year-old Eve Hewson has been wowing the acting world since first appearing in the music video for The Script’s hit song, For The First Time. Eve, whose full name is Memphis Eve Sunny Day Hewson has since been putting in the groundwork to be taken seriously as an actress, moving to New York to study acting at New York University and appearing on TV screens as Nurse Lucy Elkins alongside Clive Owen on The Knick. This summer, Hewson is due to become filming on the Otto Batthurst-directed Robin Hood: Origins where she will assume the role of Maid Marian.
7. Thalia Heffernan
She is undoubtedly one of Ireland’s most in-demand models and has been at the forefront of the Irish fashion scene since the tender age of 15, and now catwalk beauty, Thalia Heffernan looks set to take the international modelling scene by storm. Still only 21-years-old, Heffernan has already shot for Australian Cosmopolitan and featured as the face (and body) of online fashion brand, MissGuided. Signed with Morgan The Agency here in Dublin, the stunning model is also on the books of the illustrious Ford Models in New York, Elite Model Management in London as well as agencies in Germany and Sydney. Could Thalia be Ireland’s Kendall Jenner?
8. Sarah Bolger
Sarah Bolger’s inaugural acting role as ten-year-old Christy Sullivan in Jim Sheridan’s In America is a far cry from current portrayal of the disturbed babysitter Emelie in the eponymously-titled horror movie. Alongside Ronan and Hewson, Sarah Bolger is part of a crop of young Irish acting talent generating a huge buzz at home and abroad. She starred alongside Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Lady Mary in the hugely-successful The Tudors series and guest-starred as Princess Aurora in Once Upon a Time. While Ronan may be more instantly recognisable to international audiences, Bolger recently revealed that her relative anonymity works in her favour as it allows viewers to take each performance as they see it and not think “that’s Sarah Bolger playing that character.”