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Who is Ireland’s Greatest Ever Woman? Have your say

It's time to have your say on who is Ireland's greatest woman.

On Saturday 20th September, the Irish Independent is publishing ‘Ireland’s Greatest Women’ – a 32-page magazine featuring the top 100 women in Irish history.

We have drawn up a list of 100 Irish women from all centuries, ages and disciplines.

They are presidents, writers, singers, scientists, campaigners, everyday heroes, doctors, CEOs, movie stars, warriors and poets.

We are looking for you to choose who should take the number one spot, as Ireland’s Greatest-Ever Woman – not an easy task, considering the quality and achievements of the women who have helped to shape this country.  

A selection to chose from are listed below - simply vote for your number one. 

The result, along with a profile of the top 100, will be revealed in ‘Ireland’s Greatest Women’, inside the Irish Independent on Saturday next, 20th September. 

Mary Robinson


Ireland’s first ever female president also served as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. An academic, barrister and former senator, Mary Robinson has won many prestigious awards and accolades for her campaigning and human rights work.

Countess Markievicz


Born Constance Gore-Booth, she was one of the first women in the world to hold a cabinet position. She was among those who formed the first Dail. A politician, Countess Markievicz was also a revolutiontary, a suffragette and a socialist.

Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington


Suffragette and Irish nationalist, Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington founded the Irish Women’s Franchise League and was instrumental in getting women the vote. She was also a founding member of the Irish Women Workers’ Union.

Dorothy Price


The work carried out by Dorothy Stopford Price in eliminating childhood tuberculosis in Ireland was groundbreaking. The doctor introduced the BCG vaccine which is still used today and worked as a doctor during the War of Independence and the Civil War.

Christina Noble


The founder and driving force behind the Christina Noble Foundation has become known for her passion for children’s rights. She overcame a life of adversity to care and advocate for disadvantaged children in the slums of Vietnam.

Lady Gregory


Dramatist and theatre manager, Lady Augusta Gregory was one of the founding menders of the Irish Literary Theatre and the Abbey Theatre. She was an important figure behind the Irish Literary Revival, with her home serving as a meeting place.

St Brigid


One of Ireland’s patron saints, St Brigid of Kildare founded many abbeys, including the Abbey of Kildare . There are many conflicting biographies about her life but she is celebrated every February 1 with the making of the distinctive St Brigid’s crosses.

Sister Stanislaus Kennedy 


More popularly known as Sr Stan, the Sisters of Charity nun is best known for her work with the homeless. She was a co-founder of the homelessness charity Focus Ireland and also set up The Immigrant Council of Ireland. She is a former Council of State member.

Mary Raftery


Journalist Mary Raftery’s documentaries, States of Fear and Cardinal Secrets, uncovered widespread past abuse in the Irish childcare system. Her work led to the setting up of both the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse and the Murphy Commission into clerical abuse in the Dublin Archdiocese.

Grace O'Malley


Also known as Granuaile, Pirate Queen Grace O'Malley was Queen of Umaill and chieftain of the O'Malley clan who was one of the few seafaring clans on the west coast. She was probably the country's first female entrepreneur involved in the business of sailing ships and international trade.

Online Editors