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Our most powerful women

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KATIE TAYLOR -- Olympic Gold Medallist

She needs no introduction. The country was gripped by Katie Taylor's voyage to gold at the London Olympics last summer, so her selection is no surprise. The 27-year-old won the first ever Women's Lightweight boxing gold to add to her five world and nine European golds. The Bray native, the only sportsperson to be honoured, received a Trailblazer Award.

KATIE TAYLOR -- Olympic Gold Medallist She needs no introduction. The country was gripped by Katie Taylor's voyage to gold at the London Olympics last summer, so her selection is no surprise. The 27-year-old won the first ever Women's Lightweight boxing gold to add to her five world and nine European golds. The Bray native, the only sportsperson to be honoured, received a Trailblazer Award.

CLAIRE LOFTUS --



Ireland's first woman Director of Public Prosecutions, was given a Trailblazer Award, honouring women who have "dismantled barriers for women" in their field. The University College Dublin graduate took up the position in November 2011 following the retirement of her predecessor, James Hamilton.

CLAIRE LOFTUS -- Ireland's first woman Director of Public Prosecutions, was given a Trailblazer Award, honouring women who have "dismantled barriers for women" in their field. The University College Dublin graduate took up the position in November 2011 following the retirement of her predecessor, James Hamilton.

CAROLINE DOWNEY DESMOND -- Co-owner of MCD. 
A well-known charity worker, Caroline Downey Desmond counts big name celebrities like Louis Walsh among her close friends. The mother-of-three won an Arts & Culture Award. She was honoured for her charity work – she won a Chello Foundation Humanitarian Achievement Award in 2012 as well as her work in the arts. Ms Downey Desmond will take the hiring and firing chair, formerly filled by Bill Cullen, in this year's Celebrity Apprentice.

CAROLINE DOWNEY DESMOND -- Co-owner of MCD. A well-known charity worker, Caroline Downey Desmond counts big name celebrities like Louis Walsh among her close friends. The mother-of-three won an Arts & Culture Award. She was honoured for her charity work – she won a Chello Foundation Humanitarian Achievement Award in 2012 as well as her work in the arts. Ms Downey Desmond will take the hiring and firing chair, formerly filled by Bill Cullen, in this year's Celebrity Apprentice.

JOSEPHINE FEEHILY -- Chair of Revenue Commissioners 
 Best-known as the woman who is chasing us all for the property tax, Josephine Feehily is in one of the most powerful jobs in the country. A native of Co Limerick, she was appointed chair of the Office of the Revenue Commissioners in 2008. She won a Public Sector Leaders Award.

JOSEPHINE FEEHILY -- Chair of Revenue Commissioners Best-known as the woman who is chasing us all for the property tax, Josephine Feehily is in one of the most powerful jobs in the country. A native of Co Limerick, she was appointed chair of the Office of the Revenue Commissioners in 2008. She won a Public Sector Leaders Award.

BRID HORAN -- Deputy Chief Executive of ESB 
 Brid Horan was named as deputy chief executive for ESB in May, having been with the electricity supplier since 1997. She also holds roles as non-executive director for both FBD Holdings and the National Chamber Choir and was a board member of IDA Ireland from 1996 to 2006. Ms Horan won a Corporate Executives Award.

BRID HORAN -- Deputy Chief Executive of ESB Brid Horan was named as deputy chief executive for ESB in May, having been with the electricity supplier since 1997. She also holds roles as non-executive director for both FBD Holdings and the National Chamber Choir and was a board member of IDA Ireland from 1996 to 2006. Ms Horan won a Corporate Executives Award.

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KATIE TAYLOR -- Olympic Gold Medallist She needs no introduction. The country was gripped by Katie Taylor's voyage to gold at the London Olympics last summer, so her selection is no surprise. The 27-year-old won the first ever Women's Lightweight boxing gold to add to her five world and nine European golds. The Bray native, the only sportsperson to be honoured, received a Trailblazer Award.

IRELAND'S most powerful women include a champion boxer, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the co-owner of promoters MCD.

They are all household names for different reasons but Katie Taylor, Claire Loftus and Caroline Downey Desmond are influencing us in ways we might not even realise.

Another winner is the woman in charge of collecting the dreaded property tax, Josephine Feehily, who is chair of the Revenue Commissioners.

But while their inclusion in a new list of the country's 25 most powerful women might come as no surprise, other less well- known names have also appeared.

Ann Keenan, Carolan Lennon and Kathryn O'Donoghue are all high-fliers in the corporate world.

Ms Keenan is head of group resources at sales and distribution business DCC, Ms Lennon is the managing director of Eircom Wholesale and Ms O'Donoghue is global director of insights and improvements at Google.

The awards were announced at a ceremony in Dublin last night that also honoured the late author Maeve Binchy for her contribution to the world of arts.

The event, organised by the Women's Executive Network, included categories for corporate executives, public sector leaders, entrepreneurs and trailblazers – those who has set a new agenda for the next generation of women.

Anne Heraty, CEO of Dublin-based CPL Resources, picked up an award in the entrepreneurs category for the second year in a row.

The awards gala followed the WXN leadership summit, a conference which involved an address from Brid Horan, recently appointed deputy chief executive of ESB, who was also presented with a Corporate Executives award.

 

NETWORKS

Also awarded on the night were AIB chief operating officer Anne Boden; managing director of Microsoft Ireland Cathriona Hallahan; and CityJet CEO Christine Ourmieres.

Founder of the WXN Pamela Jeffery said: "WXN has noted a change in the landscape of female leadership in Ireland since we launched here in 2008.

"More CEO-level women have emerged, including Siobhan Talbot as chief executive at Glanbia, Anne O'Leary as chief executive at Vodafone Ireland and our own Advisory Board member, Ellvena Graham, becoming head of Ulster Bank, Northern Ireland."

She said that the awards "recognise their achievements, but also form a basis of a unique and targeted alumni where recipients build and benefit from new networks".

The Women's Executive Network Ireland is a community of 2,500 high- achieving women from across the country. It was launched in September 2008 and runs a series of events for female professionals throughout the year.

hnews@herald.ie


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