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IrelandUnited StatesArcher

Mary Jones

Mary Amanda Dixon Jones was a pioneering American physician and surgeon in obstetrics and gynecology. She performed the first total hysterectomy in the United States to treat a uterine muscle tumor. Despite facing media scrutiny and legal battles resulting from an investigative expose, she was acquitted of charges and later focused her career on researching tissue pathology in gynecological conditions. Mary’s remarkable achievements in the male-dominated medical field broke barriers and left a lasting impact on the field of medicine.

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IrelandActivist

Anna Haslam

Anna Maria Haslam (née Fisher; 1829–1922) was a suffragist and a major figure in the 19th and early 20th-century women’s movement in Ireland. She strongly believed in gender equality and supported causes such as temperance and pacifism. She married Thomas Haslam, a fellow teacher and feminist theorist, and both were expelled from the Society of Friends for their involvement in social reform. Anna Haslam tirelessly fought for women’s suffrage and organized important meetings and events to further the cause.

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IrelandBroadcasterEducator

Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin

Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin, an Irish academic, teacher, broadcaster, and science communicator, was born on October 25, 1983. Raised in a family of teachers, she had a strong educational foundation from a young age. Ní Shúilleabháin’s academic journey included studying Theoretical Physics and Biological Mathematics, but she ultimately pursued secondary teacher education. She has become a high-profile science communicator, hosting and presenting science programs on Irish television. Additionally, she achieved international recognition by winning the Rose of Tralee contest in 2005. In 2022, she was appointed to chair a national forum on biodiversity loss, highlighting her commitment to public service and environmental awareness.

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IrelandTrack & Field

Joan O’Reilly

Joan Gertrude O’Reilly (1924-2014) overcame discrimination to become a renowned Irish athlete and hockey player. Although she was unable to compete at the 1948 Olympics, she excelled in sprinting and showcased her skills at various international competitions. O’Reilly later transitioned to hockey, representing Ireland in 34 international games and even captaining a successful tour of the United States. Her contributions to Irish hockey were recognized with her induction into the Irish Hockey Hall of Fame in 2006.

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IrelandActivist

Mary Elmes

Mary Elmes, an Irish aid worker, saved over 200 Jewish children during the Holocaust. She was honored as Righteous Among the Nations by the State of Israel in 2015 for her bravery and dedication. Mary’s story is a testament to the power of individual action in the face of adversity, inspiring generations to stand up against injustice.

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IrelandActivistGovernment

Ivana Bacik

Ivana Catherine Bacik, born on May 25, 1968, is an Irish Labour Party politician who has made significant contributions to Irish politics and society. Bacik has been a prominent figure in both the Seanad and the Dáil, making her mark on various issues, particularly her advocacy for abortion rights. Her dedication to her work and her progressive values have established her as a key figure in the fight for women’s rights in Ireland.

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IrelandUnited StatesComputer Scientist

Kathleen Antonelli

Kathleen Rita Antonelli, also known as Kay McNulty, was a pioneering computer programmer who made significant contributions to the early development of computing technology. Born in 1921 in Feymore, Ireland, she overcame challenges and excelled academically, ultimately becoming one of the six original programmers of the groundbreaking ENIAC computer. McNulty’s exceptional analytical skills and expertise in mathematics were instrumental in the success of the ENIAC and her work paved the way for the future of computer programming.

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IrelandPirateSailing

Grace O’Malley

Gráinne O’Malley, also known as Grace O’Malley, was a formidable figure in Irish history. Born around 1530, she defied societal norms to become the head of the Ó Máille dynasty. Known for her exceptional leadership and fearlessness, she commanded her own fleet and engaged in battles along the western coast of Ireland. Her story resonates as an example of a powerful and resilient woman in history.

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IrelandAstrophysicist

Bell Burnell

Dame Susan Jocelyn Bell Burnell, a renowned astrophysicist from Northern Ireland, made a groundbreaking discovery in 1967 when she detected the first radio pulsars. Despite not being recognized with a Nobel Prize, her contributions to astrophysics have had a profound impact on our understanding of the universe. Bell Burnell’s commitment to promoting inclusivity in physics and her significant roles within scientific organizations solidify her position as a trailblazer.

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IrelandSri LankaComputer Scientist

Sheree Atcheson

Sheree Atcheson, born on 28 February 1991, is a Sri Lankan-born Northern Irish computer scientist and Group Vice-President of Diversity & Inclusion at Valtech. Atcheson has become a well-known figure in the tech industry, with a deep commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion. She has received numerous awards and honors for her significant impact on the industry, and continues to inspire future generations of women in tech.

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Great BritainIrelandFigure Skater

Madge Syers

Florence Madeline “Madge” Syers was a trailblazing British figure skater who broke barriers and made history in the sport. She became the first woman to compete at the World Figure Skating Championships in 1902 and went on to win multiple championships and an Olympic gold medal. Despite her untimely death at the age of 35, Madge Syers left behind a lasting legacy as a pioneer in women’s figure skating.

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IrelandBalletChoreographer

Ninette de Valois

Dame Ninette de Valois was a remarkable Irish-born British dancer, teacher, choreographer, and director of classical ballet. Her contributions to the world of ballet extended far beyond the stage, as she founded the Royal Ballet School and the touring company that became the Birmingham Royal Ballet. Today, she is widely regarded as one of the most influential figures in the history of ballet and is often referred to as the “godmother” of English and Irish ballet.

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IrelandBalletDancer

Joan Denise Moriarty

Joan Denise Moriarty was an Irish ballet dancer, choreographer, and teacher who played a key role in the growth of ballet in Ireland. Despite little information about her early life, Moriarty’s talent and dedication to ballet and traditional Irish dance made her a pioneer in the field. She established dance schools, conducted ballet classes, and nurtured young dancers, leaving a lasting legacy in Irish ballet. Her impact extended beyond dance, as she encouraged women to pursue ballet and challenge traditional gender roles. Moriarty’s contributions to the art of ballet were widely recognized and celebrated.

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IrelandJockey

Rachel Blackmore

Rachael Blackmore MBE, born on July 11, 1989, is an Irish jockey who made history by becoming the first female jockey to win the prestigious Grand National in 2021. Her groundbreaking victories have solidified her place as one of the most influential figures in National Hunt racing, and she continues to inspire future generations of female jockeys.

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IrelandWriter

Mary, Lady Heath

Mary, Lady Heath was an Irish aviator and a prominent figure in the 1920s. Despite facing personal tragedies and discouragement, she developed a passion for sports and achieved remarkable accomplishments throughout her life. Lady Heath became one of the best-known women pilots in the world, breaking numerous aviation records and inspiring countless women to pursue careers in aviation. Her legacy as a trailblazer and symbol of courage continues to inspire women today.

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IrelandNew ZealandSailing

Naomi James

Dame Naomi Christine James, DBE, made history as the first woman to sail single-handedly around the world via Cape Horn. Overcoming obstacles and defying the odds, she completed her incredible voyage in 1978, solidifying her place in sailing history and bringing attention to women’s capabilities in solo sailing. Her pioneering spirit and remarkable achievements continue to inspire generations of women around the world.

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IrelandPirate

Anne Bonny

Anne Bonny, an Irish pirate who operated in the Caribbean during the 18th century, is one of the few female pirates in recorded history. Her life story, although shrouded in mystery, has fascinated historians and enthusiasts for centuries. Born in Old Head of Kinsale, County Cork, Ireland, Anne Bonny’s audacity and fearlessness gained her a reputation as an exceptional pirate, challenging societal norms and leaving a lasting legacy in women’s history.

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IrelandJewishSinger

Delia Murphy

Delia Murphy Kiernan (1902-1971) was an Irish folk singer and collector of Irish ballads. Known as the Queen of Connemara, she recorded numerous records and made significant contributions to Irish cultural history. She also played a crucial role during World War II, assisting in the rescue and protection of thousands of individuals. Her dedication to music and humanitarian efforts have made her a symbol of Ireland and its people.

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CanadaIrelandCoach

Geraldine Heany

Geraldine Heaney, born in Lurgan, County Armagh, Northern Ireland, is an Irish-Canadian ice hockey coach and former defenceman who made significant contributions to the sport. Heaney’s remarkable career and numerous accolades solidify her status as an influential figure in both women’s history and the world of ice hockey.

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IrelandPhysicist

Edith Anne Stoney

Edith Anne Stoney, born in Dublin to a prominent Anglo-Irish scientific family, was a pioneering physicist and the first woman medical physicist. Her work in establishing the physics course and laboratory at the London School of Medicine for Women paved the way for future female medical physicists and challenged gender roles in the scientific and medical fields.

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IrelandPhysicist

Sinéad M. Ryan

Sinéad M. Ryan, an Irish theoretical physicist and professor at Trinity College Dublin, has made significant contributions to the field of theoretical high-energy physics. Her research delves into the interaction between particles in atoms, focusing on topics such as quarks and gluons. With an impressive academic background and a solid reputation in the scientific community, Ryan continues to inspire aspiring physicists globally.

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IrelandActivistSinger

Sinéad O’Connor

Sinéad O’Connor, born in 1966 in Glenageary, County Dublin, Ireland, emerged as a prominent figure in the music industry in the late 1980s and 1990s. Known for her unique voice and fearless exploration of emotions, O’Connor achieved international stardom with her second album, “I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got.” Throughout her career, she has used her platform to advocate for important social and political issues, making her an influential figure and inspiring others to use their voices for positive change.

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IrelandAstronomerWriter

Agnes Mary Clerke

Agnes Mary Clerke, born in 1842 in Skibbereen, County Cork, Ireland, was an influential astronomer and writer. Inspired by her father’s interest in astronomy, she developed a passion for the stars at an early age. Her groundbreaking contributions to the field of astronomy and her dedication to the study of the universe made her a trailblazer in the scientific community.

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IrelandUnited KingdomAstronomer

Annie S. D. Maunder

Annie Scott Dill Maunder, an Irish-British astronomer, made groundbreaking contributions to solar astronomy. Her research on sunspots, particularly their movement over the sun’s 11-year cycle, revolutionized our understanding of solar activity. Despite facing gender discrimination, Annie’s talent and dedication led to her eventual recognition as a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. Her perseverance and scientific advancements continue to inspire and shape our understanding of the sun.

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IrelandSingaporeUnited Kingdom

Sarah Winstedt

Sarah Winstedt was an Irish-born physician, surgeon, and suffragist who made significant contributions to colonial healthcare in British Malaya. She graduated from the University of Edinburgh and joined the Colonial Medical Service, playing a crucial role in healthcare in Malaya. She also served in the Royal Army Medical Corps during World War I and later became head of the pediatric ward at Singapore General Hospital. Her remarkable accomplishments were recognized through her induction into the Singapore Women’s Hall of Fame and the receipt of the King George V Silver Jubilee Medal.

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Great BritainIrelandActivist

Helen Blackburn

Helen Blackburn was a feminist, writer, and advocate for women’s rights. Born in Ireland in 1842, she played a significant role in the women’s suffrage movement in Britain and Ireland. Blackburn co-established the Women’s Employment Defence League and made important contributions to women’s suffrage publications. Her dedication to women’s rights and activism has left a lasting impact on women’s history.

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Great BritainIrelandActivist

Mary Fildes

Mary Fildes, a prominent figure in the Manchester Female Reform Society, played a pivotal role in the mass rally at Manchester in 1819, which tragically ended in the infamous Peterloo massacre. Born Mary Pritchard in Cork, Ireland, between 1789 and 1792, she belonged to a family of Manchester grocers.

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IrelandJockey

Nina Carberry

Nina Carberry is a retired Irish female National Hunt jockey who achieved great success in her racing career. Born on July 19, 1984, she hails from a racing family and is the daughter of jockey Tommy Carberry.

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IrelandBoxer

Dierdre Gogarty

Deirdre Gogarty, a retired Irish female boxer, made a significant impact on women’s boxing. Despite facing obstacles and having to move to the United States due to a law prohibiting women’s boxing in Ireland, Gogarty excelled in the sport. She became a source of inspiration for aspiring female boxers and cemented her place in boxing history by winning the Women’s International Boxing Federation’s Women’s World Featherweight Championship.

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IrelandUnited KingdomArchaeologist

Hilda Petrie

Hilda Mary Isabel, Lady Petrie was a British Egyptologist whose contributions to Egyptology as an artist and archaeologist were significant and enduring. She worked closely with her husband, Flinders Petrie, on numerous excavations in Egypt and Palestine, using her artistic skills to record hieroglyphs and create plans of the sites. Hilda also played a crucial role in advocating for women in the field of archaeology, defying societal expectations and challenging the notion that women were mere onlookers.

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IrelandActivistAfrican American

Kathleen Simon, Viscountess Simon

Kathleen Rochard Simon, Viscountess Simon, DBE, was an Anglo-Irish anti-slavery activist who dedicated her life to ending slavery and racial discrimination. From her early experiences in Tennessee to her involvement in the abolitionist movement in London, Kathleen fought tirelessly for justice and equality. Her legacy lives on as an inspiration to activists working towards a more inclusive society.

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IrelandHigh JumperLong Jumper

Thelma Hopkins

Thelma Elizabeth Hopkins, born in 1936, is a Northern Irish athlete who left an indelible mark on the world of athletics. She achieved groundbreaking feats in the high jump and long jump, including breaking the world record in the high jump in 1956. Hopkins represented Great Britain in the 1956 Summer Olympics, securing a silver medal, and proudly represented Northern Ireland in the 1954 Commonwealth Games, where she won a gold medal. Beyond her sporting achievements, Hopkins also demonstrated her commitment to social justice and equality.

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IrelandMilitary

Roberta O’Brien

Roberta O’Brien is the highest-ranking woman in the Irish navy, breaking barriers and shattering glass ceilings throughout her career. From her groundbreaking entry into the traditionally male-dominated institution to becoming the first woman to captain her own ship and achieve the rank of Commander, O’Brien’s determination and resilience have paved the way for inclusivity and gender equality in the armed forces. Her trailblazing achievements make her a true role model and a beacon of inspiration.

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IrelandBiotechnologistBusiness

Jemma Redmond

Jemma Redmond was an Irish biotechnology pioneer and co-founder of Ourobotics, a 3D bio-printing firm. Her groundbreaking work in 3D bio-printing and keeping living cells alive while printed established her as a leading figure in Irish science and technology. Despite her untimely passing, Redmond’s legacy as one of Ireland’s brightest scientific minds lives on, inspiring future innovators in biotechnology and regenerative medicine.

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