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Dublin: 10 °C Saturday 1 November, 2014

Ireland’s ’25 most powerful Irish women’ honoured

Former President Mary Robinson and novelist Edna O’Brien were among the 25 women celebrated last night.

Image: AP Photo/Lee Jin-man/PA

TWENTY-FIVE OF IRELAND’S most powerful women including former President Mary Robinson and the State Pathologist Prof Marie Cassidy were honoured at a new awards ceremony in Dublin last night.

Co-presented by the Women’s Executive Network and HSBC Ireland, the awards celebrated Irishwomen who are leading the way in their various sectors, from science to business.

Award winners include Ireland’s first female Attorney General Máire Whelan, Deputy Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan, novelist Edna O’Brien and broadcaster Marian Finucane.

The event organisers say that there was no nomination process for the inaugural awards which covered five categories, and they noted that the low number of women who met the criteria for the Entrepreneurs Award (she must have founded the company, actively manage daily affairs as the top executive, and own at least a quarter of the company’s shares) shows that while many women are launching their own businesses, it is difficult to launch them on a bigger scale.

Speaking ahead of the awards, WXN founder Pamela Jeffrey said that while some of the winners had not sought a higher profile, they were identified by the event organisers “purely for the work and the role they play within some of Ireland’s largest companies”.

“Traditionally women have succeeded in areas such as Human Resources and four of our Winners are in this category,” she added. “However the full list of Award Winners shows the diverse functional areas such as finance and operations in which women are now leaders.”

The Trailblazers Award (five winners):

  • Professor Marie Cassidy, First Female State Pathologist
  • Dr Clare O’Leary, Medical Consultant and Adventurer and first Irish woman to climb Mount Everest and reach the South Pole
  • Deputy Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan, first woman to secure this post in An Garda Síochána
  • Dr Mary Robinson, Human Rights campaigner and first female Irish President
  • AG Máire Whelan, First Irish female Attorney General

The Arts & Culture Award (four winners):

  • Moya Doherty, Media Entrepreneur
  • Marian Finucane, Broadcaster
  • Garry Hynes, Founder and Artistic Director, Druid Lane Theatre
  • Edna O’Brien, Novelist and Playwright

The HSBC Corporate Executives Award (ten winners):

  • Maeve Carton, Finance Director, CRH plc
  • Tanya Clarke, Category Marketing Director, Diageo Ireland
  • Caroline Green, Director of Customer Services, Ryanair
  • Eimear Kenny, Executive Vice President, Human Resources, ICON plc
  • Marie Moynihan, Vice President Global Talent Acquisition, Dell
  • Avril McDermott, Human Resource Director, Ireland,Hewlett Packard
  • Margaret Morrissey, Country Human Resources Director, Abbott Ireland
  • Anne Sheehan, Sales Director, IBM Ireland
  • Melanie Sheppard, Finance Director, Pfizer Healthcare Ireland
  • Siobhan Talbot, Group Finance Director, Glanbia plc

The Entrepreneurs Award (three winners):

  • Anne Heraty of CPL Resources
  • Mary McKenna of Tour America
  • Senator Mary Ann O’Brien of Lily O’Brien’s

The Public Sector Leaders Award (three winners):

  • Professor Anne Scott of DCU
  • Eilish Hardiman of Tallaght Hospital Dublin
  • Brid Horan of ESB

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