In the latest episode of The Limerick Lady Podcast, Ann Blake and Emma Langford interview prominent LGBTIQ and feminist activist Ailbhe Smyth, gaining an insight into the woman that has been at the forefront of some of the most momentous socio-political changes that have taken place in Ireland over recent years.
Ailbhe Smyth was the founding head of Women’s Studies at UCD (University College Dublin) and has been campaigning on feminist, LGBTIQ and socialist issues for decades. She played a key role in the victorious Marriage Equality referendum in 2015. A pro-choice activist since the late 1970s, Ailbhe co-founded the Coalition to Repeal the 8th Amendment and went on to become Co-Director of the Together for Yes 2015 referendum campaign which won the right to abortion for women in Ireland in 2018.
She is currently Chair of Women’s Aid Ireland, Chair of Ballyfermot Addiction Services, on the board of Age Action, and Honorary Patron of the Women’s Collective Ireland (previously National Collective of Community-based Women’s Network). She is a founder member of Climate Justice Coalition, and also of Le Cheile: Diversity not Division which campaigns against the growth of far right extremism.
In 2019, Ailbhe was listed as one of Time Magazine’s ‘Most Influential People’. She was conferred with an honorary Doctorate of Laws by NUIG in 2021, and was recently conferred with the Freedom of the City of Dublin.
You can listen to Ailbhe Smyth: Lesbian, Academic and Feminist here.
The Limerick Lady is a grassroots movement shining a spotlight on female performing artists. The aim is to boost female visibility, encourage gender parity across the board, and encourage young women to embark on careers in typically male-dominated industries. The podcast is co-hosted by Emma Langford and Ann Blake, and recorded with support from The Limerick Post newspaper and Ormston House. Photo via RTÉ.