Pioneering Cork women to feature in RTÉ series

Pioneering Cork women to feature in RTÉ series
Herstory Dr. James Barry. Pic: Courtesy of RTE.

THE stories of a number of Cork women who pushed boundaries are set to be aired across RTÉ platforms this spring.

These women, and others from across Ireland, who rarely made the history books are set to be featured in documentaries and podcasts this February.

Centering around a six-part documentary series from Underground Films, ‘Herstory: Ireland’s Epic Women’ tells the stories of some of Ireland’s most remarkable pioneers.

The Cork women set to be featured are pioneering Cork surgeon Dr. James Barry who lived as a man to pursue a medical career, and whose many achievements include performing the first successful caesarean section in the British Empire in which both mother and baby survived.

Herstory Mother Jones. Pic: Courtesy of RTE
Herstory Mother Jones. Pic: Courtesy of RTE

Cork-born activist and union leader Mother Jones known as “the most dangerous woman in America” is also featured. She founded the Social Democratic Party and helped establish the Industrial Workers of the World.

Other women featured in the series include: Dubliner Oonah Keogh a successful trader and entrepreneur who became the world’s first female member of a Stock Exchange; Wicklow-born choreographer, director and founder of the Royal Ballet Ninette de Valois; record-setting and daredevil aviator Lady Mary Heath, a Limerick woman of many ‘firsts’ and one of the best-known women in the world in the 1920s; and groundbreaking computer programmer Kay McNulty, a Donegal Gaeilgeoir who was one of the six original programmers of the ENIAC, the first general-purpose electronic digital computer.

That series will air on Monday nights from Monday, February 3rd at 8:30pm on RTÉ One.

In addition, RTÉ Young People’s Programmes have commissioned six original Irish animations, each telling the story of one inspiring Irish woman.

Herstory Mother Jones. Pic: Courtesy of RTE.
Herstory Mother Jones. Pic: Courtesy of RTE.

Two Cork women - Mary Elmes, who saved the lives of hundreds of Jewish children during World War II, and Laura Geraldine Lennox an Irish suffragette from Durrus - are featured in this series.

On digital, an 18-part podcast series, produced by Underground Films with Tall Tales, will bring to light the stories of 18 more Irish female pioneers from history. The first three episodes are already available.

To kick off the season, the annual International Herstory Light Festival will light up buildings in towns and cities across Ireland, Northern Ireland and the world with specially commissioned portraits of women from 31 January – February 3.

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