Ones to watch: Cork women we’ll see more of in 2022 (Part One)

Here’s our annual WoW! wrap up of Cork women to watch in 2022 - in business, politics, arts and culture, sport and beyond...
Ones to watch: Cork women we’ll see more of in 2022 (Part One)

Riley founders Lauren Duggan, Fiona Parfrey and Aine Kilkenny.

Climate Activist Tara Shine

Kinsale-based Tara Shine, from Change by Degrees, won the STEM category of the Network Ireland Business Woman of the Year awards in 2021. We’ll be seeing and hearing a lot more from the co-founder of the social enterprise that inspires people to live and work more sustainably.

Dr Tara Shine campaigning for climate action in the Antarctic, beside the MC Ushuaia.
Dr Tara Shine campaigning for climate action in the Antarctic, beside the MC Ushuaia.

With a career of 20 years as an environmental scientist, climate change negotiator, former special advisor to the Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice group, and currently holding a senior United Nations role to assess progress being made to keep the global temperature rise to below 1.5oC, she’s highly accomplished.

Siobhán McSweeney. Photograph Moya Nolan
Siobhán McSweeney. Photograph Moya Nolan

Actress Siobhan McSweeney

Cork-born Siobhan McSweeney is an actress and presenter. She is best known for her role as Sister Michael in Derry Girls - and this is why we’ll be seeing more of her in 2022. The final episode of the TV comedy was shot in December and will be winging our way to our TV screens in 2022. We can’t wait. In a post on social media, Siobhan said: “Goodbye you mad woman. You’ve changed my life. I know you’d hate to hear this, but I love you,” alongside the hashtag SrMichaelForever.

Riley founders

Three friends who set up a new business in Cork are trying to change the conversation surrounding period products. The trio took a gamble and left reliable jobs to set up a Cork- based eco-friendly period product subscription service, Riley, in 2021.

Aine Kilkenny, Fiona Parfrey, and Lauren Duggan are working to change the conversations around periods, improving menstrual health and basically making women’s lives easier.

For more see https://weareriley.com

Tiktok star Miriam Mullins. Picture: Darragh Kane
Tiktok star Miriam Mullins. Picture: Darragh Kane

Miriam Mullins, Tik Tok star

Miriam, from Garryvoe, has 1.6m followers on Tik Tok. The young woman in her mid-20s said the pandemic gave her a career. She didn’t know what to do with her life after college - now she’s a role model for young people.

Speaking following her Late Late Show experience in 2021, she said: “I look at my own experience from going to school and college and I can bring that to people to help them. I offer back-to-school tips for instance, and I get a lot of engagement from both teenage girls and boys asking about certain situations. It is all about engaging with others. I love Tik Tok.”

Miriam is a bubbly, confident, enthusiastic young woman, a good role model for her many young followers.

Sian Horn. Picture: Evelyn Woodard photography
Sian Horn. Picture: Evelyn Woodard photography

Sian Horn, strategist with a passion for supporting women in business

2021 was a busy year for sianhorn.com. Having launched a new style of network for women in business at the end of 2020 called THE CLUB, she then launched The Hub, an online learning platform for small businesses and start-ups to access practical, affordable training from people that have ‘walked the walk’.

In November, she held the first ever Women in Business expo at the Marina Market Cork, with more than 65 stands, all run by women. It was such a success, Sian will be touring the expo nationally in 2022. She also has just a launched business podcast with sustainability expert Pat Kane. See www.sianhorn.com

Regional Fundraising Manager at Enable Ireland, Maria Desmond who is the new President of Network Ireland Cork . Picture: Darragh Kane
Regional Fundraising Manager at Enable Ireland, Maria Desmond who is the new President of Network Ireland Cork . Picture: Darragh Kane

Maria Desmond, Network Cork President

Having been self-employed for 20-plus years, Maria Desmond turned her career on its head and joined Enable Ireland in a fundraising role, because she want to make a difference to people, many of whom have significant challenges in their lives.

The organisation provides services to children and adults with disabilities and their families. Maria joined Network Cork in 2017. She finds the organisation great for both personal and professional development.

“Supporting women in business is at the core of what Network Ireland does and this will be reflected in my planned events for 2022,” she recently told WoW!

Network Ireland West Cork President Marie Wiseman. Picture: Anna Groniecka
Network Ireland West Cork President Marie Wiseman. Picture: Anna Groniecka

Marie Wiseman, Network West Cork President

Marie is at the helm of Network West Cork this year, a growing and vibrant branch of Network Ireland. She runs marketing business, Wiser Marketing, and provides support to small and micro businesses across a wide spectrum of industries, including tourism, retail, craft, farming, food, health and sport. Her theme for her year as President of Network Cork is ‘Better Together’.

Orla McAndrew, caterer.
Orla McAndrew, caterer.

Orla McAndrew Catering

A mother of three, Orla McAndrew, runs a bespoke wedding and event catering company based in Donoughmore. Orla and her team create magical wedding experiences all over Munster.

In 2022, she will travel all over Ireland working in some of the most exquisite venues this country has to offer. The ethos of her business is around sharing her love of local, seasonal, Irish food. She is also building a reputation for the charity initiatives she has been running over the last few seasons, including the Peter McVerry Trust. She also recently appeared on RTÉ’s Today show.

Lauren Homan, Basketball

One of the brightest up and coming basketball players in this country is Lauren Homan who is an integral part of the Singletons Supervalu Brunell Women’s Super League team and also plays U20 with the club.

Lauren, 19, joined the club at the tender age of six and has represented Ireland at U15, 16, 17, 18 levels nd is now part of the U20 squad.

A native of Farranree, Lauren is certainly a player that could have a 2022 to remember.

Social Democrat TD Holly Cairns. Picture: Gareth Chaney/Collins
Social Democrat TD Holly Cairns. Picture: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Holly Cairns, TD

Cork’s only female TD, she continues to bring important issues to the fore. Holly is the Social Democrats spokesperson on Agriculture, Food and the Marine; Rural Development; Social Justice; and Disability. She is a member of the Oireachtas Committee on Children, Disability, Equality and Integration. She was elected to Dáil Eireann in February, 2020, in Cork South-West.

Throughout 2021, she was vocal on issues ranging from restrictions at maternity hospitals due to Covid-19, maternity leave for female politicians, and she’s also been very vocal on the mother and baby homes, as well as other important issues.

Cork singer, Lyra.
Cork singer, Lyra.

Lyra, singer

It’s five years since the Cork woman self-released her first EP and her star continues to rise. What’s next for the singer? Her rescheduled tour is set to go ahead in 2022 and there’s more new music on the horizon.

“I can’t wait because performing is my favourite part of it all. It’s mind-blowing to sing the songs that I write for my audience with them face to face,” she told WoW! recently.

Jade Foley, Knocknaheeny, from Glow up Ireland.
Jade Foley, Knocknaheeny, from Glow up Ireland.

Jade Foley - makeup artist

The amazing Jade Foley, of Knocknaheeny, made her way onto our TV screens in Glow Up Ireland. She told us of her struggles with anxiety and mental health. She progressed in the competition right up to the semi-finals - we don’t think that’s the last we’ve seen of the young Cork woman. We are excited to see what 2022 brings for her.

We'll publish the remaining list of ones to watch in the coming days

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