Amnesty Hour: Women Human Rights Defenders Transforming Ireland

As part of Amnesty’s Brave campaign, Amnesty Hour is celebrating and recognising the impact women human rights defenders make here in Ireland, such as repealing the Eighth amendment, gaining legal gender recognition for transgender people, ensuring the Irish state recognises Traveller ethnicity, and achieving marriage equality. Amnesty is joined by four inspiring women, Eileen Flynn, Sara Philips, Lucy Watmough and Róisín Ingle who have spoken out for human rights, and through their work have transformed – and continue to transform – Ireland.

But defending human rights is not easy! Women and LGBTI activists are at the forefront of the battle for human rights and they face multiple levels of discrimination and violence, including sexual violence, threats, intimidation and harassment. We will delve into the personal consequences, barriers and obstacles of speaking out for human rights in Ireland, and what it means to challenge historical injustices that many thought could never be spoken about, let alone overcome. Their struggles have often broken new ground and they have turned Ireland into a beacon of hope and inspiration for activists around the world.

Where: Leviathan tent, Mindfield Electic Picninc
When: Saturday 1 September at 17:00


Róisín Ingle is Deputy Features Editor of The Irish Times, co-producer of the Irish Times Women’s Podcast and presenter of ‘Roisin Meets’ podcast. Róisín has written three books, the latest is a collection of her columns ‘Public Displays of Emotion’. She has written and spoken powerfully about her lived experience of the Eighth Amendment and the harm it caused. She lives in Dublin with her partner and twin daughters.

Eileen Flynn is an Irish Traveller woman and recently finished doing a BA in Community & Youth work in Maynooth University. She is currently a community development worker and has been actively engaged in her community from a young age. Eileen has experienced inequality of access and opportunity throughout her life and has come through by learning that education is the key to success and change. She enjoys supporting others to challenge inequality and travel alongside them on their journey to personal success.

Sara Phillips has been a human rights activist for over 40 years and specifically on behalf of the trans community. She has been a member of transgender Equality Network ireland (TENI) since its inception in 2006. Sara is now in her second term as Chair having originally been appointed to the position in November 2012. Along with her colleague Broden Giambrone, She lead the negotiating team for the gender recognition act 2015 and more recently was a member of the review committee which has recommended improvements to the Act. Sara was honoured as Grand Marshall for Dublin Pride this year, 2018.

Lucy Watmough told her abortion story because she wanted to help secure a ‘yes’ vote in the May 25th referendum to Repeal the 8th. Despite experiencing online backlash, she continued to speak out about being forced to travel for an abortion impacted her personally. She has told her story in partnership with the Repeal project and with Amnesty International Ireland (’25 annoying things about being pregnant’ and as part of the ‘It’s Time. Vote yes.’ video series).

More information on the Mindfield programme can be found here or you can go to the Electric Picnic website.