Ireland's Greatest Woman

The RTE Radio’s Marian Finucane Show poll is now closed and the results are in.. despite the extensive coverage [which probably skewed the result], disgraced Olympic swimmer Michelle Smith was not voted Ireland’s Greatest Woman, that honour went to Nano Nagle, an 18th century nun credited with establishing girls’ education in the State, just ahead of Mary Robinson.. although there was, IMO, a much more interesting candidate in fifth place – the sixteenth century pirate Grace O’Malley

  • Keith M

    Where’s Dana? Mary Harney?

  • peteb

    Keith

    They’re not on the list.. they’re not getting in.

  • martin

    Id choose Grace o Malley–16th century Ireland must have been a difficult time for a militant Feminist—cant under stand why Big Bird (mary robinson is there though—must be she broke the world record for head-butting midges!

  • Bored

    I’m deeply shocked.

    What about Eileen Paisley?
    Iris Robinson?
    Arlene Foster?
    Pauline Armitage?

    [Enough with the gratuitous abuse ‘bored’ – ed.Mod]

  • Bored

    Come on Mick – even by your standards that has to rank as one of the most pointless pieces of censorship ever.

  • ab

    Where am I?

  • Nathan

    Whats the point having Nano Nagle unveiled as the greatest Irish woman of all time, when many of us are left asking “Who?”

    Mary Robinson was more deserving of the accolade. I can think of a multiplicity of reasons:

    – Firstly, she spent her time as President, preaching a new type of Irishness that was neither religious in orientation nor territorially acquisitive.

    – Secondly, she challenged the established order of state affairs, in a country where worship of the Madonna was fervent but the erosion of woman’s dignity was not uncommon.

    – Thirdly, she had the ability to recognise that there were diferent traditions within the island of Ireland, each with its own legitimacy and its own apprehensions. Robinson therefore stood outside the tribalism of Ireland – she was a president of the Enlightenment rather than a president of the tribe.

    – Robinson spoke up for divorce, contraception and abortion. And by the end of the 1980s, she had won every liberal campaign there was. A new generation was living comfortably within the freer society she had helped introduce. And the older generation had begun to accept that the sky, after all, wouldn’t fall.

    – She succeeded in taking the Irish presidency out of the dark ages, giving it a human touch. She did it brilliantly, managing it so well that it made the job of her successor, Mary McAllese, a pile of piss.

    – When she became President, people from all walks of life were welcome in Aras an Uachtarain, yes even knackers, lesbians and gays. Nothing like it had ever happened before.

    – She was also remarkable in the way that she supervised the growing up of the relcalcitrant child that was the Irish Republic. She saw herself as belonging to the people and not to Charlie Haughey who, though Taoiseach, saw himself as the True president of Ireland.

  • martin

    Mary Robinson was an attention seeker in the same manner of Dana . she said nice cuddly politically correct and liberal things. She found herself a nice niche with the Anglo-Irish agreement—-I care about Unionist concerns=publicity.
    I care about womens right to choose=more publicity
    I have gay and lesbian friends=im so soft and cuddly.Im concerned about human rights=how cute
    She did nothing but steal a few ideas from Princess Diana.

    She was so attentive to the peoples concerns –that despite numerous attempts by her friends and advisors to get her to stop nodding her head in that way we all remember-she got worse.

    I bet the soldier who lost a week of his pay for making the silly comment under his breath to the fellow standing guard next to him when Robo arrived at the airport wearing a bright yellow outfit.-“here comes big bird” Wont vote for her—she musn’t have much of a sense of humour,since as head of the armed forces she could easily had the matter dropped.

  • Guggler

    Typical Eire gombeenism, not so much as a mention of the dearly missed and richly talented star Ruby Murray.

    May the cat eat your Ballsbridge balderdash begorrah and bejaysus !

  • Bob Callahan

    Personally I would have voted
    for Charles Haughey

  • Ulsterman

    Who cares?.

  • Carrington

    Bob

    As much as I detest Haughey, I have a grudging admiriation for someone who despite being so utterly corrupt was able to hang ong for so very long and who was never defeated within his own party, but had to be brought down by Dick Spring.

    But I don’t think he qualifies i.e. he’s male.

  • George

    Michelle Smith de Bruin coming in third reminds us that this was a Marian Finucane radio poll after all.

    The list and the weakness of it does show one thing: how long women have been shut out from the reigns of power in Ireland – north and south.

    Don’t laugh at the suggestion of Dana, she is one of only a handful of Irish women who is a household name.

    I would have known Grace O’Malley as Granuaile although I believe she was known by many names.

  • Keith M

    Carrington, I think you’re confusing Haughey with Albert Reynolds, it was Albert wgo was brought down by Dick Spring (actually he was brought down by his own arrogence and stupidity). Haughey was finally brought down by Sean Doherty finally coming clean and saying that Haughey was involved in the phone tapping of jounalists. There is absolutly nothing to admire about the man.

  • Bored

    Correct George – the English described her variously as Grany O’Maly, Grany Imallye, Granny Nye Male, Grany O’Mayle, Granie ny Maille, Granny ni Maille, Grany O’ Mally, Grayn Ny Male, Grane ne Male, Grainy O’Maly and Granee O’Maillie.

  • brian o fionn

    There were only 2 Irish writers who made the list of the 100 greatest novels of the 20th century. A male James Joyce (3 novels) and a female, never mentioned in the survey, I guess genius and literacy are insignificant characteristics in a woman. Who was she?

  • brian o fionn

    There were only 2 Irish writers who made the list of the 100 greatest novels of the 20th century. A male James Joyce (3 novels) and a female, never mentioned in the survey, I guess genius and literacy are insignificant characteristics in a woman. Who was she?

  • brian o fionn

    There were only 2 Irish writers who made the list of the 100 greatest novels of the 20th century. A male James Joyce (3 novels) and a female, never mentioned in the survey, I guess genius and literacy are insignificant characteristics in a woman. Who was she?